Published on July 3rd, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Lights to Flag GT Asia Series Victory for Fong and Kim at Okayama
As it did 12-months ago, the Okayama round of the GT Asia Series proved to be an entertaining event, with the first race at the popular Japanese circuit delivering plenty of intrigue, right from the opening lap of qualifying through to the final lap of the opening race. Ultimately it was Absolute Team Bentley’s day, with 2015 Okayama winner Adderly Fong and new co-driver Andrew Kim claiming the top spot in both Q1 and the 50-minute race, whilst in the second qualifier, pole was claimed by Fong’s 2015 team-mate and co-winner of the Okayama round, Keita Sawa.
Whilst you could argue that the performance of the Absolute Team Bentley cars in season 2016 has made them favourites at every stop on the calendar to date, the result perhaps disguised just how close the field was, and just how dramatic the race became as the laps wound down.
In the end, the podium saw Fong and Kim joined by Lamborghini’s Edoardo Liberati and Andrea Amici – the Italians carding their third podium of the season in as many rounds – and the first visit by a Porsche team to the GT Asia Series podium this season. Unusually it was not the Craft-Bamboo Racing operation who dominated the 2013 running at Okayama that stood on the third step, but the satellite team of Tim Sugden and GT Asia Series rookie Jono Lester.
Andrew Kim’s brilliant drive in the second leg of the race also provided him the win in the Pro-Am Cup, ahead of Phoenix Racing Asia’s Alex Au and his Audi team-mate Shaun Thong. Despite the recent domination of the silver-silver graded drivers in GT Asia, the Pro-Am drivers held the top four spots in the closing stages of the race, before some late race contact dropped a number of them down the order, but the field was so close at Okayama, that the podium positions were never guaranteed.
1. 7. Fong/Kim (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) – 32-laps
2. 55. Liberati/Amici (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) +18.292
3. 98. Sugden/Lester (GruppeM Racing Porsche GT3-R) +19.568
4. 6. Yoong/Au (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +20.397
5. 5. Thong/Lee (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +22.057
6. 37. Rizzo/Liu (BBT Ferrari 488 GT3) +38.307
7. 12. Van Dam/Bhirombhakdi (Singha Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3) +48.168
8. 3. Bruni/Mok (Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 GT3) +41.976
9. 91. O’Young/Bhirombakdi (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +48.168
10. 88. Lyons/ Yu (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +51.842
11. 95. Miedecke/Morcom (Miedecke Stone Aston Martin Vantage) +1:06.553
12. 8. Venter/Sawa (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) – 31-laps
DNF. 9. Jöns/Inthraphuvasak (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3) – 26-laps