Commanding weekend confirms Absolute Racing’s titles ambitions
Absolute Racing came away from Suzuka as the outfit in form after another glittering performance in the third race meeting of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia.
- Race win and championship lead for Sathienthirakul/Hamprecht
- Inthraphuvasak moves up to first in Pro/Am class
- All Chinese line-up first overall podium
Tanart Sathienthirakul and Philip Hamprecht race one win and race two third place finish made them the top scorer of the weekend and moved the Thai-German duo up to first in the GT3 Overall and Silver Cup standings. Absolute Racing is leading the Teams’ standings.
And there was more success for Absolute Racing as Yuan Bo, who teamed up with Leo Ye Hongli this weekend, scored his first Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia podium finish with second in race one and Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak finished both races in the Pro/Am Class podium, ascending to first in the standings.
Tanart Sathienthirakul and Philip Hamprecht led an Absolute Racing one-two and podium clean sweep for Porsche in this weekend’s first race. The #911 Absolute Racing pair crossed the line 6.2s ahead of team-mates Yuan Bo and Leo Ye Hongli. Both car benefited from a puncture on pole-sitter and race leader Martin Rump from Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute.
Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak led the Pro/Am challenge throughout the opening stint before pitting from fifth. German co-driver Marco Holzer, who replaced Alexandre Imperatori this weekend, then did his best to overturn Panther/AAS Motorsport’s 15s Pitstop Success Penalty to finish sixth.
The second race of the weekend had three periods of safety-car with the top six crossing the finish line within just less than two seconds. Starting from second on the grid, Holzer handed the car to Inthraphuvasak in second. Unfortunately due to the safety-car interruptions the Thai driver didn’t have a proper chance to overtake to first.
Hamprecht and Sathienthirakul overcame their 15s Pitstop Success Penalty to finish in the position they started the race, in third, while Yuan Bo and Leo Ye made up two places to finish sixth.
The battle for the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia title resumes in two weeks’ time at Japan’s Fuji Speedway from July 5 to 7.
Fabien Fior (Team Director): “It’s been a really good weekend for the team, and it could have been even better if the safety-car didn’t deprive us from another overall win in race two. Still, we are now leading the GT3 Teams, the Silver Cup and the Pro/Am Class classifications. It’s our best start to the season ever and all the cars have been reliable at each start. I’m very happy as we head to Fuji.”
#911 Tanart Sathienthirakul: “All in all, it’s been a very good race weekend. On Saturday we took all the chances we had. My stint went very good. Comparing to Martin (Rump) we didn’t have much pace but I tried to not lose much time. Before I pitted I didn’t know where I was. I’m super happy with the result. On Sunday we had a 15 Pitstop Success Penalty, but we still managed to finish in the podium, which is really good for the points. ”
#911 Philip Hamprecht: “This has clearly been an excellent weekend for the team. On Saturday we put the oldest tyres there were left from qualifying because we had a pace advantage. I tried to control the race, lost some time in the end but we won anyway. In race two, it was a bit difficult during my stint because the two drivers in front were on new tyres. I could keep the pace in the first four laps but after I had to look after the tyres. Tanart did a great stint and we managed another podium.”
#912 Leo Ye: “This was my first time driving with Yuan Bo and I am delighted to be on the podium as a professional Chinese Silver-Silver line-up. Unfortunately, we did not have a good starting position in race two, because in qualifying we never had a clean lap as it was hard to overtake the Pro-Am cars. Although we did not perform to our maximum potential in race two, we still brought the car home successfully in sixth overall. I want to say thanks to my team-mate, who did an amazing job during the whole weekend.”
#912 Yuan Bo: “I’m really happy to have finish on the overall podium in race one, it’s a great reward for the team who worked unbelievably hard to make it happen. Looking forward to our next race in two weeks’ time at Fuji.”
#918 Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak: “It’s been an excellent weekend. I think I had a quite good start in race one and my pace was consistent. I decided to not take any risk as I needed to score points. The second race was a bit frustrating with two safety car periods. We didn’t have many actual racing laps, but we still brought the car home competitively.”
#918 Marco Holzer: “Overall it was a great weekend. My job was to help Vutti score as many points as possible for the championship and we had two impressive races. We were a little bit unlucky with the safety car but still came second overall. The team did an amazing job the whole week and driving this track was amazing.”
#911 Absolute Racing
Tanart Sathienthirakul/Philip Hamprecht
Race 1: P1 (1stSilver Cup)
Race 2: P3 (1stSilver Cup)
#912 Absolute Racing
Leo Ye/Yuan Bo
Race 1: P2 (2ndPro/Am)
Race 2: P6 (4thPro/Am)
#918 Panther/AAS Motorsport
Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak/Marco Holzer
Race 1: P6 (3rdPro/Am)
Race 2: P2 (2ndPro/Am)