83 drivers, 24 cars, 4 classes, but at the end of 12 gruelling hours, only one team will be emerge as the victor. The Sepang 12 hours endurance race has always been our favourite race to cover, and it is no different for the 2015 edition. For this year’s chapter, the transition from it being called Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race to Sepang 12 Hours also saw the race being held in December instead of at the end of August to encourage more entries to sign up.
And the change of the date brought a massive change on the race pace as well. Since Malaysia receives a lot of rain in December due to the monsoon season, the race was red-flagged a couple of times due to the heavy rain flooding up the circuit. But rain or shine, the teams were not going to give up that easily and let Mother Nature triumph in this race to victory.
First up, we look into one of the most disappointing part of the race; Clearwater’s surprising retirement from the race. Promising a good show by starting the race at pole position, the #1 Ferrari 458 GT3 led the opening laps until it came into contact with a backmarker. Suffering a double puncture, the team was forced to retire from the race due to heavy damage.
A pair of Bentley Continental GT3s also made it to the race as well. Operated by Bentley Team M-Sport, the #9 Continental GT3 driven by Guy Smith, Vincent Abril and Steven Kane finished in tenth place while sister car #8 driven by Maxmilian Buhk, Maxime Soulet and Andy Soucek took home fifth place.
The sole McLaren 650S GT3 proved itself to be a worthy competitor as FFF Racing Team by ACM took home fourth place overall after finishing 227 laps. Driving the machine was Alvaro Parente, Andrea Caldarelli, Andrew Watson and Hiroshi Hamaguchi.
Aside from time attack, Nobuteru Taniguchi is also a regular in endurance racing as he joined forces with Han Chen Chen, Hiroki Yoshimoto and Tatsuya Tanigawa in the #55 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. They finished in seventh place with 224 laps in the bag.
But the ones proved untouchable in this race are the new Audi R8 LMS race cars as they managed to secure all three spots on the podium for themselves. #15 Phoenix Racing of Marchy Lee, Thong Wei Fung and Alexander Yoong took home third place, followed by the #150 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in second place driven by Enzo Ide, Christopher Haase and Christopher Mies.
But taking the win with a close gap of 8.33 seconds from second place is #17 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’s Stuart Leonard, Stephane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor who had completed 228 laps to be crowned the winner of the 2015 Sepasng 12 hours endurance race.
In the GTC category, the #23 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo of GITI TOPSPEED Racing driven by Mohamad Afiq Ikhwan, James Munro, Martin Rump and Yuan Bo takes the win after 211 laps, finishing 11th overall.
Finishing second in the category is #7 Team NZ Motorsport’s Porsche 997 Cup driven by John Curran, Graeme Dowsett, Will Bamber and Alif Hamdan, followed by Lim Keong Liam, Bruce Lee and Andrew Tang in the #67 GDL Racing Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S.
Team Wing Hin Motorsport’s #86 Toyota 86 driven by Kenny Lee, William Ho and Wong Yew Choong took the win for the Touring Production category after completing 189 laps. Another Toyota 86 operated by GTO Racing Team finished in second place after Lee Ching Hsin Brian, Chan Cheng Long, Wei Shing Hung and Hideto Yasuoka completed 167 laps around Sepang International Circuit.
Although was faced with a number of mechanical issues, the crew of Jim Hunter Motorsports managed to patch their Subaru Impreza and soldier on to complete 149 laps to finish third in class. The #602 Subaru was driven by Jim Hunter, Grant Johnson, Douglas Khoo Kok Hui and Allan Letcher.