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Archive for June, 2013

Valentino Rossi Wins Dutch TT MotoGP, Marquez 2nd and Crutchlow 3rd

29 Jun

Photo: Dorna Communications

Valentino Rossi has won the Iveco TT Assen, picking up his 80th victory in the MotoGP premier class and his first since the Malaysian Grand Prix of 2010. The nine-time champion shared the podium with Marc Marquez and pole-sitter Cal Crutchlow, with Jorge Lorenzo finishing fifth despite a broken collarbone.

The Dutch weekend of the 2013 season has proven to be action-packed, both on and off the track, ever since the MotoGP community arrived at Assen earlier in the week. Lorenzo generated many of the headlines, having been cleared to race less than four hours before the start and having travelled back from an operation in Barcelona.

Rossi’s afternoon started from fourth on the grid. A decisive pass on LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl saw the Yamaha rise to third in a very strong move at the chicane as the first lap came to a close. The Italian then proceeded to hunt down the Hondas, dispatching of Marquez on Lap 4 and Pedrosa on Lap 6 in what was a similar move to that of 2007. He would go on to take an emotional victory by 2.1 seconds – his first at Assen for four years.

Marquez’s second place boosts his championship situation, finishing ahead of Pedrosa and Lorenzo. Having sealed his first front row starting position since Le Mans, the 20-year-old ran third but caught Pedrosa on the 18th lap; his first attempt to overtake failed, but the reigning Moto2™ champion made the most of his next opportunity and seized second spot on the drag to the first corner.

Pedrosa would fall back one more place before the chequered flag, losing out to Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow (the first British pole-sitter since 2002) who was fortunate to avoid a crash when he touched Marquez’s rear wheel on the final lap. Although fourth is Pedrosa’s worst result since Round 1 in Qatar, he still extends his championship lead by two points.

Lorenzo was mightily relieved to have scored 11 points, having suffered a heavy crash on Thursday before being operated on in the early hours of Friday morning. He arrived back at Assen on Friday afternoon and was given the green light to race after 11 o’clock this morning. Having risen to the top five from 12th on the grid by only Lap 2, he ran as high as fourth but fell back as pain kicked in.

Sixth place went to Bradl – who, from his first ever MotoGP front row – had briefly snatched second at the start, whereas GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista overhauled leading CRT rider Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar) for seventh with six laps to go. On the final lap Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden lost two places and fell to 11th, dropping behind Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and his own teammate Andrea Dovizioso. Avintia Blusens’ Ivan Silva finished 23rd covering for the injured Hiroshi Aoyama, whereas Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek was the sole retirement.

Valentino Rossi’s success is his first since returning to Yamaha and, as well as being his 80th win in the top tier, is his 106th career victory and eighth at Assen. In the standings, Pedrosa maintains the lead (136 points) from Lorenzo (127), with Marquez (113) now the reduced margin of 23 in arrears of the leader.

1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
2 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda
3 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
4 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team Honda
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
6 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda Honda
7 Alvaro Bautista Go&Fun Honda Gresini Honda
8 Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar ART
9 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
10 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team Ducati
11 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team Ducati
12 Randy De Puniet Power Electronics Aspar ART
13 Andrea Iannone Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati
14 Michele Pirro Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati
15 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing ART
16 Danilo Petrucci Came Iodaracing Project Ioda-Suter
17 Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki
18 Claudio Corti NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki
19 Yonny Hernandez Paul Bird Motorsport ART
 
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Cal Crutchlow Took 1st Career Pole Position for Dutch MotoGP

28 Jun

Photo: Dorna Communications

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow will start from his first ever pole position for Saturday’s Iveco TT Assen. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider will share the front row with Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. World Champion Jorge Lorenzo missed qualifying following his crash on Thursday.

