|SIMON TAKES AMPREX TO POLE POSITION AT MERDEKA ENDURANCE RACE27 August 2004German driver Norman Simon drove a sensational 2 minutes 6.181 seconds in qualifying today at the 2004 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MME) to help his Amprex Racing Team to pole position for tomorrow’s race.|
With teammate Genji Hashimoto and Charles Kwan recording the second and third fastest lap time of the day at 2:09.384 and 2:09:429 respectively, their Lamborghini Murcielago was simply no match to the other 76 cars.
“Obviously, the car was perfect today. But, today was only qualifying and there was still the real race to focus on,” said Simon, adding that the team would be approaching the race differently and would not be pushing for superfast lap times.
“What is key was to maintain the Lamborghini going strong all the way to the end of the 12-hour race,” said Norman, who raced in the German DTM Championship and is Hashimoto’s partner in the current 2004 Japan GT Championship Malaysia.
Held in conjunction with the Merdeka Day celebrations, the fifth edition of the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race would be flagged off at 10am tomorrow by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy. Frustrated in the last two races, Hashimoto believes that they had the ideal machine to win his first ever Merdeka Millennium Endurance race and effectively become the first non-Malaysian team to win the overall title.
“The Lamborghini is being prepared for next year’s Le Mans 24-Hour Endurance. It is set up and prepared to last a 24-hour race and naturally, we would be going to the race with strong confidence,” said Hashimoto.
Joining the Amprex Team at the front row would be the defending champions from the G1 Symphony Racing Team, which comprised 2002 Malaysian Super Series champion Eric Yeo, Firhat Mokhzani and Chin Tzer Jinn. Eric was the fastest among the trio with a lap time of 2 minutes 20.573, which is more than 14 seconds slower than Norman. Eric, however, was not perturbed by the awesome performance of the Lamborghini.
“We will go into tomorrow’s race with our own strategies. I could have pushed the car for a faster lap time; but it was unnecessary. Today was only for qualifying. The real battle is tomorrow,” Eric declared.