Published on August 26th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Nexus Naza Racing Will Be At MMER 2013 This 31st August
HOME GROUND ADVANTAGE
Home grown racing outfit, Naza Nexus Racing is aiming to improve on their MMER outing from last year in Sports Production, this time in the highly-competitive GT category as CQ Loh, Race Engineer of the team elaborates.
Before we begin, walk us through a little history about the team.
I have to say, Nexus Racing is the epitome of a thoroughbred Malaysian race team – owned, run and raced by Malaysians. The team started out eight years ago, with nothing more than a handheld tool box and a Japanese race car built in a dingy local workshop. The same mechanics and team personnel that built and ran that car still run the team today. We started with the JPM Integra Cup and the Malaysian Super Series and progressed to the Asia Touring Car Championship, we did three seasons of the ATCS. In 2009, we did our first MMER in the Touring Production class, that’s when the endurance bug bit. We then went on to compete in GT4 Asia for one season in the Aston Martin Vantage, the same car which was used to win the MMER Sports Production class in 2011 and 2012. We also started competing in the highly competitive Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series in those years. This year we’re leading the championship in the PCCA and hope to see a Malaysian fly flying at the end of it. In short we have grown from touring cars to successful GT racing in eight short years, an achievement we are quite proud of. This is why this year, in partnership with Naza, Nexus Racing is making the move from Sports Production to GT3.
What car will the team be fielding for this year’s event?
In partnership with Naza, Nexus Racing will be fielding a brand spanking new 2013 Ferrari 458 GT3.
Who do you have in the driver’s seat for this year’s race?
We’ll have Datuk Adrian Henry D’Silva – a well-known gentleman driver participating in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and a regular at the Malaysian Super Series as well as winner of the 2011/2012 Sports Production class in the MMER. We also have Alif Hamdan – World Time Attack Championship ace who will be making his debut in the MMER and last but not least, Earl Bamber – New Zealand born, Malaysian based professional driver, who is currently leading the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship.
What sort of preparation has the team been going through for this year’s event?
The team dissects each aspect of competition. We try to not leave out anything as the key is in the details. For example, the drivers will go through a rigorous training program to ensure that they are in good health and fit for the race, but they will also have mental conditioning exercises to ensure that they are able to approach the race in a positive manner. The team also runs simulations to ensure that they know what to expect should an issue arise. The main challenge however is that we’ll be racing a new car and we have a very short window to learn every nut and bolt but thanks to Naza and their expertise in Ferrari, the team is fast tracking the learning process.
Nexus Racing put on quite a good performance in last year’s event, what are the team’s expectations this year?
The field is very strong and has some big names in motorsport, some of whom we have grown up admiring such as Bernd Schneider, Mika Salo. We are of course, confident that we can match their pace, we are nevertheless anxious to see where we stand. The GT3 is a new class of car for us; there will be a lot to learn from the big boys.
What has racing in the MMER last year thought the team about the race and the track?
The MMER is no doubt one of the toughest endurance races. It is hard on the car, drivers and crew. There is a saying that if you can finish the 12 hours at Sepang, you can finish anywhere else. We know that when Sepang bites, the casualties are severe, we hope that we have had enough experience with the other classes to be able to deal with the surprises that the circuit throws at us.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of racing in the MMER?
Heat is always the issue. We spend a lot of our efforts managing heat and how it affects the cars and drivers. Getting the job done under these conditions and amongst other on top of running a race team is a difficult job!