MMER 2012 had the worst participation ever since its inception back in 1999. Not much can be said on spectators either. It’s almost non-existent. It’s quite frustrating to see an international level event lacking of fans especially by the local crowd. Well, they did had a crowd attending the rave party the night before the race but then, those who came were not even familiar with the race venue let alone the historical race that is held once a year, hence not an ounce of interest for them to stay for the race. As for the lack of participation, with a number of regular faces missing in action… I overheard that the ever-changing rules and regulations of MMER2012 kept some of the teams away. This is certainly a matter that the organiser should look into, apart from the lack of spectators and media coverage compared to the earlier days of MMER.
Nevertheless, the paddock was bustling with activities as the crews prepared the cars, checking tyres and a whole lot of pit works while eye-candy of beauties strutting pretty from one end to another despite the scorching hot weather. There was a handful of shutterbugs buzzing around the paddock area snapping at everything that moves and there were some of those perverted shutterbugs targeting the bumps and the curves of the girls in their skimpiest outfit.
This year, the 12 hour MMER started at 12.00pm and since the grid saw only a handful of cars competing against one another in three different category, the Scirocco R Cup joined in the fun in the Touring Production class making a total of 30 cars. By the 7th lap, JC Racing #45 competing in the Touring Production Class became the first casualty as its engine blown. Entering the 7th hour, Team Korea #61 in the Sports Production followed suit retiring after 135laps while Team ST Powered #33 was the second team to retire in the Touring Production after 143laps.
Only 5 teams competing in the GT class, Clearwater Racing, LKM Racing, Petronas Syntium Team, Craft Eurasia Racing Hong Kong and AF Corse SRL. Clearwater Racing #3 Ferrari 458 kept the lead from the get go ahead of Petronas Syntium Team #1 and #28 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. By the end of the 7th hour both leading cars have completed 214laps while Petronas Syntium Team #28 at 211laps after losing time due to a problem during brake change. Nevertheless, the ranks has been the same for the top four for hours.
Entering the 9th hour, Clearwater Racing #3 Ferrari 458 suffered a malfunction and had to pit in after completing 234laps, allowing both SLS AMG GT3 of Petronas Syntium Team to overtake its lead. After more than 5 minutes in the pit allowing a huge gap between Clearwater Racing and Petronas Syntium Team. In the final hour, Clearwater Racing was declared DNF after a series of pit stops at 239laps leaving the lead to Petronas Syntium Team #1 and #28, both completed 319laps and 317laps respectively followed by LKM Racing #8 at 310laps.
Sports Production consisted of 6 teams with Nexus Racing’s Aston Martin #27 leading the pack ahead of FX Primus Aylezo #99 Lotus Evora and Brothers In Racing’s #53 350Z. Nexus Racing’s comfortably lead the others by laps, 6 laps from the closest contender and astounding 17 laps from the third place. Towards the final hour, the standings stayed intact as Nexus Racing #27 completed 283laps ahead of FX Primus Aylezo #99 and Brothers In Racing #53 completing 268laps and 264laps.
While in the Touring Production, Type R Racing #21 dominated the race in its class ahead of Team ST Powered #22 and the only Australian team, #77 Subaru 2laps and 5 laps respectively. Approaching the final hour, ST Powered had a failure and declared DNF at 213laps, leaving an opening for #77 to second placing and Wing Hin #86 at third both completing 267laps and 264laps behind the leader, Type R Racing #21 driven by Y.C Wong, K.K Soh and W.S Lai reigned supreme completing 270laps.
words: Hage’ pix: Johan Izham, Hazwan Najims, Syafril Ismail & Dice