The Motul Sepang 12 Hours, the final round of the inaugural season of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, is becoming increasingly popular with endurance teams throughout the motorsports planet. With Phoenix Racing, MARC Cars Australia as well as the official presence of British manufacturers McLaren and Ginetta, the entry list for the Asian endurance classic has become even more attractive.
Phoenix Racing enters two cars for Intercontinental GT Challenge honours
Phoenix Racing is a familiar name in SRO Motorsports Group-organized series. Last year, the team’s Audi R8 LMS finished in third in the Motul Sepang 12 Hours, this time German squad is aiming to shine on the circuit near the Malaysian capital to score important championship points for the Intercontinental GT Challenge. In order to achieve this, Phoenix Racing brings two Audi R8 LMS to Sepang, with a star-studded line-up. The #15 car will be driven by Christopher Haas, Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor, while the #16 has Pierre Kaffer, René Rast and Markus Winkelhock at the wheel.
In the Intercontinental GT Challenge classification, last year’s Motul Sepang 12 Hours winner Laurens Vanthoor is leading the drivers’ standings, with Audi third in the manufacturers’ classification.
Laurens Vanthoor (Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS) : “The secret to perform well in Sepang is to remain cool, literally. Physically, this race is the most demanding event I know. The combination of the heat and humidity make this 12 hour-race as tough as a 24-hour race. Our aim is very simple: we want to take both drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in the Intercontinental GT Challenge.”
K-PAX Racing with McLaren factory line-up in Motul Sepang 12 Hours
American team K-PAX will enter its Pirelli World Challenge-winning McLaren 650S GT3 in the upcoming Motul Sepang 12 Hours, as part of McLaren GT’s title bid in the inaugural season of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. The exact driver line-up is yet to be announced, but the car will be shared by three McLaren GT factory drivers.
For its first-ever endurance race, K-PAX will enjoy the support of the Flying Lizard squad, well-known for its several participations in the Le Mans 24 Hours. McLaren won the opening round of the 2016 Intercontinental GT Challenge, with victory in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, but a disappointing Total 24 Hours of Spa means that McLaren is currently fourth in the manufacturers’ standings.
Darren Law (program manager) : “We have to thank McLaren GT for their support. They’ve stepped in to help us with the sharing of equipment and personnel, which alleviated some of the stress of getting ready for this event. This has literally been all hands on deck since we decided to run this race. We have a great understanding of this car, and we’re of course very excited to do this event, but from the time we decided we would run up to the point where the cars and equipment have to be shipped out was very short. All the guys are really looking forward to getting back to doing pit stops. With our team’s experience over the years in endurance racing, it will be exciting for everyone to get back to endurance racing once again.”
MARC Cars Australia launches two-car attack on Motul Sepang 12 Hours
MARC Cars Australia will expand their global racing platform to include the 2016 Motul Sepang 12 hours 2016. The Aussie built silhouette cars combine a space-frame and tube-steel Chassis with a 5.0 Quadcam aluminium V8 engine developing over 550bhp, clothed in small car bodies like the Mazda 3 and Ford Focus Sedan. The team will ship its cars and equipment from Australia, followed by a 20 strong contingent of crew, staff and drivers to tackle the gruelling around the clock classic.
Ryan McLeod (Team Boss) : “We started the MARC Cars program with just three cars, penned by a local racing engineer and constructed in collaboration with Pace Innovations. That was for the Bathurst 12 hour in 2014. The reception of the cars was far greater than we expected. The cars have proven to be fast and reliable and economically successful to campaign for our drivers and owners. Subsequently we now have constructed 12 cars, with three more in build and they are campaigned by our customers at many different events across the globe. The Motul Sepang 12 Hours event marks our expansion into the more professional level of SRO backed events. It ties in nicely with our fourth tilt at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in February. In fact two of the cars we will race in Sepang will be freighted back to Australia to compete in Bathurst. We are really excited to take our cars to Sepang and showcase them to the Asian market, and also to the SRO organisation and crews.”
In the #91 Ford Focus the experienced endurance racer Keith Kassulke will be joined by Australian Formula 4 and Formula Masters youngster Nicholas Rowe and Australian production car ace Hadrian Morrall. On the #93 Mazda 3 MARC Cars Foundation driver and current Australian champion Jake Camilleri will be joined by GT ace Morgan Haber and long time Nürburgring specialist Robert Thomson.
Ginetta aims for Asian success with two-car entry
With GT4 one of the strongest areas of growth in the Asian GT market, a pair of Ginetta G55 GT4 cars are currently on their way to the Far East to tackle the Motul Sepang 12 Hours endurance race. Asian Le Mans Series entrant Zen Low and his team Ayelzo Ecotint Racing will prepare one of the cars, with Simpson Motorsport set to run the second.
Ade Barwick (Ginetta Commercial Director) : “It’s great to be a part of the Motul Sepang 12 Hours, as GT4 is growing rapidly at the moment. The Ginetta G55 GT4 is a much proven race- and championship-winning car, having taken victory in British GT4 in 2016. These entries provide the ideal opportunity to showcase one of our flagship GT cars to an audience in the Far East.”