Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018
to Erupt in Shadow of Mount Fuji
The battle for 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia title is set to intensify this weekend as the championship resumes at Japan’s Fuji International Speedway in the foothills of one of the country’s three sacred mountains. Such is the ferocity of the contest for the Pro, Pro-Am, Am and Lamborghini Cup titles that, after six races, all three championships remain wide open, the largest leaderboard advantage – held by FFF Racing Team’s Pro crew Andrea Amici of Italy and Poland’s Artur Janosz – a mere 11 points.
The weekend marks the start of the second half of the 2018 season and the penultimate Asian stop of the championship. The new Huracán Super Trofeo EVO will make its debut at the 4.563 km, FIA Grade 1 Fuji International Speedway, before heading to Shanghai in September and on to Italy’s Vallelunga Circuit for the two final races and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final in November.
Amici and Janosz, both 25 years-of-age and born just 11 days apart, have won four of the six races to date, while the impressive consistency of their closest championship rivals, British FFF Racing Team stable mates Jack Bartholomew and James Pull who have not once been absent from the podium once so far this season, sees them remain well within striking distance of the title.
A challenging start to the season in Malaysia temporarily put Leipert Motorsport challenger Ben Gersekowski on the back foot, but the 25-year-old Australian has since stampeded up the leaderboard. Winning Race 3 and taking a second place in Race 4 in Thailand alongside fellow Australian Richard Muscat, Gersekowski took another victory in Suzuka earlier this month, this time with 21-year-old Dane Frederik Schandorff. Gersekowski and Muscat are reunited in Fuji this weekend and will represent a formidable foe.
Reigning Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Pro champions Kei Cozzolino of Japan and Malaysian Afiq Yazid will be back on the hunt for a race win having taken a podium finish for Clazzio Racing at their first outing with the series this season at Suzuka.
The Pro-Am standings are even tighter, with Gama Racing’s Evan Chen of Chinese Taipei and Japanese ace Akihiro Asai leading the title chase with an advantage of only two points from Leipert Motorsport’s Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka. Trailing the Finns by six points are HoJust Racing’s Takeshi Matsumoto and Toshiyuki Ochiai, a retirement in Suzuka denting their title aspirations.
The inspired new pairing of Kumar Prabakaran and Italian Max Wiser at Aylezo Motorsport brought success for the Malaysian and the team in Suzuka with the pair taking their debut series victory. Returning to the Pro-Am category for the Fuji round is Chinese driver Bian, this time with fellow countryman Sky Chen.
Bobby Buncharoen tops the Am standings after six of the 12 races with True Vision Motorsport, but Japanese FPC Racing duo Ken Urata and Daisuke Matsunaga have well and truly thrown down the gauntlet to the talented Thai. Add to the mix two more drivers looking for success on home turf in the form of Satoshi Furuta and Jun Tashiro at Car Guy Racing, and the Fuji track can look forward to fireworks from the Am drivers.
Paul Wong and Clement Li lead the Lamborghini Cup chase, but only by four points from GDL Racing Team’s Gabriele Murroni. The Italian shared the top step of the podium with the Hong Kong pair in Suzuka, keeping them well within range on the leaderboard. YH Racing’s Takamichi Matsuda, who joined from Round 2 in Thailand, is also a title contender, 23 points behind Murroni despite missing the season’s opening two rounds.
Built in the early 1960s, and previously a host of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix, the Fuji International Speedway nestles in the foothills of the iconic Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest peak at 3,776 metres. The circuit has 16 turns and is world famous for having one of the longest straights in motorsport – an exhilarating 1.475km stretch after the final turn.
Two hour-long free practice slots on Friday, July 20, will be followed by qualifying sessions on Saturday to set the grid for the races, with the weekend’s opening race starting at 12:30 local time (GMT+9). Sunday’s race begins at 10:05 local time. Live streaming for both races will be available on the Lamborghini Squadra Corse website and Facebook pages.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018
Provisional Entry List Round 4
1.#2/Pro/Ben GERSEKOWSKI (AUS)/Richard MUSCAT (AUS)/Leipert Motorsport
2.#11/Pro/Kei COZZOLINO (JPN)/Afiq YAZID (MAS)/Clazzio Racing
3.#19/Pro/Jack BARTHOLOMEW (GBR)/James PULL (GBR)/FFF Racing Team
4.#30/LC/Takamichi MATSUDA (JPN)/YH Racing Team
5.#33/Pro-Am/Mikko ESKELINEN (FIN)/Juuso PUHAKKA (FIN)/Leipert Motorsport
6.#38/Pro-Am/Takeshi MATSUMOTO (JPN)/Toshiyuki OCHIAI (JPN)/HoJust Racing
7.#44/LC/Paul WONG (HKG)/Clement LI (HKG)/852 Challengers
8.#55/Am/Ken URATA (JPN)/Daisuke MATSUNAGA (JPN)/FPC Racing
9.#59/Am/Suttiluck BUNCHAROEN (THA)/True Visions Motorsports
10.#63/Pro/Andrea AMICI (ITA)/Artur JANOSZ (POL)/FFF Racing Team
11.#68/Pro-Am/Evan CHEN (TPE)/Akihiro ASAI (JPN)/Gama Racing
12.#69/Am/BIAN (CHN)/Sky CHEN (CHN)/D1 Racing Team
13.#88/LC/Gabriele MURRONI (ITA)/GDL Racing Team
14.#98/Pro-Am/Kumar PRABAKARAN (MAS)/Massimiliano WISER (ITA)/Aylezo Motorsport
15.#99/Am/Satoshi FURUTA (JPN)/Jun TASHIRO (JPN)/Car Guy Racing