The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chairman, Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir finally tasted victory in the Petronas Primax 3 Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race at the Sepang Circuit last night.
Partnering Swedes Lars Erik Nielsen and Sven Herberger in a Hong Leong-Kencana Auto Racing Team’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, did a record 288 laps around the 5.543 kilometre circuit in the 12-hour race.
In 2004, the Jaseri Racing Porsche that Mokhzani shared with Faizal Hakimi Jaafar and Alex Yoong was unlucky to be forced to retire after being struck by a backmarker in the final stages of the race.
Favourites Petronas Syntium Racing team (Fariqe Hairuman, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Johannes Stuck) with their BMW Z4M Coupe had to retire in the final hour with engine problems. The retirement paved the way for Mokhzaniâ€™s Hong Leong-Kencana car, which was trailing by more than 20 laps at that point, to power home victoriously.
Honda Malaysia Racing Team, in their Mugen-prepped Honda Civics maintained their winning ways with a 5th consecutive Class A victory, plus a Class A 1-2 finish and 2nd & 3rd overall.
Proton R3′s title hopes were dashed with the retirement of the two-time champion Lotus Exige 300R driven by Jazeman Jaafar, Tommy Lee and Bill Ng. Jazeman was impressive in qualifying, clocking 2’11″ to place the 300RR 5th on the grid. His times were 2 seconds faster than 2nd driver Tommy Lee. In the race proper, the 300RR was in 4th position before the car stalled at T11 in the third hour. Due to a relay problem, the car failed to be revived, ending its MME2007 campaign.
The Satria Neo in Class C, driven by Tengku Djan, Faidzil Alang and Sutan Mustapha was running an impressive 2nd in class before retiring with engine problems.
Last year’s podium finisher, the Proton R3 Waja was a commendable fifth with Hammond Lai, Tengky Ezan Ley and Khairil at the helm. This was despite having to fix the car midway through the race. A well-deserved finish!
Results – Top 5 overall finishers (Number of laps covered after 12 hours):
1 Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, Sven Herberger, Lars Erik Nielsen (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) 288 laps
2 Hiroki Katoh, Shinya Hosokawa, Eddie Lew (Honda Civic Type R) 282 laps
3 Rueben Wong, Fahrizal Hassan, Aaron Lim (Honda Civic Type R) 282 laps
4 Marcus Goh, Yasuhiro Kuhara, Ken Yap (Honda Integra DC5) 271 laps
5 Unemoto Junichi, Kusumoto Yoshiharu, Nagano Kenya (Honda S2000) 271 laps.
Class O (Open class): Mokhzani Mahathir, Sven Herberger, Lars Erik Nielsen (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) 288 laps
Class A (production cars above 1900cc): Hiroki Katoh, Shinya Hosokawa, Eddie Lew (Honda Civic Type R) 283 laps
Class B (production cars between 1601cc and 1900cc): Wong Yew Choong, Tek Kean Kang, Soh Kee Koon (Honda Integra DC5) 256 laps
Class C (production cars below 1600cc): Kenny Lee, Sherwood, Chris oâ€™Shannessy) (Toyota AE101) 259 laps.
Pictures courtesy of Terato.com. For more pictures of MME2007, visit Terato.com.