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Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race

File:MMER logo.png
2006 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race logo

The Sepang 12 Hours (formerly known as the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race and Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race), is a 12 Hours endurance racing event held annually since 2000 at the Sepang International Circuit on December in Malaysia.

It is organised by the Stephane Ratel Organisation, responsible for global GT3 standards in international sportscar racing, as of 2015. The scheduled date is December 4-6, 2015.[1]

Schedule

Historically part of the Merdeka holiday, the race was moved to December by Ratel to make the race as the first of four major endurance races held in the traditional off-season of motorsport -- Dubai, Daytona (both January), and Bathurst (February) are the others.


History

1990–2000

In the late 1990s, Malaysian auto manufacturer Proton used to organize a 300 km race at Shah Alam circuit for local racers racing with Protons, to celebrate Merdeka in Malaysia. When Sepang International Circuit was built the race was shifted to the F1 circuit, with the winners of the race entitled to a new Proton road car.

But after the 1999 race, a dispute happened between Proton and Sepang International Circuit, resulting in Proton's sponsorship withdrawal. Sepang therefore decided to host a replacement race by itself and started the Merdeka Millennium 12 Hours Endurance Race in 2000. The race also opened up for non-Proton entries.

The inaugural race was won by the Proton EON Racing Team (PERT) with Jimmy Low, Karamjit Singh and Tommy Lee driving, beating off the challenge from TVR Racing who ran Malaysian F1 driver Alex Yoong.

2001–2008

In 2001, TVR Racing won the race with Jeffery Wong, Tommy Lee and Admi Shahrul in a TVR Chimaera.

In 2002, Amprex Motorsport entered the Japan GT300 spec Mazda RX-7 machine, with crack Hong Kong driver Charles Kwan and Kevin Wong as its drivers. But the car failed to finish the race. Nigel Albon, Tommy Lee and T. Hamman won in their Porsche 911 GT3.

In 2003, the race got more serious with BSA Racing entering a Radical SR3 and a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Wolf Henzler as its lead driver, while Amprex Motorsport entered the BMW M3 GT for Charles Kwan, Matthew Marsh and Genji Hashimoto. Alex Yoong was also back with Jaseri Racing. But in the end unfancied G1-Meritus won the race after outlasting its rivals, with Eric Yeo, Firhat Mohkzani and Chin Tzer-Jinn driving their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car serenely to victory after completing 268 laps.[2]

In 2004, Amprex Motorsport, armed with the latest ACO/FIA GT1 spec Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT racer, totally dominated proceedings as its drivers set laps of 2:09s around the circuit. But the car broke down and Honda Malaysia Racing Team, with Eddie Lew, Farriz Fauzy and Super GT driver Hiroki Katoh, took the top step of the podium, despite running in class A.

The 2005 edition was dominated by a joint effort between Amprex Motorsport and Proton R3 Racing, together they operated the team and their Lotus Exige 300RR won outright, completing 279 laps.

In 2006, Amprex Motorsport decided to bring back the Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT for the race but it was crippled in a practice accident, allowing Proton R3 Racing's Lotus Exige 300RR a clear run to victory number 2, completing 271 laps in the process. Faidzil Alang, Australian Damien French and Tengku Djan Ley shared the driving duties.

The 2007 race has been made more interesting with more participation from foreign teams racing teams, namely J's Racing Lab with a Honda S2000 and Juniper Racing with a 911 GT3 RSR. Famous racing drivers such as former F1 and 24 Hours of Le Mans driver Hans-Joachim Stuck also participated in the race. Year 2007 also record the highest participation so far with 103 cars signing up for the race but only 77 makes it to the starting grid in accordance to the FIA circuit license granted to Sepang International Circuit.

In 2008, the race was won by Darryl O'Young, Mok Wing Sun and Alexander Nicholas Davison of Porsche Club Singapore. Their Porsche 997 RSR completed 308 laps.[3]

The race was renamed the Sepang 12 Hours in 2014, and in 2015 will be run under the organisation of international sportscar racing authority the Stephane Ratel Organisation.

Overall Winners

Year Team Drivers Car Laps
2014 23x15px Clearwater Racing 23x15px Gianmaria Bruni
23x15px Alif Hamdan
23x15px Weng Sun Mok
Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 325
2013 23x15px Clearwater Racing 23x15px Craig Baird
Template:Country data JPN Hiroshi Hamaguchi
23x15px Weng Sun Mok
Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 323
2012 Template:Country data JPN Petronas Syntium Team Template:Country data JPN Nobuteru Taniguchi
Template:Country data JPN Masataka Yanagida
23x15px Dominic Ang
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 319
2011 Template:Country data JPN Petronas Syntium Team Template:Country data JPN Nobuteru Taniguchi
Template:Country data JPN Masataka Yanagida
23x15px Dominic Ang
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 321
2010 23x15px Arrows Racing 23x15px Tunku Hammam
23x15px Peter Kox
23x15px Christopher Haase
Lamborghini LP560 315
2009 Template:Country data JPN Petronas Syntium Team Template:Country data JPN Tatsuya Kataoka
Template:Country data JPN Manabu Orido
23x15px Johan Adzmi
BMW Z4M Coupe 306
2008 23x15px Team Porsche Club Singapore 23x15px Alex Davison
Template:Country data HKG Darryl O'Young
23x15px Weng Sun Mok
Porsche 997 RSR 308
2007 23x15px Team Hong Leong-Kencana Racing 23x15px Mokhzani Mahathir
23x15px Sven Herberger
23x15px Lars Erik Nielsen
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 288
2006 23x15px Proton R3 Team 23x15px Tengku Djan Ley
23x15px Damien French
23x15px Faidzil Alang
Lotus Exige 300RR 271
2005 23x15px Proton R3 Amprex 23x15px Tengku Djan Ley
Template:Country data JPN Genji Hashimoto
23x15px Tony Ricciardello
Lotus Exige 300RR 279
2004 23x15px Honda Malaysia Racing Team 23x15px Eddie Lew
Template:Country data JPN Hiroki Katoh
23x15px Farriz Fauzy
Honda Civic 2.0 i-VTEC 265
2003 23x15px G1 Meritus 23x15px Eric Yeo
23x15px Chin Tzer-Jinn
23x15px Firhat Mohkzani
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 268
2002 23x15px Jaseri Racing 23x15px Nigel Albon
23x15px Tunku Hammam
23x15px Tommy Lee
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 262
2001 23x15px Team TVR 23x15px Jeffrey Wong
23x15px Admi Sharhal
23x15px Tommy Lee
TVR Chimaera 250
2000 23x15px Proton EON Racing Team 23x15px Jimmy Low
23x15px Karamjit Singh
23x15px Tommy Lee
Proton PERT 253

Multiple race winners

Wins Driver
3 23x15px Tommy Lee
23x15px Weng Sun Mok
2 23x15px Tengku Djan Ley
23x15px Tunku Hammam Sulong
Template:Country data JPN Nobuteru Taniguchi
Template:Country data JPN Masataka Yanagida
23x15px Dominic Ang
Wins Manufacturer
4 Porsche
2 Lotus
Ferrari
Mercedes-Benz

Records

  • Tommy Lee is the only driver to have won the Open class three times. He raced for three different teams for the wins: PERT, TVR and Jaseri Racing.
  • The Honda Malaysia Racing Team (HMRT) has won class A four times in a row since 2003, it also won the race overall in 2004.[4]
  • Malaysia racing wonder kid Jazeman Jaafar had become the youngest participant of MMER in 2007 at the age of 14.
  • Team Porsche Club Singapore became the first foreign team to win the Merdeka Millennium Endurance in 2008.[5]

References