Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race 2012 - Qualifying Report
Qualifying for the 12-hour Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race 2012 at the Sepang International Circuit was executed in three driver sessions. The best lap time of each driver is then added up before the average lap time is used for packing the starting grid order. The PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #1 will be starting on the front row in P2, whilst sister car #28 will be in the second row in P3.
MALAYSIA MERDEKA ENDURANCE RACE 2012
Qualifying for the 12-hour Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race 2012 at the Sepang International Circuit was executed in three driver sessions. The best lap time of each driver is then added up before the average lap time is used for packing the starting grid order. Fielding the defending champion driver trio of Nobuteru Taniguchi, Masataka Yanagida and Dominic Ang in the same Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 car that they won in last year, sister car #28 will see Tatsuya Kataoka, Fariqe Hairuman and Melvin Moh at the wheel. The PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #1 will be starting on the front row in P2, whilst sister car #28 will be in the second row in P3.
NOBUTERU TANIGUCHI / No. 1
It was a pretty straightforward session for me – I did only two hot laps, got the time and then came in. It is a pity that we didn’t get pole position, but it’s ok, we will fight to the chequered flag!
MASATAKA YANAGIDA / No. 1
I used the first few laps to check the car before I went out for the second set to clock my hot laps. We are starting in P2 but we remain confident in fulfilling our target.
DOMINIC ANG / No. 1
To be honest, I am feeling some disappointment as I felt that I could have done better timings. The goal is to achieve a 1-2 finish and that has not and will not change.
TATSUYA KATAOKA / No. 28
Qualifying is based on just one flying lap, whereas an endurance race is completely different requiring more consistency. Our car is set up for the race and I just want to race clean, smooth and fast, with no accidents.
FARIQE HAIRUMAN / No. 28
I’m pleased with my best lap time as it was close to the target I set for myself. Even though our combined qualifying result put us in P3, I feel good and I emphasise that it is a 12-hour race, a long way to go to the finish. To me, the starting grid order in an endurance race is not as crucial as a sprint race, but I will still do my best and ensure the car comes home safely.
MELVIN MOH / No. 28
I’m quite satisfied with my pace as my time was just two-tenths off (Tatsuya) Kataoka. I have driven here many times in different types of racing machines, but this is my first time in the SLS AMG GT3 at Sepang. Learning to drive the SLS AMG GT3 is an uphill task no doubt, but progress has been good.
DATO’ DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
The field for MMER this year may be smaller than last year, but the competition is just as, if not tougher. Both our cars are starting in P2 and P3, which is alright as the race is 12 hours long. The crew is ready and we will do our best to achieve the 1-2 finish we are aiming for. Fingers crossed for the race to be a smooth and successful one!