Weider HSV-010 and Hankook Porsche Grab Gold in Sepang
The biggest motorsport event of the year closed with a grand finale here at the Sepang International Circuit today! The highlight of the event was definitely the fast-paced and extremely exciting SUPER GT race that saw Team No. 18 Weider Honda Racing and Team No. 33 HANKOOK KTR claim the chequered flag in the GT500 and GT300 classes respectively. Not only was the race heart stopping, the off-track activities also kept the fans entertained. The Malaysian Round of the 2012 Series attracted almost 80,000 fans (20,000 more than last year) with many who stayed throughout the 2-day event and experienced motorsports like never before.
On Saturday, the weather was overcast, and many teams were worried about the possibility of a downpour. However, on Sunday the weather was very hot – at its hottest, the track temperature was 47 degrees – which tested both the endurance of the drivers and their machines. In the GT500 class, Machine No. 18 WEIDER HSV-010 took Pole Position during the Qualifying Session, and went on to win the race, although for most of the race, Machine No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 was snapping at its heels. Takashi Kogure, Driver 1 of the No. 18 WEIDER HSV-010 remained steady under pressure and by Lap 13, he was leading by 3.438 seconds. Carlo Van Dam took the wheel in Lap 29 with the car still in the lead, and continued all the way to the chequered flag with a time of 1:47:52.531 seconds.
When Van Dam took over, he looked to be in a little trouble putting in quick laps at first. However, when speaking at the Post-Race Press Conference, Van Dam clarified, “I went more slowly at the beginning because I was trying to preserve the tyres so I took it easier – maybe a little too easy. Even so, I could see that the car behind me (No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430) was just keeping up, so I decided I would push the car a little more and it couldn’t follow anymore.”
In the GT300 class, Machine No. 33 HANKOOK PORSCHE claimed the chequered flag after 49 Laps of furious racing. The HANKOOK PORSCHE, which also took Pole Position in the Qualifying Sesion had a steady race with no problems. Drivers Masami Kageyama and Tomonobu Fujii made consistent and quick laps with the HANKOOK PORSCHE, crossing the finishing line with a time of 1:47:57.011 seconds. At the Post-Race Press Conference, both drivers attributed the win to keeping the tyre pressure and temperature steady.