Team MOSLER Thunder Asia Race aims to make a mark in SuperGT

Published on June 19th, 2010

Thunder Asia Racing Team is hoping to make a mark in the SuperGT International Series, to be held at the Sepang International Circuit this Sunday. With a brand new car incorporating the latest technology in racing car design, and experienced championship winners as drivers, the Malaysian-based team looks to finish in the top eight of SuperGT drivers battling in the Sunday race.  The team had missed the first SuperGT race held in Suzuka ealier this year because the car was not ready, but made it in time for the second race in Okayama race, held in April.

“Being the first foreign-based team to compete in the SuperGT International Series, we had a bit of a communication problem which meant that we accidentally broke some rules, resulting in our disqualification,” said team director Raja Nor Zaini Raja Mohamed Nor. The team’s third race in Fuji ended up to be a frustrating experience for the team because they had managed to get into the top 15 in the race within the first hour, after having to start from the last position on the grid. The team managed to overtake 15 cars within the first hour.  Unfortunately, electrical problems prevented the team from continuing the race.

Driver Melvin Choo is optimistic about the Sepang’s race this weekend. “Considering that this is not our first outing in the SuperGT, I suppose I can say that we are more prepared and more experienced now. Last year, when we raced in the SuperGT as a wildcard, we were like guests. We just showed up, raced and then went home.

“This year we are part of the group, part of the family. We may be competitors on the track, but behind the pits, we are all friends. Being a local team, we obviously become a magnet of attraction as we help each other. So when the other teams have any problem, be it equipments orf parts we try to help by sourcing it locally,” said Choo.

“Last year the team had raced in a Mosler MT900R GT3 and this year the team will be racing with Mosler MT900M GT300, an entirely different car altogether. I had spoken to our team director, Raja Zaini as I am worried that the heat and humidity here will affect the car’s performance,” said Choo.

The Mosler MT900M GT300 is the only one the world, and the team started the project in August last year, after the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race.The team and Mosler Cars decided to start with clean sheet design, instead of modifying the existing car.  The only similarity between the old and the new car is the silhouette. The new car incorporates latest technology in racing car design, the features and some of it are still untested. At the end of the day, the team believes that the cars hold many potentials to make their mark in the SuperGT.

“Once we have joined the series as a championship entry, we are not allowed to test on the same circuit three months prior to the race. And this adds to the unpredictability of the outcome of the race. We brought in the car early but the problem is that we only have one circuit in Malaysia.

He said the team aims to get into the Super Lap Qualifying Session and hopefully place themselves within the top eight teams.

The Super Lap Qualifying Session is the second qualifying session where the top eight cars from the first qualifying session compete in an open, clear circuit condition to set a faster time that ultimately determine the top eight of the class.

English driver Tim Sugden who is a multiple British GT champion and a regular Le Mans driver said his experience racing at the SIC track is definite advantage for the team.

“I am familiar with the SIC track and I have won many races here, so racing here would definitely be an advantage for me.”

The Thunder Asia Racing Team for Sepang’s SuperGT International Series consists of 19 personnel.

“It is truly a multi-racial, multi-national team. We have Malay, Chinese, Indian, Punjabi and Kadazan among our team members. We also have Malaysians, Singaporeans, Japanese and British nationals,” said Raja Nor Zaini.

“It‘s been a very interesting experience working together as a team, as we all have our own ways. But we work together very well. Of course it not easy having so many cultures and faiths and beliefs to contend with, but at the end of the day, these are the challenges we face together as a team” he said.

words: SIC  pix: Syafril Ismail   video: Jeo

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