SEPANG, Dec 14 -- MotoGP racer Hafizh Syahrin put out a creditable performance in his debut at the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) qualifying with Hyundai Team Engslter teammate, Mitchell Cheah.
Both of them however did not manage to break the top 12 to continue their challenge in the Q2 of the Second Qualifying after Mitchell and Hafizh Syahrin finished 28th (2:15.647s) and 29th (2:16.406s), respectively, in Q1 of Second Qualifying on Friday.
Hyundai Team Engstler Sports and Marketing director, Kurt Trem said both drivers were consistent in their pace and improved every time they were out on circuit.
"For sure if you look at the rankings, you will not see what we saw. Both Mitchell and Hafizh Syahrin have done an impressive job and the qualifying times they have done were very good.
"We must realise that in the challenge in the WTCR racing, they are up against the best touring car champions in the world. It is the first time both of them joined a WTCR race so I think the time is okay and they were both consistent.
"For me what they have done is good. They did not make any mistakes. We are happy with them and wish them luck on Sunday," said Trem in a statement issued by the team.
It was the toughest qualifying session ever for Mitchell and Hafizh Syahrin competing against the best-of-the-best Touring Car drivers and champions, and both drivers have to carry 20 kg ballast in their Hyundai i30 N TCR, as an added weight carried by wildcard entries.
Three back-to-back races will be held on Sunday, beginning with Race 1 (nine laps) at 3.15pm, Race 2 (nine laps) at 6.15pm and the night time Race 3 (12 laps) at 8.10pm to complete WTCR.