Published on October 22nd, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Liberati, Amici and Lamborghini are 2016 GT Asia Series Champions
After 12 dramatic rounds, the 2016 GT Asia Series has come to its conclusion with two young Italian stars claiming the crown after a final event that perhaps fittingly, provided plenty of intrigue.
Ultimately it came down to the final race of the season in wet and tricky conditions, for FFF Racing Team by ACM Lamborghini stars Edoardo Liberati and Andrea Amici to claim the title, and with it, the first ever championship victory for the new Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
For title rivals Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo, their final couldn’t have been any worse.. Needing to reduce the deficit to the points leaders by just nine points coming in, their event started perfectly with both Liu and Rizzo claiming front row starts in qualifying.
Sadly from there things went sideways starting from the opening lap of race one, with Rizzo tagged by outgoing champion Darryl O’Young – from there it was a matter of playing catch-up as the advantage swung back in favour of the two young Italians who were battling their own issues. Rizzo stormed back though the pack to catch the leaders, but made heavy impact with the rear of the GruppeM Porsche under brakes in near zero visibility, forcing the team’s second retirement of the year. The AF Corse supported BBT team regrouped to repair the car for race two, three hours later, with Liu starting strongly before a spin at turn three – again on the opening lap – saw him tagged by the pack as they tried to avoid him. Starting once more from the rear of the field, the two Ferrari drivers charged back through the field to finish sixth.
Whilst the BBT team endured their toughest event of the season, Phoenix Racing Asia delivered another strong result with Alex Yoong and team-mate Alex Au claiming their maiden wins in GT Asia in Round 11, whilst team-mates Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong closed out the season with two podium finishes to advance to second in the championship on debut.
Along with their outright championship victory, Liberati and Amici were also crowned the Pro-Cup champions for the 2016 season, whilst Shaun Thong finished his debut season in GT Asia as the Am-Cup champion.
Bentley Team Absolute – by claiming four wins in the 12-round season – were crowned GT Asia Series Teams champions, whilst Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and Kantasak Kusiri claimed the GTC Class crown.
1. 6. Yoong/Au (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 24-laps
2. 7. Fong/Kim (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +23.717
3. 5. Thong/Lee (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +26.057
4. 88. Lyons/Yu (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +38.705
5. 15. Mapelli/Mul (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) +41.886
6. 96. Zhang/Li (GruppeM Racing Porsche GT3-R) +48.471
7. 55. Liberati/Amici (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) +52.652
8. 8. Venter/Sawa (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +1:00.322
9. 9. Tappy/Inthraphuvasak (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3) +1:20.495
10. 91. O’Young/Bhirombhakdi (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) – 15-laps
11. 37. Rizzo/Liu (BBT Ferrari 488 GT3) – 4-laps
1. 15. Mul/Mapelli (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) – 25-laps
2. 5. Lee/Thong (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +16.872
3. 55. Amici/Liberati (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) +17.834
4. 8. Sawa/Venter (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +21.078
5. 6. Yoong/Au (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +21.698
6. 37. Liu/Rizzo (BBT Ferrari 488 GT3) +30.165
7. 88. Yu/Lyons (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +31.560
8. 7. Kim/Fong (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +49.771
9. 91. Bhirombhakdi/O’Young (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +1:18.997
10. 96. Li/Zhang (GruppeM Racing Porsche GT3-R) – 12-laps
11. 9. Tappy/Inthraphuvasak (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3) – 1-lap