Having already secured four wins out of the first four races, the PETRONAS Syntium Team had a huge championship lead going into the final weekend of the 2011 Super Taikyu Series and looked set to seal the title for their fourth year running.
Indeed the team delivered as expected and finished 1-2 overall in the championship with the BMW Z4M Coupe No. 1 and No. 28 respectively.
It was an intensive season finale as two rounds of the series were held in one weekend at Twin Ring Motegi, to compensate for an earlier round that was postponed due to the unfortunate earthquakes.
The PETRONAS Syntium BMW Z4M Coupe No. 1 won two of the three races last weekend, missing out on achieving a perfect record of winning all races of the series.
Round 5 of the Super Taikyu Series last Saturday consisted of two 50-lap races held on the Motegi Super Speed Way, a 2.4-kilometre oval ring American-like track, while Round 6 on Sunday was a 63-lap race on the 4.8-kilometre Motegi Road Course within the oval track.
At the helm of the winning car No. 1 are renowned Japanese drivers Nobuteru Taniguchi and Masataka Yanagida – both of whom won the 2011 Super GT Series in their respective classes – along with rookie Dominic Ang. The trio had earlier won the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race at Sepang International Circuit with the Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3 AMG.
“It was a pity we didn’t win the second race in Round 5, otherwise we would have won every race of this year’s Super Taikyu Series. Nonetheless, I had good fun this season battling with team-mate Tatsuya Kataoka in our sister car No. 28. Working with Masataka Yanagida was great as usual and I think it is good to have a rookie driver with us so we can teach and guide him as much as we can,” said Taniguchi who is also a former drifting champion.
Housing more than two decades of experience in owning and running race teams, as well as developing drivers into champions, Singaporean David Wong, team principal and founder of PETRONAS Syntium Team, is proud to add another feather to his hat.
“We have come a long way since I first took the PETRONAS name into touring car and superbike racing in 1990. We were confident of securing our fourth consecutive Super Taikyu title and the PETRONAS Syntium Team family has never failed to let me down. I couldn’t have asked for more with a 1-2 overall finish from both cars. I have an excellent team and it is their hard work and enthusiasm that keeps up the motivation to achieve more,” Mr Wong said.
PETRONAS Syntium Team boasts a solid track record of over 100 race victories in prestigious races such as the Asian Touring Car Championship, Tokachi 24 Hours and 24 Hours of Dubai, as well as competed in the British Touring Car Championship previously with a Proton Impian designed and built in-house.
“We are planning to compete in Super Taikyu again next year to try and defend our title for the fifth time. Hopefully the Super Taikyu Series can expand outside of Japan and attract more of the world’s best to bring up the level of competition even higher,” Mr Wong added.