After spending much of the race behind the safety car, the weather cleared up in the last half hour and racing resumed with cars battling for positions. Car #28 eventually finished third behind the Mach GoGoGo Shaken GT-R #555 and pole-sitter GTNet Advan Nissan GT-R #81, while car #1 finished fifth. The result from today gave car #1 its sixth consecutive Super Taikyu title, winning just 2.5 points ahead of car #28.
SUPER TAIKYU SERIES 2013
PETRONAS SYNTIUM TEAM’S SLS AMG GT3 #1 TAKES SIXTH CONSECUTIVE
SUPER TAIKYU TITLE IN DÉJÀ VU FINALE AT AUTOPOLIS
• Foggy and rainy weather conditions plagued Autopolis once again
• Shortened race sees PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #28 finish third and car #1 fifth
• PETRONAS Syntium SLS AMG GT3 #1 won overall 2013 title just 2.5 points ahead of sister car #28
Japan, 10 November 2013 – As forecasted, the weather at the Super Taikyu Series 2013 finale was dreary as thick fog hung low peppered with bouts of rain. Morning warm-up was cancelled, then the race start was delayed for an hour and shortened to two hours. Starting under the safety car, Tatsuya Kataoka rolled off the grid with the PETRONAS Syntium Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #28 in P3, and Dominic Ang in sister car #1 next to him in P4. After spending much of the race behind the safety car, the weather cleared up in the last half hour and racing resumed with cars battling for positions. Car #28 eventually finished third behind the Mach GoGoGo Shaken GT-R #555 and pole-sitter GTNet Advan Nissan GT-R #81, while car #1 finished fifth. The result from today gave car #1 its sixth consecutive Super Taikyu title, winning just 2.5 points ahead of car #28.
Dato’ David Wong, Team Principal of PETRONAS Syntium Team said, "We have finally come to the end of the 2013 season and it is with much pride that our team has achieved a phenomenal record of six consecutive Super Taikyu championship title. The bad weather conditions today was an anticlimax but we still completed the race and brought both cars over the finishing line. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the entire crew for all their hard work and efforts throughout the years. This result belongs to each and every one of them.”
After the first lap, both cars #1 and #28 came into the pits for their first driver change – Fariqe Hairuman took over car #28 from Kataoka, while Ang passed car #1 to Melvin Moh. The GT-R #555 and GT-R #81 came into the pits as well. Team Nova’s Audi R8 LMS ultra #8 stayed out and took the lead, with car #1 in second and car #28 in fifth behind the two GT-Rs.
Car #28 then came into the pits again after two laps to do their second driver change – Fariqe passed the wheel to Jono Lester. Car #1 stayed out and continued running second to the R8 #8. The safety car went in briefly and Moh managed to overtake the R8 for first place before the safety car was brought out again. Moh kept the lead with the R8 in second, the GT-R #555 in third and Lester in fourth with the #28.
This order continued under the safety car, until it went in shortly as the weather cleared up. However, a big crash caused the safety car to come out again. Car #1 chose to do their second and last driver change this time, after 20 laps of the race. Ang took over from Moh at this point and exited the pits in fifth, as the GT-R #555 took the lead, followed by our car #28 in second.
On the restart, GT-R #555 started pulling away, while GT-R #81 begun attacking Lester for second place, eventually overtaking him. Ang in fifth managed to overtake the BMW Z4 #16 for fourth place but was quickly overtaken by Team KRM’s Porsche 997 GT3R #32, dropping back to fifth. The positions then remained in this order to the end of two hours, with the Porsche #32 closing in on Lester momentarily. Radio failure for car #28 meant Lester was out there alone. Finally, car #28 took third place behind the two GT-Rs and car #1 finished fifth.
MELVIN MOH / No. 1
Today was very tough with the weather conditions and it was not easy out there on the track. We had a different strategy compared to the top three cars so when I got into the car, I thought our chances of winning the championship was over. However, after the safety car restart, I managed to pull a gap to the rest before I pitted. I think this was key for our race and finishing fifth was enough to secure the title. This is my first championship title in Super Taikyu and I want to thank everybody in the team – my team-mates Dominic (Ang) and (Nobuteru) Taniguchi, and especially Dato’ David Wong.
DOMINIC ANG / No. 1
Coming into today, with fog and rain was forecasted, we knew it was not going to be an easy race. We ran with a different strategy and Melvin (Moh) made the strategy work when he pulled a gap before pitting during the third safety car period. When I went out, I got stuck behind some cars of the ST-2 class. The front four cars pulled a gap before I managed to get past the ST-2 cars. After that, I overtook the BMW Z4 #16 who was in fourth, but the Porsche #32 overtook me at the next corner so I dropped back to fifth. From there, I did my best to chase after the Porsche and also Jono (Lester) who was in third. In the end we closed in but it was only good enough for fifth. Still, I’m happy to win my third consecutive Super Taikyu title, this year with Melvin and Nobuteru Taniguchi. This would not have been possible without the support of my team-mates, the crew, PETRONAS and of course, Dato’ David Wong.
TATSUYA KATAOKA / No. 28
The weather conditions today were difficult but our team decided on a good strategy. Both Fariqe (Hairuman) and I only did one lap each, but it was the best strategy. After the final safety car went in, Jono (Lester) was pushing good laps but unfortunately this track suits the GT-Rs more so he could not keep up with them. I’m not happy with a third place finish but it was the best result we could get out of today.
FARIQE HAIRUMAN / No. 28
Basically it wasn’t a good way to end the season this year but I’m happy that we managed to secure a podium finish for the team as its important for us. I enjoy being at Autopolis because of its cooling weather, which is not something you experience back home. Congratulations to car #1 for winning the championship six times – we were close but not close enough. I’ve been with this team for 13 years now and I really want to thank everyone for their efforts.
JONO LESTER / No. 28
Once the safety car withdrew and the race was green I knew we had no answer for the Nissans. They were too fast today and deserved winners. Of course, we narrowly missed out on the championship and that hurts. But for the sake of the team, another brilliant 1-2 overall finish and that’s something we as a unit can be truly proud of. Thanks as always to Dato’ David Wong for the opportunities he has presented me.
DATO’ DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
We have finally come to the end of the 2013 season and it is with much pride that our team has achieved a phenomenal record of six consecutive Super Taikyu championship title. The bad weather conditions today was an anticlimax but we still completed the race and brought both cars over the finishing line. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the entire crew for all their hard work and efforts throughout the years. This result belongs to each and every one of them.
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