Triumphant endurance race debut for Wing Hin Motorsports in Thailand

BURIRAM, Thailand: Wing Hin Motorsports capped off an incredibly successful 2023 season with a class win in its debut at the 10-hour Idemitsu Super Endurance 600 Southeast Asia Trophy.

The race, also called the Thailand 10-hour Endurance Race, was held on December 22 and 23, 2023 at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram.

All three of its entries successfully made the finish line from a grid of 64 cars, with the #438 Toyota Vios piloted by Malaysian touring car champions Boy Wong and Dannies Ng in the D4 Class taking victory and finishing 9th overall; the #338 Toyota Yaris driven by Naquib Azlan and touring car driver Mitchell Cheah clinching 4th in the D3 Class and 10th overall; and the #339 Toyota Yaris helmed by 2023 Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race (S1K) winners Amer Harris and Nabil Azlan finishing 7th in D3 Class and 18th overall.

The win by the #438 Toyota Vios also marks the car’s second endurance race victory as the same car had gone on to win the 2022 edition of the Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race (S1K) and finished 3rd in this year’s event.

Wing Hin Motorsports also went on to win this year’s Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race (S1K) with the #339 Toyota Yaris and clinchied 4th in the #338.

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Victory in the 10-hour Idemitsu Super Endurance 600 Southeast Asia Trophy also makes it’s a triple celebration for Wing Hin Motorsports in Thailand this year.

It had earlier won the D5 Class in Idemitsu Super Endurance 400 Minutes race in September, and also clinched the overall Idemitsu Super Turbo Championship Junior (Normally Aspirated) Class championship.

“This weekend’s race saw us competing in the D4 Class for our engine segment as well as the D3 Class for the overall race and we extremely ecstatic with the results albeit so many uncertainties and nerve-racking moments on the track,” said Wing Hin Motorsports Team Principal William Loh.

“We were confident we had a good package in all three cars and we had extensively rebuilt and prepared the cars after successful Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race (S1K), but we knew the road ahead was going to be a challenging one given the number of quality team entries in Thailand. Ending the year with a Class win, and to have all three cars finishing in the top 20 is nevertheless a great way to end the racing season. We will definitely be back, and even stronger.”

The #438 Toyota Vios win also the first time a Toyota has won the D4 Class since 2017.

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From a field of 64 cars that started the race, the #338 Toyota Yaris proved the quickest, qualifying in 17th position, just ahead of the #339 Toyota Yaris on 18th position.

At the 4-hour mark, the #338 was as high up as 6th overall and 1st in Class, while the #339 climbed as high as 10th overall and 4th in Class just aafter 5 hours of racing.

But it was the #438 Toyota Vios that ran a remarkable race. Starting from 36th on the grid, the #438 made its way up to 23rd overall in the first 30 minutes of the race and by the time the race reached its halfway mark at 5 hours, it was 14th overall and 4th in class.

With 2 hours remaining, the pair of Ng and Wong piled on the pressure to climb up to 11th overall and 3rd in class.

All that hard work and preparation by the team to ensure a reliable car that would last the entire 10-hour race however, began paying off when the top three contenders began experiencing mechanical issues or forced into making unscheduled stops an hour before the chequered flag.

The #438 surged ahead to complete 275 laps, one lap ahead of the #338, to finish 9th overall.

“It was also the result of our strategy throughout the race. It was decided from the very beginning that we would minimize our pit stops in exchange for longer driving stints. Yes, it was incredibly exhausting but eventually that game plan paid off handsomely with a great result. This is definitely the best result for me in 2023,” said Ng who had also finished 4th for Wing Hin Motorsports in this year’s Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race (S1K).

“Any endurance race is exhausting but the weather in Thailand made it slightly better for drivers - hovering around 16-18 degrees celcius - although this proved to be difficult in getting the tyres up to its optimum operating temperature. And that was precisely what happened to affect our qualifying time.”

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Autos Toyota