Sepang, Malaysia - After a gruelling nine hour race here at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC), Fariqe Hairuman and Syafiq Ali in the #81 Proton R3 Iriz overcame all odds to emerge victorious at the 2018 Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race (S1K) on a scorching track that saw temperatures in the afternoon soar to over 40 degrees Celsius.
Fariqe is no stranger to racing, having won the Asian Touring Car Championship as well as Japan’s Super Taikyu, the race veteran finally landed his first ever Sepang 1000KM win together with team-mate Syafiq, helping Proton R3 defend their title amid a full grid of the biggest race teams in South East Asia.
Syafiq on the other hand brings to the table a wealth of experience. Having won several Malaysian Championship Series (MCS) titles, this win is the driver’s third S1K crown with Proton R3 Motorsports. His previous outings in 2012 with Japan’s Morio Nitta in a Proton Satria Neo and in 2014 with Tengku Djan Ley and Tengku Mahaleel in a Proton Preve yielded him his first two wins at S1K.
2018’s S1K win for the duo was even sweeter for Fariqe as his previous outings had always been just shy of podium contention at Sepang be it for the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER) or S1K. Last year’s S1K saw the Johor-born driver and Syafiq led through most of the race only to drop to fifth place after mechanical issues hindered them in the dying minutes.