The 8th Bangsaen Thailand Speed Festival saw non stop action across the programme and in what is always one of the most popular racing categories with fans, Super 2000, it was the usual thrills and spills all the way with the top titles still up for grabs on the streets, while in the newest addition to the Thailand Super Series (TSS) package, Super Car Class 3-GTC, the inaugural title wasn’t decided until the checkered flag fell for the final time on the closing day.

Super Car Class 3-GTC might be the newest category in the bumper programme but it’s certainly one which promises so much for the future as an exciting new ‘entry level’ platform into Super Car and there was a very familiar face on top of the podium for both races and he wrapped up the inaugural title much to the delight of race fans in Bangsaen.

IMG_4401_resizeThat ‘familiar face’ was Japanese hotshot Khun Akihiro Asai. He first pitched up in Super Car four years ago and snuck through at the very last gasp here in Bangsaen to win the 2011 Super Car N/A title. This year he did pretty much thing and after a string of setbacks during the opening races of the season he steadily worked his way back into contention, albeit mathematically, but Khun Akihiro still needed a clean sweep in Bangsaen if he was to claim the title. Two wins was the bare minimum required.

Khun Akihito however performed superbly, driving carefully and conservatively before working his way into the lead in both races, nursing his Ferrari 430 Challenge while pulling out an advantage. In the end he claimed the first-ever Super Car Class 3-GTC title by the slenderest of margins, just 3 points. He was certainly a highly popular – and well-deserved – choice of champion.

IMG_4264_resizeSuper 2000, meanwhile, is the headlining ‘touring car’ championship in Thailand and it’s rapidly growing in stature as one of the most competitive series in South East Asia – certainly more and more teams and drivers are coming here from overseas to chase this coveted prize. The Overall and Class B titles were up for grabs and that made the action even more explosive in Bangsaen.

In the end Khun Tin Sritrai was able to build on his year long championship lead and the BMW driver nailed down the Overall title after winning the first race while Khun Pitsanu Sirimongkolkasem zipped up the Class B title after two very impressive class wins which included a stunning Overall victory in the second race as he led out the front wheel drive cars chasing Khun Tin’s E90 in both races. Singha Cosmo TT Motorsport has a roster of ambitious drivers that have really perfected the art of close quarters combat, if there is some door rubbing to be done you will usually find them involved, and that committed fighting spirit helped them to secure double Teams’ title success, both in the Overall championship as well as in the hotly fought out Class B.

Ben Potter

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