Published on December 8th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda Malaysia Wins 2013 Sepang 1000km Race
Honda Malaysia Racing Team (HMRT), a dominant force in the early years of Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race (MMER), won their first Sepang 1000KM Race (S1K) after the partnership of Eddie Lew and Aaron Lim survived a tense four-car battle at Sepang International Circuit. Starting from second on the grid behind their team-mates Tengku Ezan Ley Tengku Mahaleel and Mohamad Farriz Fauzy, they took over leadership of the 181-lap race after Tengku Ezan broke the drive shaft of the Mugen-powered Honda Jazz machine on the first and forced into a lengthy pit stop.
Their lead, however, was temporary after Tengku Ezan’s elder brother and Malaysia’s Drift King, Tengku Djan Ley of Proton R3 Motorsports became the new leader until his Proton Preve machine blew its engine as he completed his 23rd lap. Competed on a dry track and cloudy conditions in the day, as the race progresses, the leadership changed several times.
But, as it hit its halfway mark at 90 laps, it was a four-way battle between HMRT, Type R Racing Team of Boy Wong Yew Choong, Lai Wee Sing and Soh Kee Koon and two entries from Tedco Racing Team – the partnership of Indonesian Fitra Eri and Mark Darwin in the #19 Satria Neo and the team of Desmond Khoo, Andrew Haryanto and Chunkie Chandra in the #16 Satria Neo.
First to hit the 100-lap mark in 4 hours 38 minutes, the partnership of Fitra Eri and Mark Darwin traded leadership with HMRT and Type R Racing; but as the race entered its final stages, it was the partnership of Eddie – overall MMER champion in 2004 and a four-time class winner in 12-hour race – and Aaron – former Malaysia’s A1GP World Cup of Motorsports driver – holding firm the leadership of the race.
The dynamic duo finally completed the 181-lap contest in 8 hours 24 minutes 41.686 seconds; finishing 11.985 seconds ahead of Fitra Eri and Darwin and 22 seconds ahead Type R Racing Team, which took third place. The second Tedco Racing car with Khoo, Haryanto and Chandra had to be contended with fourth position; completing the race in 8 hours 25 minutes 50.950 seconds. Champions in 2009 and 2011, and third overall last year, it was actually a sensational recovery by Type R Racing Team. The team was forced to start from the back of the grid after failing to register a qualifying time to secure their place on the grid. Their Toyota Altis had a broken wheel bearing hub during qualifying and the team were forced to work all night to overcome the problem.
Representing Red Bull Rookies Racing, the sole all-ladies team of Siti Shahkirah Shaharul and Brunei’s Siti Zirwatul Irdah Awang Adnin finished 11th placing in their Satria Neo. Flagged off by Motorsport Association of Malaysia Chairman, Tan Sri Azman Yahya, the fifth edition of S1K attracted 27 entries including drivers from as far as Colombia and Japan. The race ended at 9.35pm and continued with the after-race party at Mall Area, SIC with the performance of the Bazz Avengers.
SEPANG 1000KM 2013 – TOP 10 FINISHERS (181 laps)
1.Aaron Lim/Eddie Lew (Honda Jazz) 8:24.41.686
2. Fitra Eri/Mark Darwin (Satria Neo) 8:24.53.671s
3. Boy Wong Yew Choong/Soh Kee Koon/Lai Wee Sing (Toyota Altis) 8:25.03.886s
4. Desmond Khoo/Andrew Haryanto/Chunkie Chandra (Satria Neo) 8:25.50.950s
5. Syafiq Ali/Takayuki Fujita (Satria Neo) 2 laps behind
6. Chin Hwa Lip/Admi Shahrul Ahmad Safian/Lim Hock San (Suzuki Swift) 5 laps behind
7. Jean-Charles Dahout/Muhammad Hiqmar Danial (Proton Satria) 9 laps behind
8. Leong Chun Hong/Leong Chun Kok/Leong Chun Kee (Suzuki Swift) 12 laps behind
9. Tengku Ezan Ley Tengku Mahaleel/Farriz Fauzy (Honda Jazz) 2:39.326s 14 laps behind
10. Gnow Chui Luen, Yee Kok Jun, Foo Yung Chieh (Satria Neo) 15 laps behind.