FFF Racing Team’s Amici and Janosz celebrate
Suzuka Race 2 win in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia
FFF Racing Team’s Andrea Amici and Artur Janosz scored their fourth victory of the 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, winning the sixth race of the season at Suzuka Circuit to further strengthen their championship lead. Second on the podium was Clazzio Racing’s Kei Cozzolino and Afiq Yazid, the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Pro champions, who started from 15th on the grid to finish in the runner-up position. Third on the Pro podium was the sister FFF Racing Team car of Jack Bartholomew and James Pull.
In the Pro-Am category, it was a narrow victory for Leipert Motorsport’s Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen, who finished just 0.479 seconds ahead of title rivals Evan Chen and Akihiro Asai of Gama Racing.
Bobby Suttiluck of True Visions Motorsport took the top spot on the Am podium, while the Lamborghini Cup victory went to 852 Challengers Paul Wong and Clement Li.
Amici and Janosz now lead Bartholomew and Pull by 11 points. Leipert Motorsport’s Ben Gersekowski is third on the Pro leaderboard, a further 14 points adrift. Puhakka and Eskelinin’s victory today – their second of the season – puts them just two points behind Chen and Asai in the Pro-Am category, while Suttiluck’s win today has given him the lead in the Am title chase over FPC Racing drivers Ken Urata and Daisuke Matsunaga.
Having taken the chequered flag ahead of GDL Racing Team’s Gabriele Murroni by 0.458 seconds, Wong and Li have extended their lead in the Lamborghini Cup by 4 points.
Max Wiser, yesterday’s Pro-Am winner along with Aylezo Motorsport’s Kumar Prabakaran, started today’s second 50-minute race from pole position. Lining up beside him was Janosz, determined to make amends today following a disappointing finish in Saturday’s Race 1.
As the lights went green, Janosz immediately began to pressure Wiser. The pair were side-by-side through Turns 1 and 2, before Wiser got away and Pull took the opportunity to get past Janosz. By the end of the opening lap, Wiser had a narrow 1.4-second lead ahead of Pull, Janosz and Leipert Motorsport’s Frederik Schandorff, who was making his Asian debut this weekend. Having started from the back of the grid due to a penalty in qualifying, Cozzolino was eighth after the first lap and was battling with D1 Racing Team’s Anindith Reddy for position. Suttiluck was leading the Am category at the start, with Li ahead in the Lamborghini Cup. On Lap 2, Li went ahead of Suttiluck.
In the early stages of the race, Wiser continued to lead Pull, Janosz and Schandorff, with Cozzolino now in fifth but determined to close the gap to the young Danish driver.
As the pit window opened, Wiser, the pro driver in the team’s Pro-Am pairing, stayed out on track, while Pull came into the pits to hand off to Bartholomew. Janosz soon followed, handing driving duties to Amici, and once the two FFF Racing Team cars were back out on track, they resumed their battle for position.
As the pit window closed, Wiser and Cozzolino dove into the pits, with Wiser handing off to Kumar Prabakaran and Cozzolino to Yazid. Prabakaran began his stint and soon found himself under pressure from Amici. A small error saw the Malaysian spin, prematurely ending the no. 98 car’s race. The resulting Safety Car saw the field close up, with Amici ahead of Yazid, Bartholomew, Chen and Puhakka.
When racing resumed, Amici got away cleanly and soon built himself a narrow lead ahead of Yazid and Pull. Puhakka found a way past Chen to slot into fourth place overall and to lead the Pro-Am category. Suttiluck continued to lead the Am class, while Wong was narrowly ahead of Murroni.
With the clock winding down, Yazid attempted to close the gap to race leader Amici, but the Italian ultimately took victory by nine-tenths of a second.
The Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia resumes in just three weeks’ time for a double header at Fuji Speedway. As the series heads into the second half of the season – and the title races as close as they’ve ever been – teams and drivers will be looking to maximize their points haul over the two highly anticipated races.
Andrea Amici #63 FFF Racing Team, Pro Winner, Round 3, Race 2
“From the beginning we were fighting with our teammates and with the Leipert car, but at the end, our car today had a good pace so it was not so difficult to maintain the pace throughout the race. We needed the championship points today because yesterday with the penalty we lost some points so it’s very important today to get this result. The next races are in Fuji – I know the track compared to Suzuka so I feel really positive to have another good race.”
Juuso Puhakka #33 Leipert Motorsport – Pro-Am Winner Round 3, Race 2
“Mikko took a safe start and kept up with the Pro drivers in front of him. The gap was really small until the pit stop. Mikko did a really good job and he saved the tyres for me so when I started driving I was really fast on the first three laps because the tyres were so good. The Safety Car was good for us and one lap after the Safety Car restart I overtook the leading car. When the weekend started it was difficult for us, our pace was not so good, but in qualifying we were really fast. Overall we are really happy for the points and we’re close in the championship now.”
Bobby Suttiluck #59 True Visions Motorsport – Am Winner Round 3, Race 2
“Yesterday the car was not 100 per cent, but our team tried to fix everything. We pushed today and we got the result. Today we tried to manage the tyres throughout the race and in the second stint we did some good, consistent lap times. We’re very happy to win today.”
Clement Li #44 852 Challengers – Lamborghini Cup Winner Round 3, Race 2
“It’s was good – we were lucky. Paul spun on his stint which allowed our opponent to make up a lot of time, but luckily the Safety Car was blocking Murroni for a little while and we could stretch out the distance a little bit. In the end, Murroni was only that [0.458 seconds] much behind us and so it was a lucky race. The weekend wasn’t so good. Last night we had a bit of a mechanical issue so luckily the team managed to put the car back together and we won the race.”