Super GT Cup Asia Final - Malaysia
Like a War of the Gods, the Asia final of the Gran Turismo®5 Asia Online Tournament 2012 – Super GT Cup was a clash among champions, and at the end of it all, one would be crowned victorious.
The battle began in April where qualifiers from the home grounds of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia were held online. Hundreds pit their skills to stand out from the crowd. From there, the top six contenders from each country stepped forward to the Regional Final for the honour to represent in the Final, where the best of the best would meet.
On 10 June 2012, the ultimate battle took place in Malaysia, right in the heart of Super GT Sepang Circuit. In this Asian Championship, the finalists competed over the Suzuka Circuit using one of the designated cars – MOTUL AUTHECH GT-R ’08, Calsonic IMPUL GT-R ’08 or the YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R ’08. Priority of choice was given by the top scores of a time-attack race, which also gave the finalists a warm up before the final race.
The Final was simply race of speed, but one which tests the racer's precision, judgment and risk. The first speed demon to complete the course would be crowned the Ultimate Champion.
The Finalists did not come alone. Some were flanked by supporters and family members and the enthusiastic GT Community from Malaysia, there to witness the race first-hand.
Tension mounted when the race began. All eyes were on the screen, watching every decision and turn made by the finalists. In the end, when all the smoke and dust had settled, the results were clear and decisive.
Andika Rama Maulana, representing Indonesia, inched his way to victory by 0.231 seconds against Lee Seonhong of Korea. Hong Kong’s Chung Ho Hin came in third, followed by Thailand’s Auttawit Skuntantimeta. The home country’s representative Lee Jian Yong came in fifth, ahead of Singapore’s Charles Theseira.
All received raputurous support from the crowd.
Tetsuhiko Yasuda, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Asia, accompanied by race girl Chinatsu Minami, shook the hands of the finalists and congratulated the Ultimate Champion. Andika of Indonesia took home the Asian Champion Trophy, and secured his chance to fly to Japan in September for the Tokyo Game Show 2012, all expenses paid. While he’s there, he will visit a Polyphony Digital Studio Tour followed by a prestigious invitation to dinner with Kazunori Yamauchi, the Gran Turismo series producer.
For our PlayStation Finalists, the friendly tournament was also a time for them to meet other gamers!
The Final of the GT5 Asia Online Tournament 2012 – Super GT Cup was not the only spectacle at the event.
A special Driver’s Round of the GT5 Competition was held, where 3 Super GT Drivers took the stage. They were Daisuke ITO from TOYOTA (#6 LEXUS TEAM LE MANS), Yuki Nakayama from HONDA (#32 EPSON HSV NAKAJIMA RACING) and JP de Olliveila from NISSAN (#12 CALSONIC GT-R TEAM IMPUL).
It was our pleasure to have Daisuke ITO placed in 3rd in GT500 delivering a talk show on stage. It was heartening and a privilege to be able to watch these professionals in action.
The SUPER GT INTERNATIONAL SERIES MALAYSIA race, Round 3 of the 2012 AUTOBACS SUPER GT was one of the highlights at the event. It was a hellish endurance race, held at the Sepang International Circuit where the round comprises 54 laps of 5.543 km each!
In the GT500 class, Mr Takashi and Carlo Van Damm, driving the Weider HSV-010, won the race.
In the GT300 class, Mr Masami Kageyama and Tomonobu Fujii, driving the HANKOOK PORSCHE, held the lead in the race for all except when a pit stop had to be made.
Both winners were pole-starters during the race and managed to keep that advantage.
It was a treat for the 48,000-strong spectators. I certainly wish I was there!