Teampetronas

PETRONAS Syntium SLS AMG GT3 #28 takes its first pole position of 2012


SUPER TAIKYU SERIES 2012 
Rd.3 SPORTSLAND SUGO 
20 MAY 

QUALIFYING 


Weather: Sunny 
Temperature: 32˚C 
Course: Dry 

Qualifying for Round 3 of the 2012 Super Taikyu Series at the 3.737-kilometre Sportsland Sugo road racing course resulted in both PETRONAS Syntium Team cars on the front row again, but this time it was PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #28 which secured pole position for this race – their first pole for the season. 

Pole position for the previous two rounds were clinched by sister car #1. 

Facing stronger rivalry from other teams this weekend, the Japanese driver for each car went out for Driver A qualifying session (Qualifying in Super Taikyu is based on the best combined time of Drivers A and B only).

·          PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #28 qualified in pole position with the best combined time. 
·          This is the first pole position from #28 for this season, scored by Tatsuya Kataoka and Jono Lester.
·         Sister car PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #1 qualified in P2, 1.329 seconds behind.



NOBUTERU TANIGUCHI / No. 1
This time, our Driver A qualifying session was together with the other three classes (ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3), so it was more crowded and busy than normal. I decided to exit the pits later than usual to try and avoid traffic, but the timing wasn’t right and I could not maximise the potential of the tyres and get a good time, resulting in disappointment.  Definitely, our sister car #28 was faster than us for qualifying, but we did use a different car setting. I hope we are stronger than them in the race, after we fine tune our strategy.

FARIQE HAIRUMAN / No. 1
It was not a good qualifying for me – I didn’t manage to get a clear lap for my session and I feel bad towards my team-mates as we lost the pole position. I tried a different strategy for qualifying by going out later than I usually do and it didn’t work out too well, definitely not too good an idea. I’ll be starting the race and I will do my best to get ahead and stay ahead. 

DOMINIC ANG / No. 1
Going out for Driver C qualifying this time, I was responsible for checking the set-up of the car and bedding in the brakes and rotors for the race. I’m happy for our sister car and their first pole position of the season – it will be an interesting and exciting race later.

TATSUYA KATAOKA / No. 28
Our car is in good shape, as tested in yesterday’s practice sessions. The car balance was good and the set-up suited the racing conditions. Jono (Lester) was sent for Driver B qualifying this time and he pulled a really quick time despite being a rookie and new to this Sugo circuit. I believe in his potential and the race ahead will be challenging with a lot of traffic to deal with, but I think our young drivers will do good and battle hard to the end.

MELVIN MOH / No. 28
The session was quite good for me. As Driver C for qualifying, I did a race simulation run with full fuel load and used tyres. Balance was quite good in the car and I think we have a good car for the race. Hopefully we can be on the top step of the podium today!

JONO LESTER / No. 28
We are ecstatic to take pole position for the season with our car #28. The entire weekend has been positive – we were quick in practice and it was nice to cement that with the pole position today. We will set ourselves up for a strong start to the three hours of Sugo race. After finishing second place at the first two rounds, we will accept nothing less than one better today. 

MASATAKA YANAGIDA / ADVISOR
At yesterday’s practice, Jono (Lester) adapted to the track quickly from the start and was clocking fast timings. His attack is improving, so now I’m advising him on how to handle a messy course during the race. 

DATO’ DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
As we approach the halfway mark of the season, many teams are stepping up and our rivals such as the BMW Z4M GT3 and the Nissan GT-R GT3 are putting out fast timings. We still secured the front row of the grid, although this time it is car #28 that’s starting up front. Some healthy competition between our two cars is encouraged as it motivates everyone to achieve more.