Teampetronas

On Track for 6th Super Taikyu Title

SUPER TAIKYU SERIES 2013
Rd.5 OKAYAMA INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT
RACE
1 September

PETRONAS SYNTIUM TEAM ON TRACK FOR 6TH SUPER TAIKYU TITLE

PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 car #28 started in P2 and clinched the win finally.
The race at Okayama was a very wet and slippery one, with multiple safety car periods.
This result extends the team’s lead in the overall Super Taikyu championship.
 
Japan, 1 September 2013 – It was a wet weekend at Okayama and the fifth round of the Super Taikyu Series 2013 was held under rainy and slippery weather. After encountering multiple safety car periods and dangerous track conditions, the partnership of Tatsuya Kataoka and Fariqe Hariuman successfully took the PETRONAS Syntium Merdeces-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #28 from second place on the grid to the chequered flag; though having to put up with pressure from the ThreeBond Nissan Technical College Nissan GT-R #24. Sister car #1 driven by Nobuteru Taniguchi and Melvin Moh followed up in third place.



At the start, Moh overtook the GT-R #24 to get into third place behind Fariqe, but the Endless Advan Porsche #3 overtook both the SLS AMG GT3 cars to get behind the GTNet Advan Nissan GT-R #81. The first safety car was then deployed and car #28 took this chance to make a pit stop and driver change, resuming the race in P4. One lap later, car #1 made a pit stop but came out of the pits in P7. Undeterred, Kataoka fought to the front to take the lead while Taniguchi worked his way up to P4. 

When Kataoka and Taniguchi handed the cars back to Fariqe and Moh respectively for the last stint, there was just 50 seconds between cars #28 and #1 in that order. Sandwiched between both gullwing cars was the GT-R #24 in second. This order remained till the end of the race, with the safety car deployed thrice more during this last stint. As a result, the field was brought close together and pressure was on car #28 to maintain the lead. After the last safety car, the gap between the first and third cars was only five seconds and only nine minutes was left to the three-hour race. Moh tried his best to overtake the GT-R #24 but eventually had to settle for third place. 

Dato’ David Wong, team principal of PETRONAS Syntium Team said, "The team’s priority is on winning the Super Taikyu title, which will be our sixth consecutive one. We are on course to achieve our target after this win at Okayama, with two more rounds to go. I am very proud of Melvin (Moh) and Fariqe (Hairuman) as they each drove two of three stints in horrible weather and significantly contributed to today’s victory in Japan. This is also testament to PETRONAS Syntium Team’s driver development programme.” 

The next round of the Super Taikyu Series will be held at Suzuka on 21 – 22 September.



QUOTES

NOBUTERU TANIGUCHI / No. 1
Today's condition was so bad and we had the safety car out three times during the race. These conditions caused us to keep changing our strategy. However, it was good that the team got onto the podium in first and third. I am still aiming to clinch the overall championship title and I want to win the next round at Suzuka!

MELVIN MOH / No. 1
Today’s race was under difficult conditions with the rain. The start was very good as I managed to overtake the ThreeBond Nissan Technical College Nissan GT-R #24 to get right behind Fariqe (Hairuman) in our sister car #28. During the first safety car period, we came into the pits a lap later and dropped to seventh position after that. However, (Nobuteru) Taniguchi did a good job in fighting back to the front and we got up to fourth before my last stint. I pushed very hard in my last stint and was right behind the GT-R #24 all the way until the chequered flag. I feel a little disappointed that I could not overtake him. On hindsight, we probably could have won if we had pitted a lap earlier, but I did my best and I want to thank the team for a good job this weekend. It is a good result for us after a disappointing weekend at the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race.

TATSUYA KATAOKA / No. 28
Finally our car #28 could win this season! We started in the first row but it was difficult to maintain the lead with the safety car periods which kept neutralising the field. That was quite unlucky but thankfully we managed to keep the lead and Fariqe (Hairuman) did well to stay out front despite being under big pressure from the GT-R #24. I had a really good feeling this weekend and I hope to carry this performance to the next round at Suzuka.

FARIQE HAIRUMAN / No. 28
I am really happy to be back on the top of the podium. My first stint was really good as I managed to clock the fastest time. After about 30 minutes of my stint, we did a routine pit stop under safety car period due to heavy rain. (Tatsuka) Kataoka did a superb job as he was consistently pushing out the fastest lap. When he handed the car to me, we were already in first place. My second stint was very difficult as there was no tyre change from the start of the race and the grip level was getting very low from every lap. Heavy rain kicked in about 30 minutes before the start of race and the safety car came out again, with GT-R right on my tail. Fortunately I managed to stay in front of the GT-R! A big thanks to the team for great work through the weekend!

DATO’ DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
The team’s priority is on winning the Super Taikyu title, which will be our sixth consecutive one. We are on course to achieve our target after this win at Okayama, with two more rounds to go. I am very proud of Melvin (Moh) and Fariqe (Hairuman) as they each drove two of three stints and significantly contributed to today’s victory in Japan. This is also testament to PETRONAS Syntium Team’s driver development programme.