The world’s most thrilling single make series has returned to Buriram’s Chang International Circuit in Thailand for the second time in as many years for another weekend of action packed racing thrills kicking off today, as drivers and teams took to the track to go to battle in round two of the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series.
The Super Trofeo is dedicated to creating the most thrilling race weekends for competitors across its four series around the Globe. With stops all over the continent, visiting the most iconic track locations in the region, the Asia series has attracted the attention of local teams, as well as several European and Middle Eastern teams wanting to take part in the unmissable excitement offered by racing in the Far East. Thailand’s Buriram International Circuit is a perfect example, having been awarded top grades by the FIA and FIM, meeting Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s world class standards.
A stunning array of liveries awed guests and spectators, with the excitement palpable as the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo took to the grid in an awesome display of Italian automotive design, fitting with the beautiful backdrop of Thailand’s top race track.
With the heat continuing to rise throughout the morning through the Qualifying Sessions and into the afternoon, race one got underway at 1.40pm local time. Track temperatures peaked midway through the race at a sizzling 55 degrees C, with humidity dropping from the low 60s to the mid 50s.
With the formation lap completed, racing got underway in earnest, with PRO driver Cozzolino Kei starting at the front of the grid in Clazzio Racing’s car #11 setting off at a blistering pace, quickly putting a gap of two seconds between him and Rik Breukers with GDL racing in second, who, in turn was being pushed hard by Australian driver Ben Gersekowski of Leipert in third and Lazarus’ Artur Janosz in fourth. Further down the field, there was also action in the AM class, when Stephen Hong racing with JRM lost a place to Doyun Hwang of X-One Racing team in lap three. Meanwhile Mikko Eskelinen with Leipert also passed Hong and Hwang, having started further back on the grid than his PRO-AM class competitors, fighting back after losing two positions in the opening laps.
As the race progressed, Hwang continued to keep pressure up on Eskelinen, with the two drivers running almost nose to tail for much of the first part of the race, both passing local AM driver Bobby Suttiluck in lap six for eighth and ninth positions respectively. Back at the front, by lap nine, Kei had orchestrated a very comfortable lead, with an eight second gap between him and Breukers.
The Pit Lane opened on lap twelve, indicating the start of the mandatory driver change period, with PRO-AM teams FFF Racing and Leipert opting for an early driver change. X-One racing also swapped drivers, after Andrew Haryanto’s competitive Q2 run earlier in the day showed he was on good form and took over car #69 for the second stint.
Meanwhile, Clazzio Racing pitted on lap fourteen, by which time Kei had added another second to his now nine second buffer. With all cars now having made their stops and with driver changes complete, the intensity was turned up a notch as teams fought to make up time and fight for their class leads. As positions shook themselves down, one team who had obviously benefitted from the pit stop period was GDL Racing, with their strategy putting them in second position on track, less than five seconds off the back of the leading Clazzio Racing car, now with Afiq Yazid at the wheel. PRO drivers Toby Sowery of Lazarus and Rory Collingbourne of Leipert had the pace to chase AM driver Farmer down over the next few laps, pushing the GDL driver into fourth overall by lap twenty.
In lap twenty two, Maxx Ebenal with Leipert got past local driver Saravut Sereethoranakul racing with P.S.C. Motorsport, while Haryanto followed suit in lap twenty three to go into pole in the AM class.
In the last five minutes of the race, the pressure was on all drivers to get the best result possible; Supachai Weeraborwornpong had a spin, causing yellow flags to come out momentarily, however he was able to recover quickly enough to maintain his lead position in the Lamborghini Cup class from Gabrielle Murroni, relying on the healthy gap that he had forged earlier in the race.
With one lap left to go, Afiq Yazid had a clear lead over Sowery in second. Behind them, Collingbourne was ten seconds down the road in third with Nigel Farmer leading the PRO-AM category in fourth. However, Armaan Ebrahim and Spike Goddard both of FFF Racing, in fifth and sixth respectively, were both pushing very hard to catch Farmer. With a comfortable class win in the bag, Farmer defended Ebrahim’s attacks for a couple of corners, but put up little resistance as PRO class driver Ebrahim made a late dive up into the hairpin at turn three on the final lap to take fourth. FFF Racing’s Goddard, like Farmer also running in the PRO-AM category, saw his opportunity for a class win. Goddard was all over the back of Farmer’s Huracán through the last section of the circuit, executing a tidy pass on Farmer under braking for turn twelve, to take fifth and the lead of the PRO-AM class. At the line, it was Yazid with a clear win, Sowery in second and Collingbourne in third, rounding up the podium in the PRO class.
The PRO-AM class was won by the pairing of Schreiner and Goddard from FFF Racing Team, followed by GDL Racing’s Farmer and Breukers in second and Leipert’s Eskelinen and Ebenal in third. Thai drivers also performed well at their home circuit, with the AM class being led by Andrew Haryanto and Doyun Hwang from X-One Racing Team, followed by the local Sereethoranakul brothers with PSC Motorsport in second and Thai driver Bobby Suttiluck from True Vision Motorsport in third. The Lamborghini Cup class win was claimed by Thai favourite Supachai Weeraborwornpoing with Top Speed Racing, followed by Italian driver Murroni of Petri Corse.
Race 2 gets underway tomorrow, Sunday, May 21 at 11:20 am.