A truly dramatic qualifying session for the 65thWorld Championship Dutch TT concluded with several riders grabbing provisional pole position, only to be demoted by their rivals just moments later. Rain had fallen earlier in the day but would not disrupt the grid-deciding period.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, Bradl and Marquez all provisionally held the top spot before Crutchlow delivered the pole time of 1’34.398 to become the first British MotoGP™ pole-sitter since Jeremy McWilliams at Phillip Island in 2002. Behind him, Marquez qualifies in the top three for the first time since Le Mans and 2011 Moto2™ title winner Bradl seals his first front row start in the premier class. Honda’s Dani Pedrosa had looked likely to collect his third consecutive pole, but crashed at De Bult with six and a half minutes remaining and would tumble to fifth.

Rossi qualifies fourth which is his best of the year so far, whereas Tech 3’s Bradley Smith will line up behind Pedrosa in sixth – his best grid position to date. The third row will be headed up by Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro who has further raised the bar as the best ever CRT qualifier. It was also a positive day for teammate Randy de Puniet, who was quickest in Q1 and will start ninth.

Q1 was also full of surprises. Andrea Iannone crashed his Energy T.I. Pramac Racing machine when challenging for a place in the shootout, which leaves him 13th on the grid. Two places further back, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso could manage no more than 15th which is his worst grid position since joining the top class in 2008. The field is completed by Ivan Silva, back on the grid with Avintia Blusens as substitute to Hiroshi Aoyama who picked up hand injuries at the last round in Barcelona.

1 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1:34.398
2 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:34.755
3 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda Honda 1:34.878
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1:34.974
5 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:35.006
6 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1:35.454
7 Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar ART 1:35.500
8 Alvaro Bautista Go&Fun Honda Gresini Honda 1:35.508
9 Randy De Puniet Power Electronics Aspar ART 1:35.622
10 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team Ducati 1:35.908
11 Michele Pirro Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 1:36.866
 
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Fujifilm X-M1 and Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Lens

26 Jun

The Fujifilm X-M1 is a new compact and lightweight compact system camera. Featuring the same 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as the flagship X-Pro1, the X-M1 weighs just 330 grams and is about half the size of a regular SLR body. It also offers a 920,000-dot, tilt-able 3-inch LCD, 5.6fps burst shooting, wireless image transfer, full HD (1920 x 1080) video recording at 30 frames per second, a built-in flash and hot shoe, ISO200-6400 and a 49 point AF system.

Fujfilm are also announcing the Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens, which will ship as a kit lens with the X-M1. Offering a focal range of 24mm-76mm in 35mm terms, the XC16-50mm lens consists of 12 all-glass elements in 10 groups including 3 aspherical elements and 1 ED element. It will be available in black and silver.

Customers can choose the new X-M1 in 3 colours – Black, Silver and Brown. Availability will be either late July or mid-August in Malaysia, possibly after the Hari Raya holidays.

 
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Lexus Malaysia Launches IS 250 Sport

26 Jun

Lexus Malaysia strengthened its position as the purveyor of fine automobiles in the country with the launch of the all-new, highly acclaimed Lexus IS. Succeeding the successful second generation model which was introduced in Malaysia in 2007, the new third generation model takes on a sharper focus on performance, design and safety.

At a preview event held for members of the media, Datuk Ismet Suki, President of UMW Toyota Motor said, “While the out-going IS was acclaimed being a true expression of a sporting design character in its class, the new IS takes it a step further by focusing on a pleasurable driving experience. Every aspect of the new IS has been engineered with a renewed focus on the sporting performance, agile handling, accurate response to driver input and highly communicative feedback.”

Needless to say, Lexus has delivered its brand promise of excellence with the new Lexus IS. Incorporating no less than 12 new features and technical innovations, the new IS also showcases an all-new interior that combines refinement, comfort and quality expected. The new IS is certainly a good-looking car inside and out, the bold new design and muscular appearance is moulded from the L-finesse design philosophy, which also inspires every new Lexus model today.

The new IS features the sophisticated Lexus trademark spindle grille frontal design, awarding the compact sedan a combination of aggressive elegance, a more powerful road presence and a stronger brand identity. The exclusive appearance of the body is the result of powerful character lines which clearly define the body from the cabin, emphasizing the wide flare of the wheel arches and increase the visibility of the tyres.

