Team R3 PROTON finishes 4th overall and 4th in Class 2 in the Sepang 1000km (S1K) with the pair of Syafiq Ali and Syahrizal Jamaludin with a time of 8 hours and 50 minutes. This is the 3rd edition of the S1K with 28 competitors starting the race on a hot afternoon. The S1K is an event specially catered for cars up to 1600cc(Class 2), and up to 1900cc(Class1).
Conditions were extremely hot as the drivers lined up on the grid for the start. There was no relief from the heat as the expected rain stayed away for the duration of the race. Not just a test of machinery, drivers not only had to battle with in-car temperatures hovering around 50 degress celcius but with other competitors as well. Although an endurance race, there were many pitched battles right from the start resembling a sprint race as drivers fought hard for track position.
It was an especially satisfying result for Syafiq and Syahrizal as brake problems early on in the race meant an extra long pitstop to fix the problem and seeing them drop down the order to 7th and 2 laps behind the leader.
For R3’s other pair of Faidzil Alang and James Veerapan who started in pole position, luck was not on their side as they were forced into retirement with mechanical problems after 4 hours and 30 minutes of racing on lap 96. Faidzil Alang, the newly crowned Malaysian Super Series Champion was one of the favourites to win this event and was leading the race by 1 lap over its nearest rival before retiring.
The tough conditions during the race eventually saw more than a quarter of the competitors who started, retire during the course of the event.
Commenting on the race, the Head of PROTON Motorsports, Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood said,”We are happy with the 4th place result in what was a very challenging race. I would like to congratulate our R3 team for their tenacity and drive in their commitment to win and dedication for this race.”
“We are of course disappointed with the retirement of one of our cars, but racing is an unpredictable sport with many variables that can change the outcome of a race. Overall, we ran a good strong race and will take back with us plenty of new technical data to prepare for the race season in 2012.”
“A strong 4th place finish in an endurance race such is still a great result, as just finishing the event is considered a victory for everyone.” said John Chacko, Director of PROTON Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports.
“We were also very encouraged as more than half of the competitors were participating in Proton cars which is testament to not only the sporty nature but durability of our cars.”
“We will be back in the national race series next year and will always be committed to winning all our races” he added.
words & pix: PROTON