Text by Cheryl Tay
Photos courtesy of McLaren Singapore
Team Clearwater Racing, a Singapore-based GT racing team, unveiled its McLaren 12C GT3 racing car on Saturday. Making a brief stop in Singapore before it goes off to prepare for the 2013 GT Asia season, the team is making a switch to the McLaren in aim of defending both the Team and Driver championship titles in the GT Asia series.
Clearwater Racing started in 2007 as Team Porsche Club Singapore Racing, as the team used to race Porsche race cars exclusively. In 2010, the name was changed to Clearwater Racing when they got their first non-Porsche race car, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP-600 GT3. In 2011, they also became Ferrari’s official race team in Southeast Asia with the acquisition of three Ferrari 458 GT3 race cars.
The team has some great achievements to its name – three-time Malaysia Super Series (MSS) champions (2008, 2009, 2010), Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race (MMER) overall champion 2008 and two-time GT Asia champions for team and driver (2011, 2012).
Team principal Mok Weng Sun, 45, a private equity fund manager, has been at the forefront of the team, since he took part in the team’s inaugural race in 2006 at the MMER. In his debut season in 2007, he also won the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Class B championship.
This year, Clearwater Racing and Mok chose to make the switch to McLaren to defend their titles in the GT Asia championship, acquiring a single McLaren 12C GT3 chassis from McLaren GT in Woking, England.
At the preview on Saturday, the team’s managing director Arjunan Kulasegaram took the time to answer some of my question:
Q: What made you decide to choose the McLaren for this year?
A: We try to be at the forefront and therefore the cutting edge of racing technology, hence the McLaren was a logical choice, being the only carbon chassis equipped car in the GT3 field. Also McLaren’s reputation as a titan in Formula 1 has made the purchase of this car a worry-free experience!!
Q: When you were considering the car for 2013, what other choices did you have and how did you come to the decision for the McLaren?
A: Well there were only ever two cars in it for us, either our trusty double-title winning Ferrari or the new McLaren. We have opted to take on the challenge of running the new McLaren. We have also never run a turbocharged car before and we look forward to this new experience!
Q: What are some of the cars used previously?
A: We have used the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 models), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (2007 & 2008 models), Porsche GT3 Cup S (2008 & 2009 models), Porsche 911 GT3R (2011 model), Lamborghini Gallardo LP-600 GT3 (2010 & 2011 models) and Ferrari 458 GT3 (2011 & 2012 models).
Q: Other than the GT3 Asia series, are you planning to run it anywhere else?
A: We will use the McLaren exclusively for the GT Asia Series and for selected rounds of MSS. We will continue to run our Ferrari 458 GT3 for all our endurance races like the MMER and the Bathurst 12-Hours in Australia.
Q: Who will be the drivers for Team Clearwater Racing this year?
A: Our #1 driver will be GT Asia defending champion Mok Weng Sun. Driving two of our Ferrari 458 GT3s in the GT Asia Series as well are David Lai and our latest recruit, Japanese driver Hiroshi Hamaguchi.
Q: What is the aim for this year with the McLaren?
A: Our goal with the McLaren is simple – to try and retain both our Driver and Team championships in the GT Asia series. We’ll be trying like hell to hold on to our titles!