Double Victory at Ningbo
Absolute Racing headed to the new Ningbo International Speedpark for the weekend’s two joint GT Masters Asia and GT Asia Series races. Following the win at the GT Asia Series season-opener in Sepang, Bhurit Bhrombhakdi and Kantasak Kusiri stormed to an outstanding double victory in China.
In the first qualifying session on Saturday morning, Bhurit Bhirombhakdi put #59 Singha PlanB Motorsport by Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS on pole position for the first race of the weekend. Sun Jinzhou qualified fourth in the #13 Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS, while Vincent Floirendo placed the #155 EN Sports by Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS in sixth.
Bhirombhakdi and Kusiri (#59 Singha PlanB Motorsport by Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS) fought all the way from pole to win. The Thai duo carried their wonderful qualifying form into the race and set a fast pace from the early laps with Kusiri at wheel. Bhirombhakdi received the car with a 20-second lead and controlled the pace to hold on to the win, conquering the team’s second overall victory this year.
In the #13 Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS, Sun did a flawless stint before handing over the car to his teammate in fourth. Cheng did a great job at setting a strong pace from the start of his stint. Chinese motorsport star put in a wheel-perfect performance, charging from fourth to second over the course of the second part of the race.
#155 EN Sports by Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS pair Floirendo and Fong took the chequered flag in fifth place. Floirendo kept the car in sixth with Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup mentor Fong using his experience to climb to fifth place, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.
Sunday began just like the day before with a 15-minute qualifying session for AM drivers. Despite running the full 50kg success ballast Bhirombhakdi qualified third, while Sun, who carried extra 35kg, took the fourth best time of the session and Floirendo recorded the ninth.
Kusiri was nominated to start the race and he continued to show his strong pace over the opening laps, moving up to second. A stellar pit-stop performance allowed Bhirombhakdi to inherit the lead. Once at the front, he set his own pace, weaving in and out of lapped traffic, crossing the finish line with a 2.8 second cushion over second-place finisher Cheng Congfu for his team second win of the weekend.
Sun took the #13 Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS opening stint. The Chinese “Gentleman Driver” made an excellent start, working his way up into third place overall before handing over driving duties to Cheng Congfu. He picked up the challenge and put in an excellent stint, managing to make one place and posting the fastest lap of the race.
Floirendo made an excellent getaway off the line to move into fourth position before dropping back later on his stint to ninth. Fong took the last stint and immediately set to work moving the EN Sports-backed Audi up through the order and had expertly made his way up into fourth at the flag.
Team Manager, Michael Schneider said; “All three driver pairings did a perfect job and secured us a double victory this weekend! Ningbo is a technical and difficult track and the hot temperatures didn’t make it easier. The drivers and the team had to go to their limits but together we succeed.”
Next event will take place at the Shanghai International Circuit on August 11/12.
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