Published on July 18th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Repeat GT Asia Series victory for Singha Motorsport in Fuji
Round seven of the 2016 GT Asia Series was very much a matter of deja-vu with Singha Motorsport’s Piti Bhirombhakdi and Carlo Van Dam claiming their second win in the region’s leading GT championship, completing a double at the iconic Fuji International Speedway in Japan, exactly 12-months after they claimed their maiden win at the same venue and under similar conditions.
Earlier in the day Craft-Bamboo Racing put their championship back on track with Richard Lyons – who had dominated both wet and dry practice sessions on Friday in the #88 Interush Porsche – claiming the top spot in qualifying. He led the opening stanza of the race, handing team-mate Frank Yu the lead at the compulsory stops, the multiple GT Asia Series race winner holding the advantage until a spin on oil left as a result of an unusual engine failure for the points leading BBT Ferrari earlier in the race.
That allowed 2015 Fuji winner Piti Bhirombhakdi to get around Yu and open up an impressive lead, a lead he continued to extend all the way to the chequered flag as Yu recovered to battle team-mate Naiyanobh Bhirombhakdi
and Andrea Amici in the FFF Lamborghini across the closing laps.
Ultimately the race ended with a drag race on the main straight with the V10-powered Huracan just millimetres clear of the #88 Porsche to claim second place, Yu hanging on for third for the team’s first podium of the year with the new Type 991 Porsche GT3-R. For the BBT Ferrari team, they continue to lead the outright points, however their rivals have closed the gap significantly, the top four crews; Liu/Rizzo, Liberati/Amici, Fong/Kim and Lee/Thong now separated by just six points with five rounds remaining, whilst in the Pro-Am class, Anthony Liu’s DNF has allowed Phoenix Racing Asia’s Shaun Thong to take over the points lead.
In the GTC class the battle for victory was almost as dramatic as the outright lead, with points leaders Singha Plan-B Motorsport doing battle with local heroes Toshihito Funai and Masayuki Ueda, the Thai pairing eventually gaining the advantage over the closing stages for their third win of the year.
Whilst the BBT Ferrari team were faced with an almost impossible task having suffered a rare mechanical failure, they were given a championship life-line post-race after three-time GT Asia Series champions Clearwater Racing made a generous offer to their rivals, donating the engine from their #3 Ferrari 488 GT3. The Singapore-based team had always planned a limited schedule for season 2016 with their Le Mans 24-Hour commitment and were not expecting to complete the two Chinese rounds of the Series, so their offer brought their season to a close just one round early, but effectively saved the title aspirations of the BBT team.
*GT Asia Series – Fuji International Speedway, Japan *(16 July)
1. 88. *Richard Lyons* (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) – 1:52.454
2. 37. Davide Rizzo (BBT Ferrari 488 GT3) – 1:52.954
3. 12. Carlo Van Dam (Singha Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3) – 1:53.033
4. 6. Alex Yoong (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 1:53.323
5. 8. Jonathan Venter (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) – 1:53.847
6. 91. Darryl O’Young (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) – 1:53.870
7. 95. George Miedecke (Miedecke Stone Aston Martin Vantage) – 1:53.884
8. 98. Tim Sugden (GruppeM Racing Porsche GT3-R) – 1:54.043
9. 55. Edoardo Liberati (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) – 1:54.165
10. 5. Shaun Thong (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 1:54.423
1. 55. *Andrea Amici *(FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) – 1:53.864
2. 37. Anthony Liu (BBT Ferrari 488 GT3) – 1:53.894
3. 95. Ashley Walsh (Miedecke Stone Aston Martin Vantage) – 1:54.066
4. 8. Keita Sawa (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) – 1:54.110
5. 12. Piti Bhirombhakdi (Singha Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3) – 1:54.186
6. 5. Marchy Lee (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 1:54.608
7. 88. Frank Yu (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) – 1:55.410
8. 3. Richard Wee (Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 GT3) – 1:55.858
9. 7. Andrew Kim (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) – 1:55.939
10. 9. Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3) –
1. 12. *Van Dam/Bhirombhakdi *(Singha Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3) – 30-laps
2. 55. Liberati/Amici (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) +41.085
3. 88. Lyons/Yu (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +44.985
4. 91. O’Young/Bhirombakdi (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +45.548
5. 9. Tappy/Inthraphuvasak (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3) +46.183
6. 8. Venter/Sawa (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +51.496
7. 6. Yoong/Au (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +1:06.696
8. 7. Fong/Kim (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +1:08.796
9. 5. Thong/Lee (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +1:19.282
10. 95. Miedecke/Walsh (Miedecke Stone Aston Martin Vantage) +1:38.860