- Double fourth place finish for #05 Tilke Continental GT3
- Two podium finishes in the GT Asia Cup
- #09 Hard Memory Continental GT3 forced to sit out in Race 2
Zhuhai, July 26th, 2017 – Bentley Team Absolute made a good showing in this weekend’s China GT Championship Round 5 and 6 at the Zhuhai International Circuit. While a double fourth place finish is a solid result, the team were left wanting for more at a circuit that play well to the strengths of the Bentley Continental GT3 package.
With the film star Han Geng unavailable to attend this weekend’s round, Adderly Fong and Vutthikorn Inthrapuvasak moved to the cockpit of the #09 Hard Memory Continental GT3, lining up alongside with #05 Tilke Continental GT3 pair Weiron Tan and Andrew Kim.
The weekend started off in the right foot as Tan and Kim have taken pole position for the fifth round of the championship on Friday afternoon’s qualifying session. The #05 Tilke Continental GT3 duo pocketed their second pole position of the season, in front of Bentley Team Absolute teammates.
On Saturday morning, the opening race of the weekend didn’t start well for Kim. The Korean driver lost several places in the first lap, dropping to the seventh place. The duo did not give up, finishing the hard fought one-hour race in fifth. With this result, Tan and Kim claimed a third position in the GT Asia Cup.
The #09 Hard Memory Continental GT3 was carelessly struck by an opponent on morning race after the Hong Kong driver had driven a flawless 10 min stint in front of the field. The unnecessary maneuver forced Fong and Vutthikorn out of Sunday’s race as the car damages are beyond repairable at the track.
Later in the day, the #05 Tilke Continental GT3 duo blasted their way to a third consecutive pole position.
Sunday’s race was nothing if an epic battle, where every tenth of a second counted. Tan duly lined up first, initially gaining ground in the frenetic first lap activity, being able to keep his rivals in range for twenty minutes before handing over to Kim in second place for the second half of the race.
Quickly Kim took back the #05 Tilke Bentley Continental GT3 to the first place. However the team’s strategy was ruined by the safety car period with less than twenty minutes to the end. On race restart the Korean driver saw himself in the middle of an unfair fight with Pro drivers for the last couple of laps. Kim fought hard but eventually had to settle for fourth place overall and second in the GT Asia Cup.
Team Director, Fabien Fior said, “Despite not getting the result we wanted there are a lot of positive to take from this weekend. We were the quickest over the weekend. Weiron and Andrew are improving every race, and an overall podium is just a matter of time. We feel sorry for what happened to Adderly and Vutthi. It was an unnecessary maneuver that cost them the weekend. The team did everything they could but the car’s damages were irreparable this weekend. We will now use the summer break to recharge our batteries and come back as fresh as possible for the kick-off the second half of the year at Shanghai.”
The China GT Championship will resume on 9-10 September at Shanghai.