Under its hood, the rear wheel drive Lexus IS 250 is powered by a smooth 2.5-litre V6 providing 205hp@6,400rpm and 252Nm of torque @ 4,800rpm. The engine is matched to six-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) that features a sequential manual-shifting mode with rev matched downshifts in SPORT mode.

The Lexus IS 300h full hybrid rear-wheel drive system combines a powerful electric motor with a newly developed, 2.5 litre, four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine featuring a new D-4S fuel injection system, Dual VVT-i and a high-efficiency Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system. The system targets class-leading CO2 emissions of below 100 g/km, and average fuel consumption of 20.4km/litre.

Lexus Malaysia will offer the new IS in four variants, the IS 250, IS 250 Luxury, IS 300h and the high-performance IS 250 F-SPORT and they are priced from RM 269,900 till RM 333,000 for the IS250 including the F- SPORT, RM 383,000 for the IS 300 hybrid.  Order taking of the new Lexus IS started on the 19th June 2013 and Lexus Malaysia expects to sell more than 60units of the new Lexus IS by the end of this year.

The launch of the new Lexus IS was brought to an end with an announcement of the opening of three more Lexus centres in Ipoh, Kuching, and Melaka by the fourth quarter of this year. This makes the total to 8 Lexus outlets nationwide which will fulfill the increasing demand and provide even more convenience to Lexus customers and presenting the highly renowned Lexus hospitality.

 
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Samsung Galaxy NX

24 Jun

Samsung Electronics has announced the launch of the Galaxy NX, the world’s first 4G interchangeable lens Connected Compact System Camera (CSC). Versatile and easy to use, the Galaxy NX combines cutting edge optical performance with connectivity capabilities and Android applications. The result is a new type of connected device which means you can share your experiences instantly in amazing colour and outstanding detail.

Featuring 3G/4G LTE technology, the Galaxy NX means anyone interested in photography can stay constantly connected with their world. Promising speedy sharing whether on the move or at home, the seamless connectivity of the Galaxy NX makes it a device that puts the sharing of professional level images at its heart. It embraces the era of visual communication by providing an outlet for passionate photographers to express their exciting experiences immediately and in spectacular quality.

The Galaxy NX is designed to help you capture the scene and mood of every place you visit. Photo Suggest gives you location-based recommendations of popular photography spots, sourced from a huge library of images taken by other photographers from around the world. Story Album allows you to look back at your photos on one timeline, reframing and resizing them to create digital photo books which can be viewed and shared on your other devices.

Image quality is really something to shout about thanks to the array of interchangeable lenses available with the Galaxy NX. The 20.3MP APS-C Sensor produces images which are bright and detailed, even in low light conditions, while the DRIMe IV Image Signal Processer delivers the speed and accuracy that today’s photographers demand.

Its Advanced Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) System ensures accurate phase and contrast detection so you can capture crisp, vibrant shots, while the 1/6000 sec shutter speed and 8.6fps shooting means you can capture the action as it is happening.

The flexibility offered by the Galaxy NX’s selection of interchangeable lenses – from compact pancake lenses and an ultra-wide fisheye, to longer prime and zoom lenses – places creative control firmly in the hands of the photographer. True 3D Creator also brings an added element of realism to the Galaxy NX results, allowing you to shoot images and movies in 3D with Samsung’s 45mm 2D/3D lens.

With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the functionality of a smartphone is used to improve the photographic experience you get with the Galaxy NX. You can choose from a huge array of Android apps to help personalise your device and do more than just shoot amazing photographs and video, from editing images, to adding special effects and staying in touch with friends and family.

More than 30 Smart Mode options mean you can choose the optimum settings for the environment you are capturing, as well as create fresh, artistic images. Multi Exposure merges two different shots together to produce one distinctive image, while Animated Photo connects continuous shots of up to five seconds, creating a moving GIF file. For added realism, Sound & Shot stores sound and voice together as the picture is taken, so moments are captured exactly as they happen.

