Right, let’s try this again. After the crazy weather of Sugo last month, I’ve been hungry to lay down our Championship challenge for the Super Taikyu title.
The #28 PETRONAS Syntium Team Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 was fast at Sugo. Real fast! And better still, it was fast on all ages of rubber that we threw at it. So, we know we have a good car underneath us over the course of a race.
I’m very confident as we head to South Korea for Super Taikyu’s first International event, at the new Inje Speedium in the hills of the Inje Province.
Being in the hills leaves us open to the elements, of course. Just like Autopia at the end of last season. And we all know how that went down…it doesn’t bear thinking about!
Anyway, the Inje Speedium looks absolutely awesome. 4.2km of flowing, high speed tarmac with a good mix of fast and slow, a bunch of double apex corners and the added element of a level playing field for all involved.
In fact, we will be the first to take to the new circuit, which was only recently completed. That in itself is quite an honour.
The venue has a luxury hotel and business complex, and looks to be following the multi-purpose model that many modern circuits are taking, which will make it a hub for all sorts of on-and-off track activities in the years to come.
Our race format for the weekend is a little different to usual. Super Taikyu is by nature an endurance championship, but this weekend sees a pair of 45-minute sprint races, with one driver handling each and no compulsory pit stops to break up proceedings.
So basically, we have a 45-minute all out sprint for the flag with the varying pros and cons of the GT3-spec challengers all bound to come into play. And in addition to the six Super Taikyu classes, there will be the addition of the domestic Genesis Coupe one-make cars to our category for the Korean event.
The prospect is really exciting. The combined results over the two races will determine the round winner, and that means it’ll also determine the points leader as we head into the mid-season break before Motegi late in July.
So, it’s all to play for as we go for glory in the PETRONAS machines, and perform a bit of Gangnam Style with the fans in between.
Wish me luck!
Jono Lester – #FlyingKiwi
Driver of the #28 PETRONAS Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in the Super Taikyu Series