The 14th edition of the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race kicked off in a spectacular manner, with the race releasing the horde of 34 race machines from various classes at 12 am, September 1st 2013. Taking place at Sepang International Circuit, the racers were greeted with the pitch dark conditions of the night, but are also the part that they prefer in an endurance race as it is without the blistering heat that Sepang used to offer.
Although both PETRONAS SYNTIUM TEAM’s SLS AMG GT3s are in the front of the pack, action started right away as Super GT driver Richard Lyons in the #007 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 jumped straight into the lead at Turn 1 on Lap 2 after all 34 cars completed one lap in procession according to their grid positions behind the safety car. Lyon, partnering up with Frank Yu and Alain Li, qualified the fastest among the three, clocked a time of 2:02.099 around the 5.543 km circuit.
Set to redeem themselves after almost finishing 2012’s race in a great position, team Clearwater Racing started fifth from the grid and is already sticking close to the race leader’s behind after the first hour. They are still using the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 for their endurance races, except for this year it is given a touch of chrome all over.
The Audis are showing their strength in the first hour of the race, leading the GT Cup class in the first hour. The #66 Tiger Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS Cup led the class with #15 BRT’s Audi trailing closely behind.
Fawster Motorsport’s #53 Nissan Fairlady 350Z led the Sports Production while a special entrée from Australia, the #77 Subaru Impreza STI led the Touring Production class.