Shanghai victory for Chen and van der Drift
as Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia title battle heats up
Shanghai. (September 8 2019) – Gama Racing’s Chris van der Drift and Evan Chen celebrated victory in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia today, closing the gap in the Pro championship to just two points heading into the season finale and Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final in Jerez next month. Second across the line after 23 laps at the Shanghai International Circuit were Maxime Jousse and Norman Nato of Kamlung Racing Team, with fellow Pro drivers and current championship leaders Takashi Kasai and Juuso Puhakka of FFF Racing Team third.
Hojust Racing’s Afiq Yazid and Toshiyuki Ochiai made it a perfect weekend for the Pro-Am pairing as they scored maximum points for two pole positions, a class win yesterday and a victory today, their sixth so far this season. Second in Pro Am was Leipert Motorsport’s Brendon Leitch and Massimo Vignali, while Philip Kadoorie and Dan Wells in the sister Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO were third.
Huilin Han of T Sport Racing strengthened his lead in the Am class standings with a win today in his home race. Second on the Am class podium were Zen Low and Angelo Negro of Aylezo Motorsport, with Bobby Buncharoen of True Visions Motorsport third.
GDL Racing’s Gabriele Murroni took a well-deserved victory in the Lamborghini Cup, his first of the 2019 season. Murroni was joined on the Lamborghini Cup podium by fellow GDL Racing driver Tony Walls, making his Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia debut this weekend, and yh Racing Team’s Takamichi Matsuda and Dai Yoshihara.
With just two races remaining in the 2019 season, the title battles across all four championships are coming down to the wire. Two points separate Puhakka and Kasai from Chen and van der Drift, while in the Pro-Am championship Yazid and Ochiai have a more comfortable 28-point lead from Leitch.
In the Am class, Han has a 17-point lead PSC Motorsports drivers Sarun and Saravut Sereethoranakul. 852 Challengers’ Clement Li currently tops the Lamborghini Cup, ahead of fellow 852 Challengers driver Paul Wong, while Matsuda and Yoshihara are third in the championship standings.
Round 5, Race 2
Jousse, making his series debut this weekend, started from pole position, but Chen soon got the advantage, making his way past the Frenchman at the first corner. Ochiai also dropped back at the start, with Wells moving up to third and Sarun, the early Am class leader, in fourth.
Chen attempted to pull a gap, but Jousse piled on the pressure in the opening laps and the Gama Racing driver was forced to push harder. Kasai, meanwhile, was down in sixth, but quickly moved up the order and was battling Ochiai, who was now fourth, finding a way past on Lap 7.
Vignali was among the first drivers to make the mandatory pit stop, handing over to Pro driver Leitch. A lap later, Chen, who had nearly a two-second lead, handed driving duties over to van der Drift, while Kasai and Ochiai also came in for their pit stops. Nato took over from Jousse a lap later.
Once the pit window had closed, van der Drift had already established a more than six second lead over Nato, with Puhakka of FFF Racing Team a further 14 seconds adrift. Yazid was fourth overall and leading the Pro-Am class, while a battle loomed between Am rivals Saravut and Han. Murroni continued to lead the Lamborghini Cup, ahead of yh Racing Team’s Matsuda.
Van der Drift continued to build a lead and by the end of Lap 18 there was more than 10 seconds separating the Gama Racing driver from his rival. But behind the leading pair, there was plenty of action. Sarun and Han, second and first the championship, respectively, were both fighting for the Am class win. The pair touched and Sarun spun, with Han ultimately given a drive through penalty for his role in the incident and Sarun forced to end his race prematurely.
In the closing stages of the race, a battle of epic proportions emerged between Lamborghini Cup drivers Walls and Matsuda, who were fighting for second place in the category. Over three laps the pair were nose to tail, with series newcomer Walls getting past on the final lap. Matsuda mounted one final challenge, but a small error meant that the Australian finished ahead of the yh Racing Driver.
With the Asian rounds of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia complete, the series heads to Jerez de la Frontera next month for the season-deciding Round 6, just before the highly anticipated Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final which brings together drivers from the Asia, Europe and North America series.