Taking on the 7-hour Challenge in Fuji


For Immediate Release


PETRONAS Syntium Team heads the Super Taikyu 2013 overall championship with both cars tied for the lead
Race format this Sunday is a seven-hour endurance race at Fuji Speedway, longest event of the series

Japan, 7 August 2013 – 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 Fuji Speedway this weekend – the longest event on the Super Taikyu Series 2013 calendar.

Qualifying at the last round of the Series saw the PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 cars #1 and #28 battling for pole position with the Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R #24 and the GTNet Nissan GT-R #81. The Japanese ‘Godzillas’ and their outright speed forced the SLS AMG GT3 cars to the second row of the starting grid, but consistency prevailed and the PETRONAS Syntium Team managed to achieve a 1-2 finish eventually, after five hours on the 4.801km Motegi road course. 

Besides being busy fending off the GT-Rs and the Porsche, the two SLS AMG GT3 cars had their own share of drama. Car #28 and its trio of Tatsuya Kataoka, Fariqe Hairuman and Jono Lester worked hard to dominate much of the race, working their pit stops right and pulling a 30-second lead over their sister car #1 of Nobuteru Taniguchi, Dominic Ang and Melvin Moh.

Disaster, however, struck Lester in the last four minutes of the five-hour race when a brake issue sent the Kiwi driver into the gravel at 245km/h. Thankfully he got control of the situation and managed to rejoin the race and finish in second, behind car #1. The result from that round put both the SLS AMG GT3 cars in a joint lead for the championship.

The seven-hour race on the 4.563km Fuji track will start at 11.00 am this Sunday (local time in Japan).

Dato’ David Wong, Team Principal of PETRONAS Syntium Team, said, "An endurance race is about knowing how to stay consistent from the start to the end. Hence, having the pace to last the race is very important. This Sunday’s race is a very long one but I am confident that we have the right package and tools for success. We will continue to remain focused and work towards success one step at a time.”

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. With the cancellation of the first round, the series will be revised to six rounds, starting with Korea before going back to Japan – Motegi in July, Fuji and Okayama in August, Suzuka in September and Autopolis in November. 

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