The Team Petronas Primax Endurance Team, driving their Petronas-backed Honda Civic, trounced the opposition and humbled many bigger-engined cars to sweep to a dominant class victory and a superb 10th place overall in the opening race of the...
The Team Petronas Primax Endurance Team, driving their Petronas-backed Honda Civic, trounced the opposition and humbled many bigger-engined cars to sweep to a dominant class victory and a superb 10th place overall in the opening race of the Empower 6 Hour Endurance Series at Pukehohe, New Zealand, on Saturday 3rd May.
Team principal David Wong said: "Our two drivers Fariqe & Mashlino have proved themselves superbly against the very best drivers and cars in New Zealand. Winning our 1600 cc Class and finishing 10th overall is a fantastic result for the Team.
Farique Hairuman and Mashlino Buang qualified their Class B Honda Civic EK9 first in class and 23rd place overall in the 46-strong entry, yet 33 cars were in the bigger-engined classes C, D & E. The entrants included Owen Evans, multiple NZ Super GT champion with Le Mans experience; Grant Silvester, 2003 NZ Transam champion, Bruce Tomlinson, 2003 NZ Touring Car champion, and John Cleland, a former British Touring Car multiple champion.
Team Petronas Primax operations manager Richard Lester said: "There was good top level opposition for both Fariqe & Mashlino today and they showed everyone here that they have made significant progress as fast and mature racing drivers."
In the race, Fariqe and Mashlino spent over four hours duelling with their leading class opponents Rod Hicks and Mark Corbett, also racing a Honda Civic. Despite several safety car periods, heavy traffic and driver changes, the battle continued unabated until the Corbett/Hicks car crashed out after contact with a Porsche. This left the Team Petronas Primax car with a clear 2-lap lead over the next class contender, and running ahead of many of the favoured larger cars. The pair finished a superb 10th place overall and first in class by a significant margin.
Mashlino said: "Our car was great today -- we got a good setup on the new Dunlop tyres which worked very well and we could run at the pace we wanted to. This is a big confidence boost for the whole team."
Fariqe said: "I really enjoyed this race. We managed to increase our lead every time we hit traffic."
Team Petronas Primax were only beaten to the line by five Porsches, the Cleland BMW, a Ford Mustang, a Holden Commodore and a Toyota Altezza.
David Wong summed up: "This was a great season-opener for us -- we showed we could race with the biggest and the best. We look forward to the next round at Tuapo on 24 May"