For added personalisation, Camera Studio allows you to easily customise settings with your most frequently used applications or camera modes, so you can capture your photos exactly how you want them.

 
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GT500 and GT300 Pole Sitters Win Super GT Races

18 Jun

Calsonic IMPUL GT-R’s Tsugio Matsuda and Joao Paulo Lima De Oliveira drove to a text book finish to clinch victory from pole position in the GT 500 class, in what played out to be a closely-fought race in round 3 of the AUTOBACS Super GT Series at the Sepang International Circuit.

De Oliveira who drove the final stint in the 54-lap two-hour race, finished four seconds ahead of the Denso Kobelco SC430 team and eight seconds in front of the Raybrig HSV-010 car which saw the top three places going to Nissan, Toyota and Honda.

“A good start was important for this race, as well as to control tyre wear. We were fortunate to have been on pole position and this proved extremely important in securing today’s race victory,” said De Oliveira who completed the race with a time of 1 hour: 51 minutes.08 seconds.

“Victory today came down to team work. When I came out from my pit stop I had two to three clear laps ahead and that was enough to allow me to build a four-second gap ahead of the Denso Kobelco SC430 car. We did suffer from a slight oversteering problem but we managed to save the tyres until the finish.”

In the GT 300 class, ARTA CR-Z GT’s Shinichi Takagi and Takashi Kobayashi also won from pole position, but only securing a marginal victory of two seconds ahead of the pair of Hideki Mutoh and Yuhki Nakayama of the Mugen CR-Z GT Team for a top two finish for Honda. Finishing third and 21 seconds behind was the Gainer Dixel SLS of Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Bjorn Wirdheim.

“We have endured a challenging start to the season and therefore there was a lot of pressure on the two of us coming to Sepang,” said Shinichi Takagi who drove the first half of the race before handing over to the reins to his younger team mate Takashi Kobayashi.

“The car was extremely good in Sepang but we were expecting a hard battle with car no 16 (Mugen CR-Z GT). We were hoping for a slight advantage given their weight handicap but they were still very fast. Our strategy was to change the two rear tyres and that played in our favour.”

The Malaysian round of the 2013 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Series was organised by JPM Motorsport. Formerly known as the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC), the Super GT Series is a grand touring car race series promoted by the GT Association (G.T.A.).

Meanwhile, JPM Motorsport Founder JP Chin said this year’s race weekend successfully attracted an estimated 100,000 spectators attending on Saturday (15 June) and turning up on race day on Sunday (16 June).

This year’s on track supporting events was also backed by the very first Asia Cup single-seater race organized by Meritus and the inaugural running of a Toyota T86 Celebrity Race which was won by Malaysia’s Prince of Drift Tengku Djan Ley.

 
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Lorenzo Wins Catalunya MotoGP, Pedrosa 2nd and Marquez 3rd

16 Jun

Photo: Dorna Communications

Jorge Lorenzo has won the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya for the third time in four years, beating Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez on Sunday afternoon. Valentino Rossi rode a lonely race to fourth position while as many as eight riders retired, including Cal Crutchlow who crashed out on the sixth lap.

Saturday had seen Dani Pedrosa smashing Casey Stoner’s 2008 lap record en route to an impressive pole position for the Repsol Honda Team rider’s 200thGrand Prix weekend. He would ultimately lose his lead on the drag to the first corner and never regain the top spot, not least as teammate Marquez closed in from behind.

Two weeks ago, Lorenzo had sealed his second victory of the campaign in Italy. He now becomes the first rider to win three times in 2013, in the process moving to within seven points of championship-leading Pedrosa. This afternoon, the Mallorcan made the most of the battling Hondas to pull out a lead of over one second with four laps to go.

As Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo moved to seventh in the all-time rankings for premier class race wins, with his 26th victory putting him one ahead of 1993 World Champion Kevin Schwantz, Pedrosa was forced to fight a rear-guard action even though Marquez had almost removed himself from the race on the penultimate lap.

