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Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race 2011

By BenCee on 23 Sep 2011

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I have to confess, I have never attended a track event, except for our very own Singapore Grand Prix.

So when I was sent to Kuala Lumpur to catch the 2011 Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race, or MMER for short, I wasn't really sure what to expect.

The trip was sponsored by Audi, who entered two cars in the race. As a brief introduction, the MMER is an endurance race, much like Le Mans, but on a smaller scale. The cars run for just 12 hours, instead of 24, but it is no less taxing, due to the Malaysian climate

Audi's entries consisted of two R8 LMS GT3 cars, one of which was oddly liveried in the blue and white of MediaCorp. There was also an independently-run third Audi R8 car.

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Audi's presence were certainly made known, as they also supplied the Safety Car, an R8 GT.

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The race kicked off at noon, and lasted for the next tweleve hours.

Granted, an endurance race like this is not exactly spectator-friendly, but there were some thrills and spills to be had.

The beauty of the Sepang circuit is that one could really find pockets of spaces trackside for photo opportunities. I tried my best, but my camera clearly wasn't good enough.

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As the race went into the night, tiredness began to set in, and it told. The blue MediaCorp Audi R8, at the hands of Alex Yoong, had a clash with a wayward Aston Martin at the halfway mark, and suffered a broken steering column, denying it a chance of victory.

The number one Audi, piloted by Le Mans winners Frank Biela, Marcel Fassler and Marco Werner, were leading with 20 minutes to go, until their car suffered an unfortunate puncture.

This handed the lead to Team Petronas Syntium, running a pair of Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG cars, and they held on to grab victory away from the Audi team.

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It was a rather exciting race, with lots of ups and downs, and on a personal level, it was a fantastic trackside experience, with the chance to really see the cars at their best up close.

Sepang might have its detractors, but nothing beats racing on a proper circuit.

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BenCee
Written by BenCee
A petrolhead from young, Ben is living the dream, writing about cars...



 
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