Published on August 30th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Drivers and teams watch for rain clouds at MMER this weekend
Driving the team’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #1, the trio will seek PETRONAS Syntium Team’s third consecutive win at their home event against a world-class field of 15 GT3 cars in the GT Class. The event would also feature three other classes including the new GT Cup class. The other two classes are the Sports Production Class and the Touring Production Class. Lester said he was excited about the opportunity to race alongside a driver of such calibre as Schneider and looking forward to the challenge from their rivals especially his compatriot Earl Bamber, who would be driving a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 for Naza Nexus Racing Team.
Third overall in his first outing with the team in 2010, Schneider noted that it will be a gruelling test for the team in their chase for hat trick; given a high-profile entry that included former F1 drivers like Mika Salo and Alex Yoong of Malaysia.
“I am really looking forward to the battle with Mika. We have raced together many, many times before and it has always been extremely tough,” said the 49-year old German who has a golden resume that includes no less than five DTM titles, 32 Formula One Grand Prix with Zakspeed and Arrows, and an unprecedented unbeaten record of wins so far in 2013 winning the Bathurst 12 Hour and all three 24-hour events at Dubai, Nuburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.
Speaking at the press conference, Dominic, who won in 2011 and 2012, with Nobuteru Taniguchi and Masataka Yanagida, believes that the current team was as strong as the previous two winning partnerships.
“I am very happy to partner with Schneider and Lester,” said Dominic, who declared that the team would be aiming for a third consecutive this year.
Winner of the Sports Production last year, Daniel Bilski had opted to compete in the new GT Cup category, partnering Miro Konopka and Christian Kraneberg for the ARC Bratislava Racing Team.
“I am happy that the organisers have created this new category. It is good to separate us from the GT class. I expect a very close contest in the category and looking forward to do well again this year,” the Australian added.
Unlike last year, Fawster Motorsports Brothers in Racing would be fielding a fourth driver in the experienced Faidzil Alang to support the three Nor Mohd siblings – Mohamed Nazir, Mohamed Ridzwan and Khairul Anwar – in the challenger of the Sports Production crown.
“The organisers made a rule change this year to allow up to six drivers per team. So, we decided to put our Malaysian own ‘Mika Salo’ Faidzil Alang to support us. Last year we finished third in class, hopefully we can finish higher this year,” Ridzwan told the press conference.
Second last year in the Touring Production class, Australian John Hunter, who will again be partnering with Gavin Bullas and Grant Johnson in a Subaru Impreza STI, would be gunning to finish a step higher this year.
“I am happy that we are having a midnight start this year. The cooler weather would be good for the drivers, the cars as well as the tyres,” said Hunter, who finished sixth in the class in his debut in 2011.
The 2013 MMER race has adopted a midnight race start, allowing for teams and their machines to make the most of the cooler evening temperatures with daytime temperatures regularly topping a stifling 40 degrees at 100% humidity.
The 12-hour MMER race on the 5.543km Sepang Circuit begins at midnight on Saturday, August 31 and ends at noon on Sunday, September 1.