Team triumphs over elements at wet and foggy Fuji

Published on June 29th, 2010

The wet and foggy conditions at the Fuji International Speedway last Sunday did little to dampen the spirits of the PETRONAS Syntium Team’s outing at Round 4 of the 2010 Super Taikyu Endurance Series. For the team’s No. 1 BMW Z4M Coupe, it was an outing worth celebrating as the trio of Nobuteru Taniguchi, Masataka Yanagida and rookie Imran Zaharias Shaharom claimed their fourth win of the season.

Despite mechanical problems during qualifying that relegated the No. 28 BMW Z4M Coupe down the starting order to 37th position, Malaysian Fariqe Hairuman made a memorable weekend for the team with the drive of the day. The 27-year old had to fight through the field to make his way back up the order to 3rd before handing the reigns over to his teammates Melvin Moh and Tatsuya Kataoka. Both drivers carried on the momentum to catch the leading cars before eventually settling for the final podium slot in third place.

David Wong, Team Principal: “With the conditions really poor today with visibility down to a minimum, this result becomes even more special and memorable! Not only did the drivers have to contend with other competitors but also the elements; and they did a truly magnificent job. This was particularly true for Fariqe who had to start from the back of the grid and stormed through the field to climb up to sixth before handing over the car to Melvin. This was by far Fariqe’s best race in Japan! Great job also for Taniguchi, Yanagida and Imran who claimed their fourth straight win! Everyone did a superb job today to enable us to achieve our target which was for both cars to score championship points.”

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

Imran Zaharias Shaharom (MAS, Fastest Lap: 4:11.185min, safety car conditions): “To be up on the top step for our fourth win of the season is really fantastic. The weather really played a crucial part in the race today as a small mistake would be very costly. I am glad that everything worked out well for our teammates in the No. 28 car, especially given their circumstances. For us, we had to make sure that we kept the No. 8 Porsche behind us, knowing that they were quick this weekend. I am grateful for this result and would like to thank the management, my teammates and the crew for their guidance and support!”

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

Fariqe Hairuman (MAS, Fastest Lap: 2:00.517min): “I really don’t know what to say but say my grace to God!! It was an unbelievable race and probably the toughest in my four years racing in Japan. It was hard enough that we were faced with an impossible situation after the mechanical problems that compromised our qualifying; the weather condition on raceday was also really bad. As the starting driver, it was really hard to see past all the spray and fog while trying to overtake everyone. I am so happy that we managed to catch the leaders and by the end of the race we were not that far from the No. 8 ART Taste Porsche. On top of that the Nissan was really strong especially on the straights, so given everything we were up against, it was a really great and fantastic result!”

Melvin Moh Chun-Ho (MAS, Fastest Lap: 2:01.195min): “This was a really great race for us, given all the obstacles we had to overcome. It was already tough for us with the problems we had in qualifying then the weather conditions got quite bad, and Fariqe did a superb job to bring us up to 3rd! Fariqe had already done the bulk of the work but it was still quite hard to navigate through the impossible conditions. I am so proud of what we were able to produce here this weekend as this is definitely a boost in our preparation for our next race! Thank you to the crew for their incredible hard work and the management for their support and encouragement!”

Circuit Name: Fuji International Speedway
Length: 4.563 km
Race Format: 4hrs
Previous Winner: 2009 PETRONAS Syntium Team (BMW)

Pos: 1
No: 1
Class: ST1
Team Car/Type: PETRONAS Syntium BMW Z4M Coupe / E86
Total time/laps: 4hrs 01:43.542min / 106
A Driver/Best Time (lap): Nobuteru Taniguchi / 1:59.894m (73)*
B Driver/Best Time (lap): Masataka Yanagida / 2:00.825m (31)
Driver/Best Time (lap): Imran Shaharom: 4:11.185m (2, SC)

Pos: 2
No: 8
Class: ST1
Team Car/Type: ART TASTE GT3 / Porsche 997
Total time/laps: 4hrs 01:57.681 / 106

Pos: 3
No: 28
Class: ST1
Team Car/Type: PETRONAS Syntium BMW Z4M Coupe / E86
Total time/laps: 4hrs 02:05.031min / 106
A Driver/Best Time (lap): Tatsuya Kataoka / 2:01.353m (30)
B Driver/Best Time (lap): Fariqe Hairuman / 2:00.517m (45)
Driver/Best Time (lap): Melvin Moh: 2:01.195m (31)

* fastest lap of the race

The 2010 Super Taikyu Endurance Series will now take a break before
resuming for round 5 in September at Okayama.

words & pix: PETMOS


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