Petaling Jaya, 10 December 2012 – The Honda Malaysia Racing Team (HMRT) once again lived up to Honda’s challenging spirit in the local endurance race last weekend – the Sepang 1000KM (S1K) Race. The team completed the race with its two race machines, the Honda Jazz Car 26 and 17 which came in at fifth (5th) place and twentieth (20th) place in the 1.6 category.
Praising HMRT’s hard work and team spirit in the race, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia who is also the HMRT Team Principal, Mr. Yoichiro Ueno said, “The S1K Race was a very challenging 9-hour race for the team. Despite the results, the team is still a winner. Their victory is in their complete independence this year without any technical help from Japan or external engineers.”
“It is one step closer to our ultimate wish to achieve a one-make race in five years’ time. HMRT has demonstrated Honda’s Challenging Spirit to the hilt.”
On top of that, I am very pleased to note that the Honda Jazz was used as a race machine for the first time by us in Malaysia. Even though we did not win the Class 1.6 Category Championship this time, I am very proud of the whole team and the challenging spirit that the team has demonstrated on the track and in the pit. I believe that HMRT members gained a lot of technical know-how in car engineering as well as developing their problem solving skills and teamwork throughout the preparation process leading up to race day.”
Following the announcement of producing Jazz Hybrid locally this year, Honda Malaysia has selected Jazz as the race machine for the S1K Race. The team worked hard since June this year and they took only 4 months to modify two Honda Jazz and turned them into race cars No. 17 and 26.
“The Honda Jazz is a well-built compact car with proven stability and outstanding handling. I am glad to see that the team was able to work quickly to overcome all obstacles in order to put the race cars on the tracks. I hope HMRT can do better next year,” Mr. Ueno added.
The HMRT was first established in 2003 with the aim to improve technical knowledge and skills of Honda associates through participation in the local motorsports scene. After a one-year hiatus, the HMRT members geared up to further challenge themselves in the S1K Race this year.
A total of 33 Honda associates from Melaka and Petaling Jaya office took part in HMRT this year. Two Honda associates, Tengku Ezan Ley and Farriz Fauzy competed in the race with Car 26. Returning drivers, Eddie Lew and Aaron Lim drove Car 17.
One of the new drivers for HMRT who is also a Honda Malaysia associate, Tengku Ezan Ley commented, “The biggest challenge for this year was the newly built race machine. It was the first time we put Jazz on the racing tracks. We did not have any records from previous years to help in the tuning of the car and its performance. Despite these challenges, the fully Malaysian team succeeded in completing the race car and did a very good job at it. Being new to HMRT, I am thankful to all the HMRT members who have been very helpful. This is possible because everyone in HMRT believe that winning the race is never a one man’s effort. It requires a strong team spirit and collaboration within the whole team.”
Motorsports has always been deeply rooted in Honda’s DNA. Racing fuels our passion to challenge our limits. It is Honda’s Reasons to Exist. Honda’s Challenging Spirit and racing heritage will ensure that HMRT will go all out in embracing the challenges in the next local endurance race.
Honda Malaysia will continue to commit to racing activities and continue to put our resources and utmost support towards HMRT to strengthen the brand positioning of Honda Malaysia in the local circuit and share its excitement with Malaysians.
HMRT Drivers (L-R) Aaron Lim, Tengku Ezan Ley and Farriz Fauzy
HMRT's Team Manager, Thayalakumaran briefing the drivers
Final check before the race starts