Teampetronas

P3 and An Unfortunate P8 for Qualifying at Fuji

SUPER TAIKYU SERIES 2013
Rd.4 Fuji Speedway
QUALIFYING
10 August

QUALIFYING

Weather: Very Sunny
Course: Dry

After experiencing a series of heart-stopping action at Motegi last month, the PETRONAS Syntium Team is eager to take on the seven-hour race at the 4.563km Fuji Speedway this weekend – the longest event on the Super Taikyu Series 2013 calendar.

The combined fastest lap times of Nobuteru Taniguchi and Dominic Ang put the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #1 on the second row for tomorrow’s race, qualifying third behind the GTNet Advan Nissan GT-R #81 and the ThreeBond Nissan Technical College Nissan GT-R #24. Sister car #28 initially qualified in fourth with the combined times of Tatsuya Kataoka and Jono Lester, but a post-qualifying penalty dropped them to P8. Lester had crossed the white line upon entry into the pits, landing a four-place grid penalty. 

The race will start at 11.00 am this Sunday (local time in Japan).



QUOTES

DOMINIC ANG / SLS AMG GT3 #1 
Yesterday I managed to try out the new tyres during practice, to simulate qualifying conditions. Hence, today I knew what to expect from the new tyres. I was slightly faster than what I expected and I only had traffic in the first corner, so I was able to get clear laps for qualifying. The race is long one and the aim is to drive consistently and win.

NOBUTERU TANIGUCHI / SLS AMG GT3 #1 
My qualifying was alright – I was struggling with traffic during my best lap, so it wasn’t perfect. It seems like we have no chance to beat the GT-Rs in qualifying. Nonetheless, I am confident that we can finish ahead of the GT-Rs at the end of the race tomorrow. I’m also very happy for Dominic (Ang), who clocked a very good timing.

MELVIN MOH / SLS AMG GT3 #1 
We ran 100 litres of fuel to do a race simulation and the car feels well-balanced, so I think it should be good for tomorrow. (Nobuteru) Taniguchi and Dominic (Ang) did a good job. We are looking good for tomorrow and hopefully we will have a consistent race to fight for the win.

TATSUYA KATAOKA / SLS AMG GT3 #28 
Since yesterday, we have been facing difficulties trying to find a good set-up for the car. We did try a new set-up today but it still wasn’t good, so we will keep trying until we find a good one. During qualifying, I ran into a lot of traffic, especially at the high speed corners, and it wasn’t a happy qualifying for me. Then again, even if I had clocked a good lap, we still have to figure out the set-up. The race is seven hours long, so let’s see what happens at the end of the race when the chequered flag is taken.

JONO LESTER / SLS AMG GT3 #28 
We have struggled all weekend to find the balance that we are used to with our car #28. We took a couple of gambles for qualifying today, but unfortunately for both (Tatsuya) Kataoka and me, we were unable to extract the time that we know is in the car. We will work harder tonight to improve our race set up and congratulations to car #1 for their great pace today.

FARIQE HAIRUMAN / SLS AMG GT3 #28 
It’s a pity that we got a penalty for the race tomorrow and will be starting further down the grid than we should. Still, it’s a seven-hour race and it’s a long way to go, anything can happen. For my qualifying, I think I did quite well because we were running with quite heavy fuel load on old tyres. Also, we managed to get a good timing although our car is facing a transmission problem. Hopefully we can sort out the car for the race tomorrow!

DATO’ DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
In all our years of endurance racing experience, we have learnt that race pace is more important than the starting position. The penalty was a pity for sure, but we have seven hours to catch up and get to the front. Should all things go well, I am confident that we can achieve a podium finish for both cars.