Thai team leading GT series after Buri Ram race
published : 22 May 2023 at 04:30
newspaper section: Life
Thai race drivers made their presence felt at the opener of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia 2023 held at Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram recently.
The AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing team comprising local racer Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Belgian Alessio Picariello secured podium finishes in the opening two races at the 4.55km Chang Circuit with their Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The duo finished in second and third places in Race 1 and Race 2 respectively, enabling them to lead the GT3 driver standings with 33 points apiece.
Winners of Race 1 were H.H. Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Luca Stolz of Triple Eight JMR, driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO. Meanwhile, Craft-Bamboo Racing's Anthony Liu and Fabian Schiller drove their Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO to victory in Race 2.
After two days of rain, the Sunday race enjoyed clear skies, which allowed for some high-quality driving as well as drama.
Picariello unleashed a great start to take pole position after the start of Race 2. However, a series of mishaps towards the middle of the race saw the safety car come out on three occasions. Vutthikorn took on the second shift and had to fight back from fifth.
The race was immediately red-flagged when Kevin Chen spun Jeffrey Lee out of second place before the recovering Mercedes-AMG was T-boned by GH–Team AAI's other BMW M4 GT3 driven by Junsan Chen.
Thai team YK MOTORSPORTS BBR BY SUNOCO finished an excellent seventh overall, with drivers Dechathorn Phuakkarawut and Pasarit Promsombat taking the amateur title in Race 2, after finishing in 23rd out of 25 cars in Race 1.
In the GT3 team championship standings after two races, Craft-Bamboo Racing leads with 44 points followed by Absolute Racing with 41 and R&B Racing with 25 points.
The next round will be held at Fuji International Speedway in Japan from June 16-18.
An important highlight over the two days of the Fanatec World GT Challenge Asia 2023 is the Pitwalk event for motorsport fans to get a closer experience with GT cars and how each multi-million-dollar motor racing team operates.
The World GT Challenge Series is one of the most-watched supercar series. It is held in four continents -- America, Europe, Australia and Asia. There are two classes, GT3 and GT4, driven by an international squad of world-class teams including top Thai drivers.