PST battles summer heat to take fifth win

Published on September 9th, 2010

The energy-sapping summer heat of Okayama did little to take away the PETRONAS Syntium Team’s celebrations at the fifth round of the Super Taikyu Endurance Series on Sunday. Featured as a 400km race, the team’s No. 1 BMW Z4M Coupe were once again triumphant as Masataka Yanagida and rookie Imran Zaharias Shaharom claimed win number five of the season. The duo was however without teammate Nobuteru Taniguchi who had to sit out the race due to an injury he had sustained in another race prior to the weekend.

Despite having to endure the oppressive summer heat, the trio of Tatsuya Kataoka, Fariqe Hairuman and Melvin Moh earned a hard-fought second place for the team’s No. 28 BMW Z4M Coupe. The result made it an occasion to celebrate with another 1-2 finish, the team’s fourth of the season.

David Wong, Team Principal: “Once again it was a case of a race against the elements this weekend. Unlike Fuji, this time the drivers, pit crew and everyone on the team had to really endure the extremely oppressive Japanese summer heat. On that note, I would like to congratulate the drivers on a truly great job out there today!

“It was a shame that we were not able to race with Nobuteru Taniguchi who had an injury. Despite not being able to race, Taniguchi was here the entire time giving his support. Congratulations to Yanagida and Imran Shaharom for a great job out there today. Congratulations also to Kataoka, Fariqe and Melvin for another solid performance and for giving the team its fourth 1-2 finish of the season. My congratulations also to the pit crew and everyone on the team for the great work they put in this weekend. I would also like to take this opportunity to also thank our partners for the incredible support and continued encouragement!”

BMW Z4M COUPE CAR NO. 1, RACE WINNER

Drivers: Masataka Yanagida (JPN), Nobuteru Taniguchi (JPN) and Imran Zaharias Shaharom (MAS)

Masataka Yanagida (JPN, Fastest Lap: 1:38.348min, Lap 3)*

“The race this weekend was a bit different than usual as we unfortunately Taniguchi was not able to race due to an injury he got before the weekend. As a result I had to do two stints and in the conditions we had this weekend, it was really hot out there! But I am really happy because everything went according to plan, the car felt really good and we could win! Also my teammate Imran did a great job this weekend. He was very focused and this definitely contributed to this result.”

Imran Zaharias Shaharom (MAS, Fastest Lap: 1:39.348min):

“If you asked me at the start of the season where I would be this far down the line, I would not have believed it! To be on the top step for our fifth win of the season is indescribable! It was hard this weekend with the extreme heat. A lot of people asked if it is the same as Malaysia but actually it is hotter and with different humidity levels. Given everything, I am pleased with this result and I have to thank my teammates Taniguchi and Yanagida for their encouragement. Thank you to the crew and management, the partners for the support.”

BMW Z4M COUPE CAR NO. 28, 2nd POSITION

Drivers: Tatsuya Kataoka (JPN), Fariqe Hairuman (MAS), Melvin Moh Chun-Ho (MAS)

Tatsuya Kataoka (JPN, Fastest Lap: 1:38.552min)

“Given the conditions today, it really felt like a long stint! It was hard but I also think it was quite good. At the start, I really pushed to keep my lap times consistent. At one stage though, I had to really start thinking about managing the tyres in the oppressive conditions. So I opted to pace myself instead. I am happy that we were able to once again deliver a 1-2 finish for the team. Congratulations to our teammates in the No. 1 BMW Z4M Coupe.”

Fariqe Hairuman (MAS, Fastest Lap: 1:38.525 min): “Once again, the weekend was dominated by the scorching summer heat here at Okayama! It is unlike what we are used to in Malaysia, here the heat is intensely oppressive and the humidity levels are different from the tropics. As the starting driver, the race was actually quite good as I had a nice battle with the No. 81 R35 Nissan GT-R in the opening laps. After that I had to maintain a consistent pace to try and preserve the tyres in these conditions.”

Melvin Moh Chun-Ho (MAS, Fastest Lap: 1:39.583min): “This was a tough weekend for us primarily due to the heat wave. It was quite hard given the conditions, even though I am quite used to racing in the tropics. However, this was completely different kind of heat so tyre management was definitely the order of the day. I am overall happy with the result but we will definitely push harder for a win at the next round.”

Round 6 of the 2010 Super Taikyu Endurance Series will take place at the Sendai Hi-Land raceway from 16 – 17 October. For more news and updates on the team, check out www.teampetronas.com.

words & pix: PETMOS

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