Teampetronas

First Official Practice in the SLS for PETRONAS Syntium Team


 
SUPER TAIKYU SERIES 2012
RD.1 FUJI SPEEDWAY
24 MARCH

PRACTICE 
Weather: Fine
Course: Semi-Dry



Just two weeks after the official testing session was held at Fuji Speedway, the opening round of the Super Taikyu Series 2012 will also be held at the same track this weekend. The format for the race will be a four-hour endurance race over the 4.563-kilometre circuit.

• Four one-hour sessions of practice in total over two days on the 4.563km Fuji Speedway track
• Track conditions were wet for Friday practice, but the track was dry for Saturday practice
• Nobuteru Taniguchi in the PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #1 topped the overall time sheets

PETRONAS Syntium Team Driver Line-up for Round 1:
#1 – Nobuteru Taniguchi, Fariqe Hairuman, Dominic Ang, Masataka Yanagida (reserve driver for Round 1)
#28 – Tatsuya Kataoka, Melvin Moh, Jono Lester*, Ryan Ritchie* (reserve driver for Round 1)
*Indicates rookie drivers



NOBUTERU TANIGUCHI / No. 1
It is a new season and I finally could drive the car in the dry. At first it was a bit difficult to drive because of some understeer, but we worked on the car and improved the settings. There’s a slight change in driver line-up this year and I want my team-mates Fariqe (Hairuman) and Dominic (Ang) to do well. It’s a new car, hence new challenges, and I hope to clinch the title again.

DOMINIC ANG / No. 1
I am happy to be teaming up with (Nobuteru) Taniguchi again as it was a good experience with him last year and I hope to continue learning more. I got good mileage out of today’s practice in the dry and the car was quite competitive.

FARIQE HAIRUMAN / No. 1
I drove more during Friday practice, but the track was wet. Today’s track was dry and I only had limited seat time, but I am satisfied that I managed to clock a competitive time in my brief stint.

MASATAKA YANAGIDA / No. 1
This season I will not be driving at every round and my role is more of an advisor, especially to the new drivers. The learning curve for them with this car is pretty steep, so I will do my best to help them gain as much experience as possible.

TATSUYA KATAOKA / No. 28
I was absent from Friday practice and only managed to drive four timed laps today. But I have driven the car before at last year’s Malaysia Millennium Endurance Race and I am familiar with this circuit. For car #28 this year, we have two drivers new to the car but both of them are very eager and hungry to learn so I will help them grow in their racing.

MELVIN MOH / No. 28
It’s great to be back with the team again, after last driving for them in 2010. However, this time I’ll be driving a different car – the SLS since the BMW Z4M retired after last season – so it’ll generally be a new experience for me but I will work hard with the team to achieve our target – which is to win. I had a proper first run in the car today, so it was more about familiarising myself with the car, adapting to the drive and testing the limits.

JONO LESTER / No. 28
These two days of practice have been a great opportunity to further adapt to the Fuji Speedway circuit and the SLS. I’ve now tasted dry, wet and damp conditions and I’m confident that I can adapt to whatever weather conditions we meet tomorrow. I believe the car #28 line-up will be competitive against our team-mates and the rest of the Super Taikyu field, but in such a long race we must exercise patience and drive smart. 

RYAN RITCHIE / No. 28
I only did one timed lap with the car during the official testing, but this weekend I had more time with the car (16 laps over two one-hour sessions, of which 12 are timed laps) and am very happy for the opportunity and exposure. 

DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
Besides the spirit of excellence and passion for the sport, we are committed to growing young drivers into champions and aiding them in their development. We provide the best learning opportunities for our new drivers to gain valuable expertise from racing alongside experienced Japanese professional drivers such as (Nobuteru) Taniguchi, (Masataka) Yanagida and (Tatsuya) Kataoka. This year, we are increasing the focus on driver development and only one of the three drivers per car will be a professional Japanese driver.