Published on December 4th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
PROTON FINISHES GRUELLING SEPANG 1000KM RACE IN 4TH
TEAM R3 PROTON finishes 4th overall and 4th in Class 2 in the Sepang 1000km (S1K) with the pair of Syafiq Ali and Syahrizal Jamaludin with a time of 8 hours and 50 minutes. This is the 3rd edition of the S1K with 28 competitors starting the race on a hot afternoon. The S1K isan event specially catered for cars up to 1600cc(Class 2), and up to 1900cc(Class1). Conditions were extremely hot as the drivers lined up on the grid for the start. There was no relief from the heat as the expected rain stayed away for the duration of the race. Not just a test of machinery, drivers not only had to battle with in-car temperatures hovering around 50 degress celcius but with other competitors as well. Although an endurance race, there were many pitched battles right from the start resembling a sprint race as drivers fought hard for track position. It was an especially satisfying result for Syafiq and Syahrizal as brake problems early on in the race meant an extra long pitstop to fix the problem and seeing them drop down the order to 7th and 2 laps behind the leader. For R3’s other pair of Faidzil Alang and James Veerapen who started in pole position, luck was not on their side as they were forced into retirement with mechanical problems after 4 hours and 30 minutes of racing on lap 96. Fadizil Alang, the newly crowned Malaysian Super Series Champion was one of the favourites to win this event and was leading the race by 1 lap over its nearest rival before retiring. The tough conditions during the race eventually saw more than a quarter of the competitors who started, retire during the course of the event.