SUPER TAIKYU SERIES 2012
Rd.1 FUJI SPEEDWAY
Qualifying for Round 1 of the 2012 Super Taikyu Series at the 4.563km Fuji Speedway track saw both PETRONAS Syntium Team cars locking out the front row on the grid.The Japanese driver for each car went out for Driver C qualifying session to allow the other drivers to gain more experience (Qualifying in Super Taikyu is based on the best combined time of Drivers A and B only).
• PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #1 qualified in pole position with the best combined time.
• Sister car PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #28 qualified in P2, 0.305 seconds behind.
NOBUTERU TANIGUCHI / No. 1
The other drivers showed great improvement compared to yesterday’s practice and I'm very happy that they performed well. My team-mates Fariqe (Hairuman) and Dominic (Ang) gave excellent time attacks, putting us in a good position to win. It’s only the first race so we have to continue collecting more data to keep improving on the car. But the team is experienced and I’m confident of getting a good result today!
DOMINIC ANG / No. 1
There was quite a bit of traffic during my stint in Driver B qualifying session and I felt I could have done a better time. We still managed to get pole position, though just 0.305 seconds ahead of the next car.
FARIQE HAIRUMAN / No. 1
It was a good outing – I went out first and I was trying out different driving styles, finally managing to achieve a smooth technique and clocking a competitive timing.
TATSUYA KATAOKA / No. 28
As usual for Driver C qualifying, I went out with full fuel tank and then I checked the car setup, balance and the tyres, to get it adapted for the race conditions later. For the race later each of us will be driving the maximum stint of about 80 minutes and I will go first before handing over to Melvin (Moh) and Jono (Lester). Both of them are new to this car and Jono is a rookie, but they have been driving quite well so far so I hope they’ll do their best for the race. They’ll need to concentrate and deal with the traffic on the messy track, but I believe they can manage.
MELVIN MOH / No. 28
I’m generally quite pleased with my qualifying performance, although I felt that I could have gotten a quicker time out of the car. I was following Fariqe (Hairuman) a bit too close and it affected me a little. Nevertheless, it’s great to be back and I look forward to challenging for the win.
JONO LESTER / No. 28
I was aiming for pole position and after the Driver A qualifying session we had to find that little bit more time. I was pretty happy with my lap time and I think we could have gone quicker but I brought the car in early. There was some traffic for me and Dominic (Ang) and it affected both of us but overall very happy and it’s now down to the race. I’m super excited for my first Super Taikyu outing!
MASATAKA YANAGIDA / ADVISOR
The young drivers Melvin (Moh) and Jono (Lester) showed a good performance during qualifying today and this is very good for the team. Although Melvin drove with us before, it’s a different car now, and Jono is racing for the first time in the SLS and in Japan. Hence, it is crucial that they adapt and learn quickly for the benefit of the team. Car control and management is key and I hope they can do it well during the race.
DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
We try our best as a team to build a reliable and strong car and the rest is up to the drivers to take it to the track and deliver the final stage of the process. I have total confidence in the team, the crew and my drivers, and we all aim to make this a good year!