- First pole-position for Fong/Vutthikorn
- Tan/Kim completes team’s swap on qualifying sessions
- Hard Memory endured another learning weekend
Zhuhai, July 9th, 2017 – The China GT Championship took the 4.3 kilometres long Chinese circuit of Zhuhai this weekend for the Round 3 & 4. For Bentley Team Absolute the weekend was tough but the Continental GT3 showed to be the fastest car in the GT3 class.
The weekend started promisingly, with Adderly Fong and Vutthikorn Inthrapuvasak taking superbly the pole-position for race one on Friday. Teammates Andrew Kim and Weiron Tan had a good run and were the fourth fastest. As China GT Championship qualifying time consists in both drivers combined times, with the average of both best laps the qualifying time for that car, Alex Imperatori and movie star Han Geng had to settle for P12.
The instability of the Zhuhai weather has created a chaotic first race on Saturday that started badly for Bentley Team Absolute. Vutthikorn and Kim collided in the beginning, ruining any chance of obtaining a good result. Kim lost out a few positions and Vutthikorn managed to rejoin the race in the back of the field and one lap down.
On a cut-short race Fong, who had no time to show his top form, and Vutthikorn were P8, crossing the finish line one place in front of teammates Imperatori and Han Geng.
On lap 15, Tan spun and the #5 Tilke Continental GT3 did not return to the race.
Nevertheless, the day finished on high note for the Bentley Team Absolute boys. Tan/Kim and Fong/Vutthikorn made a brilliant “1-2” for the team in the Qualifying session for the race two. The #9 Hard Memory Continental GT3 duo qualified P13.
In (almost) glorious sunshine, Sunday race two saw Tan making a flying start. The young Malaysian held the first position until the compulsory pit-stop despite the pressure from behind. Kim took over the wheel of the #5 Tilke Continental GT3 but eventually he lost three positions, finishing fourth overall and third between the GT Asia Cup competitors.
#88 Tilke Continental GT3 race came to an halt due to a turbo issue outside of the team’s control, while #9 Hard Memory Continental GT3 was forced to stop following a gearbox failure caused by an early incident.
Team Director, Ingo matter said, “The team blistering pace in qualifying did not translate into race success this weekend. The race one accident ruined both drivers’ races and the team result, and unfortunately Weiron and Andrew missed out on the podium despite fighting hard this afternoon. Overall it was a disappointing weekend for us, but on the plus side we were on pace every session. We know that we will be fast from the outset in two week’s time, when we visit again Zhuhai.”
Rounds 5 and 6 of the China GT Championship take place again at the Zhuhai on July 29/30.