Intense Race Action In Buriram As Race Two Of The 2017
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Greenlights At The Chang International Circuit In Thailand
After Saturday afternoon’s thrilling race, drivers and teams returned to the track on Sunday morning to go to battle again in race two of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series Thai round at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram. The weekend’s double header rounded off with a truly exciting and action packed race, with all drivers going all out for a podium spot and valuable points to push up their rankings in the ladder.
The 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo returns to Buriram’s Chang International Circuit in Thailand for the second consecutive year, with the track fast becoming a favorite due to its mix of long sweeping corners and spectator friendly layout. Spectator turnout was high for Sunday’s race, with a number of other events also taking place at the circuit, including the Blancpain Asia GT series, in which a number of Lamborghini Huracán GT3 took part.
By the 11.20am race start time, track temperatures were already up into the mid 50s degrees C, topping out at over 56, these were challengingly hot conditions for racing, with many drivers finding the high temperatures a struggle in the cockpit. Mechanics made final adjustments to rear wings to find the perfect mix of aerodynamics for the straights and grip in the fast corners, before the cars lined up on the grid to fight for the win once more.
As the field rolled onto the grid in formation and the lights went green, there was immediate action in the first corner, as drivers jostled for position into turn one. Midway through the corner there was contact between Toby Sowrey of Lazarus and Andrew Haryanto of X-One Racing Team, causing Sowrey to spin. With nowhere to go, Sowrey was then collected by Topspeed Racing’s George Chou, essentially ending the race for the two drivers, and leaving Sowery stranded on track. A short safety car period followed, as marshals worked at turn one, and with the track cleared of Sowrey’s car #3 racing got back underway.
By lap four, Maxx Ebenel racing with Leipert in car #33 dropped back from sixth to tenth and never really recovered, after contact in the early laps. Further back, Hao Bian with JRM was putting pressure on Gabriele Murroni with Petri Corse, the drivers neck and neck for some time fighting for eleventh and twelfth positions.
By lap five, Afiq Yazid with Clazzio Racing was able to take advantage of a clear track ahead, and had put a comfortable gap between himself and Armaan Ebrahim in second, racing with FFF Racing Team. Meanwhile, British driver Rory Collingbourne with Leipert overtook Haryanto in lap five while Bian came into pit. Lap six saw more drama. Having started in eleventh Nigel Farmer with GDL Racing Team had taken advantage of the first corner mayhem and capitalised on his pace in the early laps, to run as high as sixth. However, there was contact again, this time in turn three, between Haryanto and Farmer fighting for fifth, with Farmer going for the inside pass and both cars touching at the apex, and Farmer dropping down the field as he recovered from the resulting spin. This allowed local drivers Saravut Sereethoranakul with PSC Motorsport and Bobby Suttiluck with True Visions Motorsport to gain places, taking advantage of Farmer’s misfortune.
Now on lap ten and PRO class and overall leader, Afiq Yazid had widened the gap between himself and Ebrahim in second place to 10.5 seconds, with Spike Goddard with FFF Racing in third overall and leading the PRO-AM Class, Rory Collingbourne of Leipert in fourth and Haryanto in fifth, as the first of the AM class drivers.
The pit window opened in lap twelve, with Collingbourne, Sereethoranakul and Farmer immediately diving into pit lane, choosing to pit as early as possible and make their driver changes.
As the mandatory pit stops and driver changes continued, FFF Racing Team’s Goddard was the last driver to pit, right at the end of the pit window to maximize his time in the driving seat, giving teammate Carrie Schreiner a slight advantage on the other PRO-AM teams, as he handed over the car to her.
Although running in the PRO class, Jack Bartholomew with FFF Racing Team turned up the pressure on his team mate Carrie Schreiner soon after, passing her on the final turn of lap eighteen. Meanwhile, Breukers was also hunting Schreiner, knocking off a second or so on each lap, finally passing the young German AM driver on lap twenty four. After capitalizing on a good run out of turn one and a long side-by-side drag down to turn three, Breukers was able to pass Schreiner under brakes having arrived at the hairpin with the inside line, taking advantage of his pace with good drive out of the apex.
As the clock counted down the final seconds of the fifty-minute race, Cozzolino Kei with Clazzio had a 25 second lead on Ben Gersekowski with Leipert, with his and Yazid’s combined performance putting them in a class of their own. Third in the PRO class was Jack Bartholomew and Armaan Ebrahim with FFF Racing.
The PRO-AM class was won by GDL Racing’s Farmer and Breukers, with Schreiner and Goddard from FFF Racing Team in second, followed by Leipert’s Eskelinen and Ebenal in third. The AM class was led by the local heroes Sarun and Saravut Sereethoranakul with PSC Motorsport, with Andrew Haryanto and Doyun Hwang from X-One Racing Team in second, and another Thai driver Bobby Suttiluck from True Vision Motorsport, with a solid performance in third. The Lamborghini Cup class win was again claimed by Thai favourite Supachai Weeraborwornpoing with Top Speed Racing, followed by Italian driver Murroni of Petri Corse.
After four races of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2017 series, the Clazzio Racing pairing of Kei and Yazid are dominating the PRO Class, having scored maximum points in the first two rounds. The PRO-AM Class is led by GDL Racing’s Breukers and Farmer, and Andrew Haryanto driving with X-One Racing tops the AM Class points table. The Lamborghini Cup is currently led by Supachai Weeraborwornpong.
With a faultless performance thus far, Clazzio Racing leads the Team points tally, with GDL Racing in second and Lazarus in third.
After a fantastic weekend of racing in Thailand, the challenging track and the smiling Thai hospitality has certainly made the Buriram International Circuit a favourite amongst many of the drivers. But teams and drivers alike are now setting their sights on the legendary Suzuka Circuit, the next stop of the 2017 series in Japan. Racing gets underway on Saturday June 24. Don’t miss the action!