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Khun Suphong Khamtonwong bagged two very emphatic victories in Buriram that elevate him into the lead of the championship standings at the halfway point in the season.

He started from pole in the first race and wasn’t headed to the checkered flag as he set about racking up the first of two maximum scores from the weekend.

Khun Suphong was helped as it went off behind him in dramatic fashion. Khun Nuttapon Kaewkanjanasat, who started from the outside of the front row came under immediate pressure from Khun Jakraphan Davee and Khun Kmik Karnasuta who had started from Row 2. That battle culminated in the three cars being locked together side-by-side into Turn 4 and as they exited the high speed corner, Khun Nuttapon on the outside spin, came across, hit the barriers on the inside with his right hand front corner before recovering and coming back onto the track with badly damaged car, he limped towards Turn 5. However he clipped the back end of the #2 Mitsubishi Mirage of Khun Ekasit Namsaengpa and that tipped the yellow car into a roll, the Mirage ending up on its roof.

When racing resumed Khun Suphong pulled out a few lengths and behind him there was a superb battle for P2 as championship leader Khun Konpichit moved through the tussle between Khun Jakraphan and Khun Kmik to grab the runners up spot and start to edge away. Behind him Khun Jakraphan and Khun Kmik battled hard before P3 was decided in the favour of the former although Khun Kmik tried everything he could to wrest back the spot and was less than a tenth of a second adrift at the checkered flag.

In front of that battle of the race Khun Suphong cruised to a pretty comfortable 3.933-second win while Khun Konpichit claimed P2 having eased three seconds away from the tussle behind him. The final podium step went to Khun Chayapon Yotha who came out on top of a massed battle for position in the lower half of the top ten.

Khun Suphong made it two out of two for the weekend in the second race while Khun Kmik got back to his scintillating form, the youngster racing home as the runner up, 3.4-seconds back. Third went to Khun Jakraphan, his second third place of the weekend and his third on the trot, while fourth went to the improving Khun Sittron Phromsombat. The final podium step went to Khun Paveen Dangsa-nga who led home Krating Daeng teammate Khun Konpichit.

Two victories on the return visit to Buriram gives Khun Suphong three out of four wins for the year so far and with another solitary point added for P10 in the other race that moves him up to 61 points in the standings and into the championship lead.

Erstwhile classification leader Khun Konpichit collected points for a second and sixth place to move up to 56 points; he’s lost the top spot on the classification but is just 5 points adrift of Khun Suphong at the halfway point in the season. With Khun Suphong set to miss the upcoming Bira round that will give Khun Konpichit a great opportunity to bounce back into the championship lead when the Super Eco runners next take to the track. The top five in the standings is completed by Khun Jakraphan (36), Khun Paveen (27) and Khun Naruchit (26), the latter still recovering after illness and an upgrade to the Team Donut Brio’s engine tuning and ECU that hadn’t quite harmonised in time for the weekend. Chasing hard on their heels are promising youngster Khun Kmik (25) and the first of the two B-Quik Racing drivers’, Khun Attapot Sriprom (22).

Ben Potter

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