Darryl O’Young is once again tied for the lead in the GT Asia Series drivers’ championship after an incredible last minute dash by teammate, Daniel Lloyd, helped the pair to victory in race one at the Shanghai International Circuit. The #88 Interush Aston Martin of, Richard Lyons and Frank Yu, started the race on pole and were looking like strong contenders for the win until two separate incidents of contact ruined their chances.
“The race was good; obviously Daniel drove an excellent stint at the end”, said O’Young. “The safety car really played into our hands in the final part of the race which worked out for us. After my pit stop we were able to get back out there and attack and the team did a great job, especially with Daniel’s overtaking in the final few laps. It was a good race and hopefully tomorrow goes well as we are starting on pole.”
O’Young started the race in P8 and after a long battle in the midfield, the Hong Kong driver handed over to teammate Lloyd at the start of the pit window. The young Brit began to move his way up and was making good progress until a large accident brought out the safety car. After the extensive safety car period, there were only a few minutes of race one remaining. Lloyd, who was in P5, didn’t give up and instantly made the jump on the Ferrari of Liu as the safety car returned to the pits. From here, Lloyd was on a mission to hunt down the leader before the flag fell. In an incredible display of skill, the Craft-Bamboo driver closed the gap and fought his way to the front of the grid, taking P1 with a superb maneuver, running three wide on the way into the first corner. Lloyd executed the daring challenge perfectly and was now in the lead with one lap left. In a nail biting finish, Lloyd roared down the pit straight for the final time at the front of the pack and took the win for the #99 VLT Aston Martin.
Richard Lyons made an excellent start from pole position, maintaining the lead before edging away from those behind. Using the clear space ahead, Lyons focused on consistently quick lap times and stayed ahead until changing over to, Frank Yu, on lap 14. Frank came out of the pits and continued to lead until contact from the Ferrari of, Todd Piti, spun the #88 Interush Aston Martin around. Frank quickly recovered and hung on to P3 as the safety car was called out. When the safety car returned to the pits Frank continued his challenge but was hit from the rear at the last turn on the lead up to the restart, spinning him around once more. Unable to safely rejoin the track until the field had passed, Frank was now in last place. Not giving up though, Frank fought to regain some positions and finished the race in P11.