Published on June 13th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
GT Asia Series victory for Phoenix Racing Asia in Thailand
Phoenix Racing Asia’s Marchy Lee turned in one of the best drives of his long career to record the team’s maiden GT Asia Series victory at Buriram, the Hong Kong-based driver, together with rising Audi star Shaun Thong prevailing in the Thailand heat despite some strong competition right from the opening lap.
Carlo Van Dam stole the initial advantage from Thong during an intense qualifying session, the experienced Dutch driver taking the Singha Motorsport Ferrari 458 he shares with local hero Piti Bhirombhakdi to the top spot from Shuan Thong by a mere three one hundredths of a second. Ultimately the top six cars were separated by just half a second.
The second qualifier saw another battle for the top of the timesheets, this time a repeat performance of what we witnessed in South Korea, with Marchy Lee and Anthony Liu going head-to-head separated by just hundredths of a second. In the end it was Liu who claimed the top spot, displacing Lee in the final seconds of the session for pole, with Lamborghini’s Andrea Amici third.
The action started from the opening lap of the first 60-minute race, with a penalty for the FFF Racing Lamborghini, whilst up front Carlo Van Dam held the field at bay. Davide Rizzo was the big mover early as Shaun Thong faded with a brake pressure issue, but the Italian Ferrari driver had a spin whilst battling for second.
With Van Dam pitting from the lead to hand the car to Piti, Duncan Tappy took over the top spot before his stop. Sadly, despite rejoining with a comfortable lead, which he extended with every lap, Piti was forced to endure a drive-through penalty for leaving his pit bay too soon during the compulsory stop.
By that stage Marchy Lee had charged back through the field to catch and overtake the Bentley’s of Vutthikorn and Andrew Kim to claim an emphatic win for the Hong Kong-based team.