Thomas and the Porsche 997 would sit this meeting out as the supercars that raced at Sepang in Malaysia at the start of the season will be back on track in October for the final rounds of their series.
With the Porsche safely tucked away in Bangkok it was the turn of Tony Percy and Victor Conrad Spliid Jensen to take centre stage in their respective classes.
As always the race weekend starts early with the team making the short trip from their workshop in Pattaya to the Bira Circuit on Wednesday evening. Thursday was practice day as both Tony and Victor took to the track to get feel for their cars. Regular readers will remember the issues Tony Percy had in Bang Saen at the previous meeting so all eyes were on him as he gave the Honda DC 5 a good shakedown to check if all was running smooth, and thankfully it was, not only was it running smooth but was also running fast as Tony topped the timesheets in free practice.
Victor was not far behind in the Honda Jazz as he took a credible 3rd place on the timesheets while running on older tires. With both cars running well the team were confident for both qualifying sessions on Friday.
With confidence high, the cars went out for qualifying, but once again mechanical problems plagued the team. Victor, on a new set of tires, pushed hard from the start but could not better or match his fastest time in free practice, finishing 3rd on the grid. The reason for slower times would become all too clear the following day. As for Tony, it seemed the mechanical gremlins from Bang Saen had followed him to Bira as after only a few laps his clutch completely failed, forcing him to retire.
After such high hopes, the team were left dejected and with a long night ahead as they first tried to find out the issue with the Honda Jazz and then install a new clutch in the Honda DC5 that would arrive late in the night from their supplier in Bangkok.
The young Viking Victor was the team’s first race of the day, however, it was soon over, as the lights went green Victor lurched forward then pulled off the track to keep out of the way of the cars behind, when he eventually got going it was obvious that the engine was sick, he was immediately called into the pits and retired from the race. After a brief assessment of the L15 engine the decision was made to replace it with the spare, this resulted in a grid penalty which would see Victor starting from the back of the grid for Race 2.
With all the bad luck that had already befallen the team, maybe they would get some good luck in Tony’s race, unfortunately the racing gods were not smiling down on the team, as once again Tony suffered a clutch failure early into the race and was forced to retire, although he did manage 7th on the grid before the failure.
The team were up bright and early on Sunday, both cars had their respective work completed and were sent out for a 10-minute test session. Tony in the Honda DC 5 was flying and with no issues reported commented that the car felt perfect. It was a similar story for Victor, although on the in-lap after stopping on the weighbridge the car failed to start again due to an electrical issue, as the team were last on the grid anyway, the decision was made to start him from the Pit-lane as a precautionary measure.
Both Tony and Victor were in a buoyant mood ahead of their races. Victor started his Race 2 from the pit lane and with the new engine made a monumental charge through the field as the young Dane finished an impressive 3rd and also set the fastest lap of the race.
Tony started Race 2 in a similar fashion taking several places at the start only to be squeezed at the first corner, he then eased off to ensure the car received no damage as there were 20 laps to go and a lot of racing ahead.
However like we have often said this season, disaster struck, just 6 laps into his race Tony lost all drive in the car and had to pull off the track. When the car was eventually towed back the pits the loss of drive was a result of a failure of the K20 engine, another disheartening DNF for Tony and the Team.
The season so far has been a rollercoaster for both Tony and Victor as when they have both been at their best they have taken several wins, podiums and fastest laps between them. The team and drivers are now resigned to the fact that their respective championships are out of their reach, therefore, attention and focus will now be aligned to the 2019 season.
The Unixx – TR-Motorsport Team will be back on the track for the final rounds of Thailand Super Series at the Chang international Circuit in Buriram to be held from the 25th to 28th October, anyone wishing to attend the races can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.