On a less than easy weekend in the streets of Bangsaen, Thailand, Absolute Racing serviced teams added another win to its tally. Team StarChase’s Philip Hamprecht won the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) Round 5 as Bao Jing Long took the honors for Zheng Tong Auto in the Pro-Am Class.
As with many Carrera Cup series this year, PCCA switched to the second generation 911 GT3 Cup car, bringing faster lap times amongst a number of improvements to the 12thedition of the Bangsaen Grand Prix.
Hamprecht registered the second best time in qualifying. This year’s PCCA returnee Maxime Jousse timed in sixth fastest, while Tanart Sathienthirakul posted the seventh best time. AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing’s Jousse and est cola PTT’s Sathienthirakul were promoted one place up the grid because of an opponent grid penalty.
Further back in the field, Yuan Bo was placed seventh on the grid, while Bao Jing Long, who did the fastest lap time of Pro-Am class, received a two-place grid penalty for crossing the pitlane entry line. Due to this penalty he lined up in third-place of the class for both races.
Street circuits are unforgiving to any mistakes and Daniel Lu Wenlong learned it on the hard way on Friday but the fast-learner 16-year-old Shanghainese driver bounced back to qualify in 15th.
On a tough race one for Absolute Racing serviced teams on Saturday, after starting from 5th in the grid, Maxime Jousse finished a magnificent third in his team home turf race. The Frenchman saw himself returning to the PCCA podium after a promising second-place finish in the opening round of the season in Shanghai.
A seventh-place overall at the flag represented a valuable second-place finish in the Pro-Am class for Zheng Tong Auto’s Bao Jin Long.
Porsche China Junior Team driver and series debutant Daniel Lu Wenlong finished 15thoverall on his first ever race in a street track.
Local hero Sathienthirakul and race-favorite Hamprecht were victims of this grueling street circuit as so was Yuan Bo, who after being involved in a crash during qualifying did not take part in the afternoon race.
On Sunday’s scorching hot Round 5, things went back to “normality” for the Absolute Racing serviced teams. Hamprecht put on a world-class performance, winning for the third time this season. Despite the fact the German youngster driver lost the first position in the drivers’ championship standings due to the pitiless DNF in Round 4, Team StarChase is still heading the Porsche Dealer Trophy classification.
Jousse and Sathienthirakul just missed out on a podium finish as both rounded out the top-five in fourth and fifth respectively. Jousse’s fourth-place finish allowed him to move up to fifth in the standings. In front of his home crowd Sathienthirakul, who had to drive the last few laps without power steering, posted his best result of the year so far.
Yuan Bo made a dramatic comeback on Sunday after sitting out on Saturday race after a long night of repairs. The Porsche Shanghai Waigaoqiao & Pudong driver delivered a flawless race, which ended with a six-place finish; the best result so far this season for the 2016 Carrera Cup Asia Class B champion.
Zheng Tong Auto’s Bao Jin Long saw the checkered flag in seventh position, enough to win in the Pro-Am class for the second time this year as he closed the gap to the “Gentleman Drivers” category leader. The Chinese driver lies third in the Pro-Am standings.
Without taking unnecessary risks but improving every single lap, Daniel Lu rounded off the top-ten, collecting important points for the championship, where he now lies in 11th. All the six Absolute Racing serviced cars finished the second race of the weekend in the top-10.
Team Director, Fabien Fior: “Sunday’s great result doesn’t give us a real picture how tough the weekend was for the team. Bangsaen doesn’t give room to mistakes. We had too many crashes and heavy accidents but we managed to bounce back and when our drivers had a clear run, on Sunday, we won the race with Philip, the Pro-Am class with Bao, and placed our six cars in top six.”
Next up for PCCA will be held on 4th/5th August at Sydney in Australia.
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