Heading into Turn 4 on the 24th of the 25 tours, Marquez suffered a significant scare and came perilously close to losing the front end of his bike. He would go on to reduce a six-tenth of a second margin to finish the race just six hundredths behind Pedrosa, although the key to his day had been a strong getaway from sixth on the grid.

Taking advantage of the dramas in front of him – such as accidents for Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, going out in separate solo incidents on the tenth lap – Stefan Bradl enjoyed a second consecutive top five finish as Tech 3’s Bradley Smith celebrated a personal best result of sixth. In ninth, Colin Edwards picked up his personal 2013 best for NGM Mobile Forward Racing.

The leading CRT rider for the sixth time in as many Grands Prix this season, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro finished eighth for the second race in a row, while GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista was upset to have crashed on the opening lap following a near-miss with Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha. Also in the gravel at the La Caixa corner were PBM’s Michael Laverty and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Michele Pirro, although the Italian went on to finish tenth.

The high attrition allowed an assortment of riders to enjoy their best races of the season, including Australian newcomer Bryan Staring who finished 14th to score the first points for the Gresini CRT bike. Scoring on his debut was Avintia Blusens’ Javier del Amor, substituting for Hiroshi Aoyama who had injured a finger on Saturday.

Six races into the 2013 MotoGP™ campaign, Dani Pedrosa leads Jorge Lorenzo by the further reduced margin of seven points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Yamaha has moved to within four points of the leading Honda. The battle will continue in The Netherlands, with the historic Iveco TT Assen on Saturday 29th June.

1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team Honda
3 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
5 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda Honda
6 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team Ducati
8 Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar ART
9 Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki
10 Michele Pirro Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati
11 Danilo Petrucci Came Iodaracing Project Ioda-Suter
12 Claudio Corti NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki
13 Yonny Hernandez Paul Bird Motorsport ART
14 Bryan Staring Go&Fun Honda Gresini FTR Honda
 
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Pedrosa Set Qualifying Pole Record, Crutchlow 2nd and Lorenzo 3rd

15 Jun

Photo: Dorna Communications

Sunday’s MotoGP race at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya will commence with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa on pole following an exciting qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. Also on the front row for what promises to be a superb race are Cal Crutchlow and Jorge Lorenzo.

Pedrosa is in impressive form on his 200thGrand Prix weekend and his pole time of 1’40.893 is the best ever lap of Catalunya.

Slotting themselves in on the front row and also looking to get away from the chasing pack tomorrow are Yamaha riders Crutchlow and Lorenzo, with the pair trailing poleman Pedrosa by 0.608s and 0.673s respectively. Lorenzo overcame an early clutch problem, swapping bikes to make the front row.

From the second row the likes of GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez will also be hoping to mount podium challenges, having all qualified within a second of pole.

From the third row, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso will all aim to make their final improvements in Warm Up on Sunday morning in order to be able to challenge the leading six on the grid.

Iannone impressed in eighth having made it through from Q1 with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith who qualified 11th, sandwiched by 10th placed LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl and 12th placed Power Electronics Aspar man Aleix Espargaro – the only CRT rider to make Q2.

The scorching heat at the Circuit de Catalunya – track temperatures reached 52°C during qualifying – is forecast to continue on Sunday meaning that tyre tactics will be as important as ever for the sixth race of the season, with harder options likely to be favoured by the riders.

1 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:40.893
2 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1:41.501
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1:41.566
4 Alvaro Bautista Go&Fun Honda Gresini Honda 1:41.714
5 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team Ducati 1:41.800
6 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:41.842
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1:41.959
8 Andrea Iannone Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 1:41.963
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team Ducati 1:42.053
10 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda Honda 1:42.090
11 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1:42.548
12 Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar ART 1:42.878
 
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Nissan and Honda fastest in GT 500 and GT 300 classes respectively

15 Jun

Tyre management and what is shaping to become a tyre war will be absolutely critical in deciding the outcome of round three of the 2013 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Series at Sepang International Circuit tomorrow (16 June 2013) as teams.

