Absolute Racing serviced teams brought more silverware in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Rnd 9 & 10 at the Sepang International Circuit this weekend (September 29/30).
– Tanart Sathienthirakul scores season’s best
– Hamprecht kept title hopes alive
– Double class podium for Bao Jin Long
Heat and humidity are nothing new in Malaysia. But during this weekend’s Carrera Cup Asia round at Sepang International Circuit, these conditions were extremely high; presenting many challenges for drivers and teams.
Four out of the five Absolute Racing serviced cars qualified in the Top Eight in the 30-minute qualifying session on Saturday morning.
After showing a promising pace on Friday free practice sessions, Tanart Sathienthirakul shocked the series regulars by scoring the second fastest time in the qualifying session. It was the est Cola PTT team best qualifying so far in the championship they joined in 2017.
Fighting with a fever over the weekend Philip Hamprecht couldn’t replicate last year’s pole-position, but the German youngster was fifth faster. Daniel Lu Wenlong was seventh while Yuan Bo posted the eight quickest time in qualifying.
In the Pro-Am class, championship leader Bao Jin Long drove the Zheng Tong Auto’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (991 II) to the second faster qualifying time in the session and 11th overall.
With the race win quickly sewn up, the fight for second erupted. Tanart lost the second position at the start, but taking the maximum out of the new set of tyres, the Thai racer managed to get back the second place rapidly in the race. He then fought hard to hold off the second place until the very last corner of the race. Second position thus became Tanart’s highest finish to date in the Carrera Cup Asia.
A couple of meters behind Hamprecht set a blistering pace from the start, moving-up to fourth from his fifth-placed grid position. It’s been a very close and exciting battle for the fourth position, with Team StarChase driver and his title exchanging places until Hamprecht came through narrowly at the end.
After much jousting and a good race start, Yuan Bo took sixth, while series rookie Lu finished eight.
Crossing the finish line in P12 overall and second of Pro-Am class, Bao Jin Long was on the podium for the seventh consecutive time this season.
On Sunday’s scorching hot Round 10 Absolute Racing serviced teams delivered another strong performance. Starting from fourth on the grid, Hamprecht he did what he could to collect the maximum points possible, crossing the finish line in fourth place.
Hamprecht heads to the season finale in second on 176 points, with 43 points at stake. Team StarChase continues to top the Porsche Dealer Trophy.
Equipped with a used set of tires for this race, Tanart could not repeat Saturday’s terrific result, dropping from third on the grid to fifth at the flag. With these results, the Thai driver moved up to sixth in the drivers’ standings.
Keeping a low profile, Daniel Lu steered clear of trouble in the early stages of the race, lapping the whole race just behind the front-runners. The Porsche China Junior went on to finish the final race of the weekend in sixth.
Yuan Bo had good pace this weekend. The Chinese racer survived the midfield madness to finish eight, scoring further championship points for the Porsche Shanghai Waigaoqiao & Pudong entry.
Further back in the field, Bao Jin Long returned to the podium in the Pro-Am class, taking a step closer to the 2018 Gentleman Drivers class title. Zheng Tong Auto driver saw the chequered flag in 12th overall and second in the Pro-Am class. Bao Jin Long driver heads home in the lead in the category’s championship standings with a 15-point lead.
Commenting about the weekend, Team Director Fabien Fior said, “It’s great to see such good fights in the races and our cars showing so strongly. Once again, our drivers, engineers and the pit crew performed brilliantly and we did the very best we could on track. We are really happy with Tanart’s outstanding performance this weekend and the never give up attitude of Philip, who had a pretty tough weekend fighting a flu. Bao’s weekend results were also very satisfactory, a step forward to the Pro-Am title. Now let’s focus onto Shanghai: it’s the last race of the season and we are 19 points behind in the overall title fight but, as we always say, we’re not giving up till the end.”
The teams will head to Shanghai International Circuit for the closing rounds of the 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia on November 16/17 as part of FIA World Endurance Championship weekend.
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