Proton R3 team successfully shows that they have the fastest, most reliable high performance engine during 1000km race in sepang yesterday after beating other performance team from toyota trd, honda racing and other motorsports team in Malaysia. They won 1st and 2nd place with the satria neo r3 and preve r3!
Proton R3 Racing, twice overall winner of the prestigious Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race (MMER) crown, has added the Sepang 1000 Kilometer (S1K) crown after its drivers scored a sensational 1-2 finish in the shorter endurance race at Sepang International Circuit tonight.Syafiq Ali and Super GT driver Morio Nitta took their Satria Neo to victory; completing the 181-laps in 8 hours 25 minutes 6.699 seconds; concluding a memorable year for the team and Syafiq, who was crowned last month as the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) overall champion for the Malaysian Touring Car Challenge category; winning it with team-mate James Veerapan after winning four of five rounds this season.James, who partnered rookie Masedenial Ali Maskamal Khan in a Proton Preve, took second after completing 180 laps in 8 hours 26 minutes 55.674 seconds; finishing ahead of defending champions Type R Racing Team, which was gunning for a hattrick after winning the inaugural race in 2009.
Instead, it was the factory works team of Proton R3 Racing, which started from second place on the front grid, which celebrated victory with a grand double as the Kuala Lumpur-based ruing a missed opportunity after for long parts of the race.First in 2009 and 2011 and second overall in 2010, Type R Racing, which boasted the awesome skills of Boy Wong Yew Choong, Lai Wee Sing and Soh Kee Koon, had to be contended with third place as they only managed 179 laps to record their worst finish in the event.
Despite putting the Preve machine to test in the competition for the first time, Veerapan and Masedenial were impressive to finish third in a field of top Malaysian drivers and two other factory works team – the Honda Malaysia Racing Team and Fawster Motorsports, which was supported by Mazda Malaysia.Introduced in 2009, S1K was created as a spin-off the MMER on grounds of safety after the popularity of the 12-hour endurance grew immensely with participation of top international teams and highly-powered supercars; making it unsafe for the cars with smaller engine capacity.
Proton R3 Racing won the overall crown in 2005 and 2006 in their Lotus Exige when the event was called Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race before it was rebranded in 2010 following introduction of new regulations and competition classes.As in the previous three editions, the 2012 race again witnessed the lower Class 2 cars upstaged their higher rivals in Class 1, which grouped cars with engines between 1601cc to 1800cc. The Class 2 cars, with engines below 1600cc, dominated the top 16 places.The partnership of Naputt Assakul, Loo Chiew Koy and Umar Abdul Rahman was not only the highest finisher Class 1 in 17th place; but was also the only competitor from the class to survive the 181-lap test as the two other entrants were forced to retire early.
Flagged off at 12.02pm, the race had pole-sitter and 2010 champion Kegani Racing – featuring Kenny Lee and Australians Chris O’Shannessy and Jim Hunter, leading the race until Lap 30 when their 1800cc Toyota Celica encountered a left rear tyre puncture as it entered Turn 2; forcing an unscheduled stop in the pits.After taking some five minutes to return to the pits, it had to spend another 15 minutes in the pit garage for repairs.
Thirty-nine laps later on Lap 79, its front bonnet flung open; smashing the front screen and forcing the team into early retirement.As the race entered its half-way mark on Lap 90, it was clear that the battle for crown was between the Proton R3 pair of Syafiq and Nitta and the trio from Type R Racing Team as they exchanged leads until the final 25 laps.Pitting for the final time, the team managed to come out infront of their rival and they hanged on to the lead until the chequred flag was dropped.
JC Racing featuring Keifli Othman, A. Kesamoorthy and Akash Nandy finished fourth in a Suzuki Swift with debutants Honda Malaysia Racing Team (HMRT) took fifth place through the partnership of Tengku Ezan Ley Tengku Mahaleel and Mohamed Farriz Fauzy in a Honda Jazz. It was a complete sweep by Class 2 cars, with engines below 1600cc, as they dominated the top 16 places with the partnership of Naputt Assakul, Loo Chiew Koy and Umar Abdul Rahman as the best finisher in Class 1, for cars between 1601cc and 1800cc. Driving a Toyota Celica, they finished 17th overall by completing 150 laps.
Pole sitter and 2010 champion, Kegani Racing, featuring Kenny Lee, Chris O’Shannessy and Jim Hunter, had a disastrous outing. After leading for almost 30 laps, their 1800cc Toyota Celica encountered a left rear tyre puncture as it entered Turn 2; forcing an unscheduled stop in the pits.After taking some five minutes to return to the pits, it had to spend another 15 minutes in the pit garage for repairs.
Thirty-nine laps later on Lap 79, its front bonnet flung open; smashing the front screen and forcing the team into early retirement.Named as one of the pre-race favourites, the awesome partnership of Eddie Lew and former A1GP Malaysia driver Aaron Lim from Honda Malaysia Racing Team also experienced misfortune at this year’s race after their new Honda Jazz machine encountered electronics problems on Lap 40.
That forced Eddie – a multiple Malaysian Super Series and Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race champion – to pit and it took almost an hour for the team to resolve their problem; and effectively putting them out of contention. They finished the race in 20th position with 140 laps.
The sole all-ladies partnership of Singaporean Melissa Huang and Siti Zirwatul Iradah of Brunei Darussalam from Red Bull Rookies Racing finished 13th overall with 161 laps; finishing ahead of the trio from Fawster Motorsports, featuring brothers Mohamed Nazir Nor, Mohamed Ridzuan Nor and Khairul Anwar Nor in a Mazda 3 machine. They finished 14th overall; completing 160 laps. SEPANG 1000 KILOMETER RACE – TOP 10 FINISHERSSepang International Circuit – 5.543km 1.
Syafiq Ali/Morio Nitta (Satria Neo) 181 laps – 8:25:06.699 seconds2. James Veerapan/Masedenial Ali (Proton Preve) 180 laps3. Lai Wee Sing/Soh Kee Koon/Boy Wong Yew Choong (Toyota Altis) 179 laps 4. Keifli Othman/A.Kesamoorthy/Akash Nandy (Suzuki Swift) 177 laps5. Tengku Ezan Ley/Farriz Fauzy (Honda Jazz) 177 laps6. Ahmad Faizry/Juzaili Jasmay/Kosmas Kalaitzidis (Satria Neo) 175 laps7.
Chin Hwa Lip/Admi Shahrul Ahmad Safian (Suzuki Swift) 172 laps8. Gilbert Lim/Timothy Lam/Edwin Yow/Tan Yean Ming (Suzuki Swift) 168 laps9. Desmond Khoo/Teo Jon Tatt/Chong Boon Kiat (Suzuki Swift) 168 laps10. Sutan Mustaffa Salihin/Kok Pak Chiang/Siah Woei Pyng (Proton Gen 2) 168 laps