Automotive Lifestyle

Viper Niza Racing Team looking to take home soil victory at Motul Sepang 12 Hours

Viper Niza Racing Team, a Malaysia racing team, is ready to blaze the competition for the Motul Sepang 12 Hours race this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit with an experienced line-up of drivers and a brand new car.

Leading the team is Team Principal and driver Douglas Khoo, Dominic Ang and Jazeman Jaafar in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3. All three are no newcomers to the Sepang 12 Hours – Ang is a two-time overall winner, Khoo has two podium finishes in the touring car class, while Jazeman still holds the record for being the youngest ever driver (at the age of 14 then) to compete in the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race in 2007 before it was rebranded as the Sepang 12 Hours in 2014.

This weekend’s race will also the first time the brand new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will be tested in an 8-hour endurance race (the Sepang 12 Hours involves only 8 hours of racing) since the team took delivery of the race car in September last year.

They have so far participated in a sprint race in conjunction with the Singapore F1 Grand Prix, four 1-hour races in the Thailand Super Series, and one 4-hour race at the Asian Le Mans Series in Dubai. Viper Niza Racing’s best result with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 so far has been 8th overall and 6th in class at the Thailand Super Series.

“This will rightfully be the very first true endurance trial for Viper Niza Racing in the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3. The car has performed well, and the team and drivers have been adjusting well to it, albeit our recent misfortune of being rear ended in Dubai,” said Khoo, adding that the incident last month where it was hit from behind by another driver on a straight had caused extensive chassis damage requiring the car to be rebuilt.

“Viper Niza Racing is absolutely thrilled to be back racing at the prestigious Motul Sepang 12 Hours and we jumped at the opportunity the moment the event was announced. Endurance racing has always been the focus of our racing activities and we are elated to be able to race at our very own home event.

To make it even sweeter, both the event and the team share the same sponsor – Motul. “We very much look forward to a strong race weekend because the car will be in its element – it is built for endurance racing and not so much sprints. It’s exciting to be back for the Sepang 12 Hours after it was last held 6 years ago.”

With 112 race starts under his belt, Khoo had the distinction of leading Viper Niza Racing to compete in the 2015 and 2016 Sepang 12-Hours. He has also led the charge at the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 TCR Asia Series; the 2015 and 2016 TCR International Series; the 2016 and 2017 TCR Thailand Series; the 2019 TCR Asia International Series; the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Asian Le Mans Series; the 2017 and 2019 Blancpain GT Series; and the 2019 Michelin Le Mans Cup.

The team’s best accomplishment has been in the touring car series with a class win at the 2019 TCR SPA500 24-Hour endurance race in Belgium behind the wheel of a Seat Leon Cupra. Viper Niza Racing also competed as a wildcard entry in the Malaysian round of the 2019 WTCR World Touring Car series.

In the early part of 2022, the team competed in the 24 Hours of Portimão, Portugal, and finished sixth in the TCR Class of the Hankook 24 Hours of Barcelona in Spain. Viper Niza Racing is also best known as the first all-Malaysian team to take part in the Road to Le Mans race in 2019, which is a pre-cursor to the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, and has taken part in the V de V Endurance Racing Series.

Powered by Aston Martin Racing’s latest generation 4-litre V8 twin turbo engine, the Vantage GT3 race car produces in excess of 400 kW of power and more than 700 Nm of torque and was engineered and designed to replace Aston Martin’s most successful customer car the V12 Vantage GT3.

“As the team is still very much new to racing the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, we wanted to have as many experienced drivers assist with setting-up the car as well to be fast and competitive on the grid. Jazeman’s participation in the team this weekend and his wealth of experience racing different types of car reinforces this and brings significant benefit to the team moving forward. It’s going to be a competitive weekend and we believe we will prevail and race to a strong result.”

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