Teampetronas

Record-setting Double Victory at Inje Speedium Korea

SUPER TAIKYU SERIES 2013
Rd.2 INJE SPEEDIUM, KOREA
RACE 2
26 May

For Immediate Release

RECORD-SETTING DOUBLE VICTORY FOR PETRONAS SYNTIUM TEAM 

AT INJE SPEEDIUM, KOREA

PETRONAS Syntium Team wins both races of the first ever series held at the new Inje Speedium track in Korea
Jono Lester takes the PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 car #28 to victory a second time
PETRONAS Syntium Team now leads the Super Taikyu 2013 overall championship with car #28 

Korea, 26 May 2013 – It was a perfect day for the PETRONAS Syntium Team, winning both races of the first ever series to be held at the brand new Inje Speedium 3,880-kilometre circuit and scoring maximum points to take the top of the leaderboard. Fariqe Hairuman got the pace going when he won the first race in the morning with the PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 car #28, with Melvin Moh in sister car #1 in second. Also starting from pole, Jono Lester gave the team greater reason to cheer when he won the afternoon race with the same car. 



From the get-go, Lester charged ahead and gained a comfortable lead of 17.353 seconds from the GTNet Motor Sports Nissan GT-R #81 at the end of 29 laps. He later set the track’s fastest lap time of 1:35.723. Dominic Ang in sister car #1 fought hard for second place with Japanese GT driver Kazuki Hoshino of car #81, but eventually finished less than a second behind to claim the last spot on the podium. Both races this weekend were 45-minute sprints with no driver change or pit stops. 



This is the team’s third time racing in Korea, having scored a victory on every outing. Back in 2000 under the name of Team PETRONAS, the team won the Asian class and finished seventh overall in the Korean Inter-Tec 2000 Touring Car Race held in Pusan, Korea; an invitational Super Taikyu race. The late Malaysian Hairol Azmi Buntat and multiple South African touring car champion Michael Briggs raced in this 150km 50-lap endurance race with a factory-built 230bhp 1,600cc Nismo Nissan Pulsar ZIR that was used for the first time in Korea then. In 2005 under the name Team PETRONAS Syntium Proton, Fariqe beat German driver Franz Engstler and won Race 2 in a Proton Impian for the Asian Touring Car Championship that was held at the Taebaek Circuit. 

Dato’ David Wong, Team Principal of PETRONAS Syntium Team, said, "I’m overjoyed with the great results from the team today. PETRONAS Syntium Team made a clean sweep with two pole positions and two race wins for maximum championship points. The GT-R is getting increasingly fast and making good progress on pace, but I believe we have the right package to win.

"We wanted to give the junior drivers an opportunity to lead the team in Korea this weekend and they have delivered very well. This proves the competence and effectiveness of the PETRONAS Syntium Team driver development programme, having groomed these drivers from rookies to winners in a short time span. This marks a good start to the season as we aim for our sixth consecutive title and all credit goes to the entire team for a fantastic job.”

The Super Taikyu Series will take a month’s break and return to Japan for the next round at Twin Ring Motegi on 20 and 21 July.  

The 2013 Super Taikyu season will be a highly competitive one, seeing a full grid of 45 cars across six classes. The PETRONAS Syntium Team will face six other teams in the eight-car GT3 category, the biggest field for the class ever. With the cancellation of the first round at Sugo, the series will be revised to six rounds, with Korea as the season opener. Thereafter, the series heads to Motegi in July, Fuji and Okayama in August, Suzuka in September and Autopolis in November. 

QUOTES

JONO LESTER / No. 28
Our goal for Korea was to get maximum points for car #28 for the championship and to make a clean sweep is amazing. The entire team did their job perfectly – Fariqe (Hairuman) drove a strong race this morning and set us up for this afternoon. The circuit was very slippery during my race as track temperature was quite hot, so the first few laps were quite hairy. Once we settled down, we pulled a gap and the car was great right to the last lap, setting a lap record for the track.

DOMINIC ANG / No. 1
Starting from third on the grid, the GTNet Motor Sports GT-R #81 attacked Jono (Lester) aggressively when the lights turned green. Jono defended well and caused the GT-R to go wide, giving me the chance to squeeze past. I lost that position shortly after and I spent the rest of the race chasing the GT-R. In the last 10 laps I could see the GT-R struggling and I was hot on his heels trying to overtake. The only way I could gain on him was to underbrake; I tried many other ways but he was faster out of the corners and on the straights. I was also fighting a lot of oversteer from our car #1, especially over the bumps. I managed to close in on him a few times but just couldn’t overtake. Congratulations to car #28 on a perfect result and to the team as well! 
 
DATO’ DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
I’m overjoyed with the great results from the team today. PETRONAS Syntium Team made a clean sweep with two pole positions and two race wins for maximum championship points. The GT-R is getting increasingly fast and making good progress on pace, but I believe we have the right package to win.

We wanted to give the junior drivers an opportunity to lead the team in Korea this weekend and they have delivered very well. This proves the competence and effectiveness of the PETRONAS Syntium Team driver development programme, having groomed these drivers from rookies to winners in a short time span. This marks a good start to the season as we aim for our sixth consecutive title and all credit goes to the entire team for a fantastic job.

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