The 2011 Super Taikyu Series was indubitably dominated by the PETRONAS Syntium Team (PST), who concluded the season with a 1-2 finish overall as well as for the sixth and last round held at Twin Ring Motegi’s 4.8km road course.
The PST BMW Z4M Coupe No. 1 secured the championship title at Round 5 yesterday, but that did not stop them from achieving a perfect pole-to-flag race today, completing the 63-lap endurance race ahead of sister car PST BMW Z4M Coupe No. 28. The PST BMW Z4M Coupe No. 1 clinched the Super Taikyu title for the fourth year running, taking six victories out of the seven races this season. PST BMW Z4M Coupe No. 28 finished overall second in the championship.
Nobuteru Taniguchi started the race for PST BMW Z4M Coupe No. 1, pulling away from Tatsuya Kataoka in sister car No. 28. The lead was passed between these two cars over the course of the race, before Masataka Yanagida in car No. 1 took it to the end when Ooi Fei Hoong in car No. 28 exited the pits behind Yanagida.
NOBUTERU TANIGUCHI / No. 1
Before we went out for the last race, (Tatsuya) Kataoka and I agreed to have a good battle and make it fun for the spectators. I did it from the opening lap and that was great. Looking back on this season, I feel that I definitely have the ability to be the number 1 driver. It’s just a pity that we lost the second race in Round 5 yesterday or we would have had a perfect 7/7 race win record this season!
DOMINIC ANG / No. 1
We had very good race pace today and it was quite a close fight at the start between (Nobuteru) Taniguchi and (Tatsuya) Kataoka. The track today was in a way easier than yesterday’s oval track as it was easy to make mistakes on the oval circuit, such as hitting the speed-reducing cones and damaging the front bumper. It has been a brilliant season for me with the PETRONAS Syntium Team – winning the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race and then taking the fourth consecutive Super Taikyu title with my team-mates Taniguchi and (Masataka) Yanagida. I’ve learnt a lot from both champion drivers and I am thankfully grateful to everyone who has made this opportunity possible for me.
MASATAKA YANAGIDA / No. 1
I drove the last stint and I was able to manage the tyre and brake conditions. I had to keep pushing during the first part of my stint as we lost the lead for a while but after that I got it back under control. I could relax as we went into the last 10 laps of the race and I just had to maintain the pace to the chequered flag. This weekend is the last event for our BMW Z4M Coupe before we switch to a new car for next season. I’ve got many fond memories with this car and I thank all the team staff for their excellent performance.
TATSUYA KATAOKA / No. 28
Actually I didn’t wanted to push so hard today, but I thought if there was a chance to pass (Nobuteru) Taniguchi in car No.1 without taking any risks I would just do it. That got me excited but I had to watch the water temperature and brakes so I couldn’t go all out and hunt him down. All in all I’m happy to finish second for the race and also overall second in the championship for our car No. 28.
FARIQE HAIRUMAN / No. 28
During my stint I was working hard to pull away from (Masataka) Yanagida, extending the lead in the process. We lost the lead later after car No. 1 executed a strategic pit stop, but a second place finish for today’s race as well as in the championship is a fantastic way to end the season. I achieved all the tasks set out for myself this year and I would like to thank the sponsors, particularly PETRONAS, our team principal David Wong and the rest of the PETRONAS Syntium family. I hope I delivered all that was expected of me and more to all parties!
OOI FEI HOONG / No. 28
It felt good to be the finishing driver again and take the car home. We had the race lead before the last driver change, when I took over and unfortunately exited the pits behind (Masataka) Yanagida. I was trying my best to keep up with him! Wrapping up the season in second place is fantastic and it was a great experience for me in my rookie year. I am extremely privileged for the chance to be on this championship winning team and I hope to continue working with PETRONAS Syntium again as I really admire their professionalism and appreciate their efforts in achieving success.
DAVID WONG / TEAM PRINCIPAL
The PETRONAS Syntium Team family has never failed to let me down and I couldn’t have asked for more with a 1-2 overall finish from both cars. We will keep aiming high and moving forward with greater progress. I have an excellent team and it is their hard work and enthusiasm that keeps up the motivation to achieve more. Our special thanks to PETRONAS, Super Taikyu Organisation, Yokohama, co-sponsors, all members of the PETRONAS Syntium Team and supporters – you are a part of our success.