Teampetronas

Getting Back the Groove for 2013

Five-time Super Taikyu champions PETRONAS Syntium Team returns for their seventh season 
The PETRONAS Syntium Team will be aiming for their sixth consecutive Super Taikyu title
The PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #1 and #28 will be used for a second full racing season
Four drivers tested at the three-hour session held at Sportsland Sugo



Japan, 30 March 2013 – Three weeks before the 2013 season of the Super Taikyu Series, Japan’s leading endurance race series, the PETRONAS Syntium Team headed to Sportsland Sugo for a half-day testing. Using only the team’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #28, the three-hour session was shared between Japanese professional driver Tatsuya Kataoka, as well as Fariqe Hairuman, Dominic Ang and Melvin Moh from Malaysia. The final driver line-up for 2013 will be announced at a later date.

Taking turns to drive the 3.737-kilometre Sugo track, the drivers fully utilised the session to get back in the groove. Other than the PETRONAS Motorsports demonstration on the streets of Kuala Lumpur earlier this month, the Malaysian drivers have not driven the SLS AMG GT3 since the last round of the 2012 Super Taikyu Series last November. Running on used tyres, all drivers were clocking competitive timings and the session went fairly smoothly except for a mistake in the last two minutes when Moh spun off the chicane.

Dato’ David Wong, team principal of PETRONAS Syntium Team, said, "The pre-season test is the time where we try out different setups and also give the drivers some track time as they prepare themselves for the start of the season. This year the GT3 class has a bigger field with some strong new entries, which is good for the competition. We will definitely do our utmost best and aim for our sixth consecutive title. Now that the cobwebs are dusted off the cars and the racing gear, we are ready to go racing.”

The Super Taikyu Series will be held over seven rounds this year, covering circuits in Sugo, Motegi, Fuji, Okayama, Suzuka and Autopolis, with a new venue in Korea. The opening round of the series will be held at Sugo on 20 – 21 April.

QUOTES

TATSUYA KATAOKA 
It’s been some time since the three of them last drove competitively, so today’s session was a good warm-up for them to get back and get ready for racing season. The car was good and gave a decent pace, considering we were on used tyres all the way. 

DOMINIC ANG 
I’m glad to be back in the car, though I wish the testing session could be longer so we could have more time at the wheel. Today we were focused on adjusting back to the car and getting it prepped for long runs, so we weren’t going flat out every run.

FARIQE HAIRUMAN
It’s great to be back in the car after four months; I can’t wait to go racing again! Of the 16 timed laps I did, I only managed to get one clear lap so it wasn’t that productive a session for me but I’m looking forward to the first race!

MELVIN MOH 
Overall it was a positive and fruitful day and it was good to get myself used to the car once again. My stints were going alright until I made the mistake – I was pushing too hard and I lost the car in the chicane. Besides that I think we are looking quite good for the season.

DATO’ DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
The pre-season test is the time where we try out different setups and also give the drivers some track time as they prepare themselves for the start of the season. This year the GT3 class has a bigger field with some strong new entries, which is good for the competition. We will definitely do our utmost best and aim for our sixth consecutive title. Now that the cobwebs are dusted off the cars and the racing gear, we are ready to go racing.