After a wet day of practice, it was bright and sunny for qualifying of Round 2 of the 2012 Super Taikyu Series at the 4.801km Twin Ring Motegi road course that saw both PETRONAS Syntium Team cars locking out the front row on the grid once again.
SUPER TAIKYU SERIES 2012
Rd.2 TWIN RING MOTEGI
After a wet day of practice, it was bright and sunny for qualifying of Round 2 of the 2012 Super Taikyu Series at the 4.801km Twin Ring Motegi road course that saw both PETRONAS Syntium Team cars locking out the front row on the grid once again. 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, 0.627 seconds behind.
NOBUTERU TANIGUCHI / No. 1
Our team in car #1 showed good performance and we got pole position. However, I’m feeling a little disappointed during my session because I lost out to (Masataka) Yanagida in car #28. It didn’t affect our pole position (only using timings from Driver A and B qualifying) though. I think it will be a big battle tomorrow as the young drivers are very eager to do their best and I will help and drive my best too.
DOMINIC ANG / No. 1
I’m really happy with my qualifying lap as I managed to improve my time in the second and fourth sectors from the morning warm-up session. It will be a long race tomorrow so hopefully it will go smoothly.
FARIQE HAIRUMAN / No. 1
I was working the tyre temperatures up and the car was getting faster, but once I found good grip, I got caught in traffic and was unable to push for a better time.
MASATAKA YANAGIDA / No. 28
This is my first time driving our SLS AMG GT3 in the dry in Super Taikyu, as I did not drive the previous round and yesterday’s practice was in the wet. I was Driver C for qualifying, going out on old tyres and a full tank of petrol, with the main objective of checking the car settings, to ensure that it is in the best conditions for the race tomorrow.
MELVIN MOH / No. 28
It’s a big improvement in qualifying for me compared to the previous round at Fuji, having had more experience with the new tyres and more track time. I didn’t have a benchmark time going into qualifying, so to be less than a tenth of a second off Fariqe (Hairuman) was extremely satisfying.
JONO LESTER / No. 28
Another good result for the team today with 1-2 on the grid – even though we are team-mates, sister car #1 is still a competitor to me and I was a little disappointed with my own performance. I pushed too hard on the new tyres and Dominic (Ang) in #1 certainly made the most out of his time in the same qualifying session as me. It would be a close race tomorrow as we aim for first place!
TATSUYA KATAOKA / ADVISOR
This round I am not driving, but taking on the role as advisor for car #28, especially for the two young drivers Melvin (Moh) and Jono (Lester). The sun was out today and we had dry conditions. Initially I was worried about Jono’s (Lester) performance on new tyres but he was fine. I am happy that the two young drivers of car #28 are putting up good timings. I gave them advice on how to get the most out of the tyres and they took my advice, well done!
DATO’ DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
We faced some competition from the BMW Z4M coupe of our rival team and the Nissan GT-R GT3 was also putting up strong timings, but our team still pulled through to qualify in the top two positions. It is nice to see that there is also some competition between the two cars of the team as it pushes everyone to higher levels and serves as a motivation for all to go faster and better.