Team Petronas Syntium Wins the Tenth Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race
 


1-2 Petronas. From the seventh slot on the starting grid,  Drivers; Tatsuya Kataoka, Manabu Orido and Johan Adzmi of Team Petronas Syntium made their way up to win the race completing 306 laps
in twelve hours. Photo by Chow KF

11th August, SepangThe atmosphere was charged with excitement as the tenth edition of the 12 hour Merdeka Endurance Race was off, flagged off by Motorsport Association of Malaysia Chairman Dato’ Azman Yahya ten minutes after the National anthem was played. He was accompanied by Sepang International Circuit (SIC) Chairman Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, SIC CEO Razlan Razali, Automobile Association of Malaysia Chairman Tunku Mudzaffar and Petronas Motorsports General Manager Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz.

Starting from the seventh slot on the starting grid, car number 28 of Team Petronas Syntium made their way up to win the race completing 306 laps in twelve hours.

Driving a BMW Z4, drivers Tatsuya Kataoka, Manabu Orido and Johan Adzmi snatched the first place from their team mates Nobuteru Taniguchi, Masataka Yanagida and Fariqe Hairuman in car number 28 when they (car 28) had a puncture with less than 20 minutes left on the clock dropping to second place.

“It was a real honor to be able to race with the two experienced Super GT drivers (Tatsuya and Manabu) as they thought me a lot through the race,” said Johan, the youngest on the podium that night.

“Our strategy was to take it easy on the car and complete the race and that’s what we did and it pulled through for us.”

In third place for class was last year’s champion team Porsche Club Singapore Mok Weng Sun, Darryl Hayden O'Young and Craig George Baird who made a big comeback after starting the race from the last spot on the starting grid. Defending champion team Porsche Club Singapore stalled at the start and failed to go for the formation lap, resulting in losing its pole position and degraded to start the race from the pit lane as the last car. Fighting back the team managed to overtake the group and was up to second place when disaster struck in what looks like a rear suspension failure forcing them to pit in 45 minutes into the race.

In class A1 team Fugazi Racing driven by Alex Yoong, Wira Dani and Faizal Zelman completed 284 in their Radical race car.

“this shows how reliable the Radical can be, although we had a bit of a starter problem when we pitted in to refuel but it was rectified with replacing the starter which only took eight minutes to do, thanks to my crew for that,” said Wira.

And finally in class A2 winner is team Type R racing headed by Wong Yew Choong, Soh Kee Koon and Lai Wee Sing finishing the race with 279 laps under their belt.

“Thanks to my team for preparing the car, it was reliable throughout the race, we didn’t have to worry about that factor at all throghout the race, wong said.

The race started with 46 cars, 15 in class O, 10 in class A1 and 19 in class A2. 17 cars did not finish the race with the last car completing only 140 laps in the 12 hour race.

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