That was the common sentiment shared by both pole position team drivers in the GT 500 and GT 300 classes ahead of tomorrow’s 54-lap two-hour race in which tyre manufacturers Bridgestone and Michelin have both been dominant.

Calsonic IMPUL GT-R’s Tsugio Matsuda and Joao Paulo Lima De Oliveira were fastest around the 5.543km Sepang International Circuit with a time of 1 minute: 55. 456 seconds in the GT 500 class as the final qualifying session of the day benefitted from perfectly ambient dry weather.

“We were very worried about the initial set-up of the car earlier in the day but we looked at the telemetry data, made a few critical changes and managed to improve our lap times.It’s going to be a long race tomorrow and it will be important to manage the tyres well and not push the tyres over the edge before the end of the race,” said De Oliveira.

He singled out the closest challengers will likely come from Lexus Team Zent Cerumo drivers Yuji Tachikawa and Kohei Hirate who was second fastest in qualifying with a time of 1 min:55.589 sec. The Lexus Team KeePer Tom’s Daisuke Ito and Andrea Caldarelli meanwhile, clocked 1 min: 55.688 sec and will start tomorrow’s 54-lap race from third position on the grid.

“We will definitely have to careful with Lexus. The straights in Sepang are very long and they seem to have an advantage in these sectors.”

After scoring its first victory in round 2 at the Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka, Japan, the Malaysian-backed Petronas Toms SC430 pair of Kazuki Nakajima and James Rossiter meanwhile, had to settle for 11th position, with a time of 1 min: 56.552 sec.

The battle for supremacy in the GT 300 class, is also shaping to become a closely contested one with ARTA CRZ GT’s Shinichi Takagi and Takashi Kobayashi securing pole position with a time of 2 min: 03.374 sec. A second Honda CRZ will line-up alongside on the front row of the grid driven by the pair of Hideki Mutoh and Yuhki Nakayama of Team MUGEN, while in third position is the Subaru of R&D Sport’s Tetsuya Yamano and Kota Sasaki.

The car seems to be very well suited to Sepang, and hopefully Kobayashi and I will be able to bring it across the finish line with a good result,” said senior driver Takagi.

“The Subarus are very strong. They’ve already secured two pole positions so far in three rounds of the series and they are incredibly strong. Ultimately, I hope the weather remains and it doesn’t rain because that would be a very big difference to the outcome of the race.”

The Malaysian round of the 2013 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Series is being organised by JPM Motorsport. Formerly known as the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC), the Super GT Series is a grand touring car race series promoted by the GT Association (G.T.A.).

 
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Nikkor Lenses Reaches 80 Million

14 Jun

Nikon Corporation celebrates the achievement of reaching eighty million for the total production of NIKKOR and 1 NIKKOR lenses for Nikon SLR cameras and Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, respectively. From professional photographers to casual snap shooters, enthusiasts to film makers, NIKKOR lenses have been trusted for 80 years due to their sharpness, reliability and unrivaled image quality.

In January, Nikon announced two new additions to the NIKKOR lineup, including the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR, a very powerful super-telephoto lens compatible with Nikon’s FX-format D-SLRs that offers the longest focal length in the history of NIKKOR autofocus (AF) lenses. The second was the compact and lightweight AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED wide-angle zoom lens. In March, the 5x telephoto-zoom AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR was announced, offering an amazing focal range and one of the fastest AF speeds in its class.

Nikon also released two new lenses for the Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses in January, the versatile 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm f/4-5.6 10x zoom lens and the ultra wide-angle zoom 1 NIKKOR VR 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6. In May, Nikon introduced the fastest lens in the 1 NIKKOR lineup, the 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2, a medium telephoto fixed focal length lens with a wide maximum aperture of f/1.2. The current lineup of interchangeable lenses for Nikon 1 cameras consists of nine lenses. Furthermore, Nikon remains dedicated to expanding and enriching the product line.

With this year marking the 80th anniversary of the launch of the NIKKOR brand of photographic lenses, Nikon produced a video that highlights the creation of NIKKOR lenses from fabrication to the refining and polishing of the glass elements, to lens construction and quality control.

 
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