Clazzio Racing Takes Third Consecutive Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Victory in Shanghai

Race 9 LC Winner 852 Challengers.

Clazzio Racing earned a third consecutive Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia victory, taking a dominant win from pole in the opening race of the weekend’s double header at China’s Shanghai International Circuit. Leading at one point by 10 seconds over their closest rivals, Clazzio Racing stormed to the chequered flag ahead of rivals in Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat of Leipert Motorsport and FFF Racing Team by ACM drivers Andrea Amici and Artur Janosz.

Race 9ProAm Winner Leipert Motorsport

Taking Pro Am honours for the fourth time this season were Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka of Leipert Motorsport.  The Finnish pair were fourth overall, with Puhakka getting past James Pull of FFF Racing Team by ACM on the penultimate lap to cross the line ahead of the Pro driver. Second on the Pro Am podium was Gama Racing’s Evan Chen and Akihiro Asai, while Takeshi Matsumoto and Toshiyuki Ochiai of Hojust Racing took the final podium spot.

Winning the Am class was the Chinese driver pairing of Bian and Pan Chao, while Hong Kong’s Paul Wong and Clement Li of 852 Challengers extended their lead atop the Lamborghini Cup standings with their class win from GDL Racing’s Gabriele Murroni.

Amici and Janosz continue to lead the Pro category on 109 points, 18 ahead of Bartholomew and Pull. Gersekowski is a further two points back, while Cozzolino and Yazid, who only joined the series five races ago are fourth.

Eskelinen and Puhakka now have a narrow two-point lead over Chen and Asai, while Bobby Buncharoen of True Visions Motorsports Thailand leads the Am category. Wong and Li lead the Lamborghini Cup ahead of Murroni.

Race 9 LC Winner 852 Challengers.

With Cozzolino having secured pole position with a 2:04.651 lap of the 5.451km home of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix in this morning’s qualifying session, the reigning Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Pro champions were hoping to convert their pace into a third win. Lining up alongside Cozzolino was Matsumoto, while Amici and Asai formed the second row. Gersekowski started from fifth on the grid, with Eskelinen in the sister Leipert Motorsport car beside him on row three.

As the lights went green at the rolling start, Cozzolino held the lead, while Gersekowski made his way up from fifth on the grid to second. Amici, who had not had the best start, initially fell back but recovered quickly to climb to third, just behind Gersekowski. By the end of the opening lap, Cozzolino had opened a gap of 1.3 seconds from Gersekowski and Amici, followed by Matsumoto leading the Pro Am class just ahead of Chen. 

“As soon as we started Free Practice we realized we had to work hard – it wasn’t like the other races in Japan where we knew we were up there,” explained Cozzolino. “We had to work a lot. I didn’t sleep last night to figure out even my driving technique, where I could improve. I talked to the team to figure out where we could improve with the tyres, the set-up and we kind of made a gamble with it in qualifying and I made that amazing lap of 2:04.651.

As a pitched battle for second developed between Gersekowski, Amici and Matsumoto, Cozzolino took the opportunity to build a solid lead and by the end of Lap 4, was already more than five seconds ahead of his rivals. Meanwhile, Amici was piling the pressure on Gersekowski, but the Australian defended well. Matsumoto fell back a little, and soon Gersekowski and Amici were nose-to-tail as they fought for position.

Behind the leaders, Eskelinen, who had dropped down the order after the start, was gaining on class rival Chen, as Pan led the Am class. In the Lamborghini Cup, series newcomer Dai Yoshihara of yH Racing Team led from Murroni and Wong.

Wong was the first driver to head into the pits when the window opened, handing over to Li to try and improve the team’s position. Li made use of his extra time in the car, taking advantage of errors from his rivals to get ahead to take a sixth class win of the season.

By the time Cozzolino handed over to Yazid, Clazzio Racing had built up a 10-second lead – an advantage they retained in the early stages of Yazid’s stint. But while Yazid held a comfortable lead, there was still plenty of drama to come.

On Lap 15, contact between Ochiai, running in third, and a hard-charging Janosz in fourth tipped the Japanese driver into a spin. Janosz moved up to third behind Cozzolino and Muscat, while Ochiai dropped to fifth behind  FFF Racing Team by ACM driver James Pull.

Muscat began to hunt down Yazid, closing the gap with each passing lap until only three seconds separated the pair at the chequered flag.  Meanwhile Puhakka began reeling in Ochiai, getting past him on Lap 17 to take over the Pro Am lead and move into fifth overall. But a blistering Puhakka was not done and he next set his sights on Pull, closing the gap to the Briton before a successful move for fourth overall.