Published on June 3rd, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
TCR Thailand & Super Car GTM 2016 Race Results
Thailand Super Series (TSS) is all about ‘firsts’, breaking new ground and reaching new heights.
That was exactly the story across two of the key categories on the programme as the brand new TCR Thailand concept arrived with a very big splash along with sky-high ambitions while Super Car GTC raised its game with fresh names and teams in the winners’ circles, driving new and improved machines.
TCR Thailand unleashed a new breed of racecars here for the first time, 2.0-litre turbocharged ‘touring cars’ that were just as exciting dynamically as they looked visually. Anticipation was in the air as these new machines hit the track with big reputation drivers behind the wheel – such as Khun Carlo Van Dam, Khun Jack Lemvard, Khun Grant Supaphong and Khun Chen Jian Hong – and that just added to the explosive mix. Everyone was looking at the timing screens.
In the end it was Khun Carlo who etched his name into the history books by winning the first ever TCR Thailand race and he proceeded to make it a clean sweep of victories by swiftly elbowing his way through the pack after the reverse grid for the second race so no one else got a look in at the top step of the podium all weekend.
But the Dutchman didn’t have it too easy as Khun Jack and Khun Chen Jian Hong in particular took the fight to him and they bagged an overall runner up spot each.
Krating Daeng’s other driver, Khun Grant Supaphong, was also right in the mix and it’s shaping up to be an exciting year for TCR Thailand with further new cars and drivers set to flow onto the grid as the year progresses.
Meanwhile, the new season for Super Car GTC kicked off in Buriram and here there were also new faces and new cars as this ‘feeder’ category steps up to the plate to become the second ‘Super Car’ racing category in Thailand. As ever for ‘GTC’, the balance swung lap by lap and in the two races there were two different winners in two different cars.
One of those two cars was brand new to GTM. The rakish Reiter Engineering-built KTM X-Bow GT4 has been added to Vattana Motorsport’s racecar portfolio and in the first race it proved just as fast as it looked, Khun Narasak Ittritpong planted it on pole and then powered to victory to hand the menacing carbon-fibre machine a perfect debut win. A successful introduction to Thai racing life for the X-Bow and another note in the history books from the weekend.
In the second race it was an experienced Super Car hand who swept to victory as Khun Pete Thongchua claimed maximum points in the #17 Mazda RX-8 to get his Drivers’ title challenge off to a great start.
In fact there was much than just the victory as the Rotary Revolution built Mazdas rose to the occasion and claimed the Teams’ trophy in both races. Astounding results for this small concern that only last year embarked on a highly ambitious plan to develop its own breed of racecars. That plan – or maybe dream was a better word – was thoroughly vindicated in the North East and they must now be considered capable of mounting a serious challenge for the Teams’ title.
There were plenty more success stories to emerge from GTM’s hot and hectic weekend in Buriram. Toyota added one of its star drivers, Khun Manat Kulapalanont, to the category mix and he proceeded to really shake up the order, hustling the pace setting KTM.
B-Quik Racing bagged a podium on its debut in GTM thanks for the efforts of its rookie driver Khun Attapot Sriprom, fresh from Super Eco, Khun U-tain Pongprapas enjoyed a trip to the rostrum as he superbly made the step up from Super 1500, while one of the best of the ‘graduate’ performances came from Super 2000 regular Khun Rudolf Yu who took over the Ginetta and was bang on the front running pace all weekend.