TSS The Super Series today took to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time this weekend where it’s supporting the Singapore Grand Prix with the afternoon action culminating in the Qualifying session to decide the grid for tomorrow’s 25-minute Race 1.
Coming off the back of a hectic Free Practice session that took place just 45 minutes before the start of Qualifying, the crews had to work ultra-fast to turnaround the cars and the story of the 30-minute session, apart from a red flag and a plethora of yellows, was the sensational pace of young Thai driver Kantasak Kusiri who is behind the wheel of the #159 YK Motorsports Billionaire Boy By Sunoco AMG GT3.
Kusiri was amongst the hot favourites coming into this race, while his team are proven winners with this car in Thailand Super Series, but the combined package is new, and also new to the demands of the 5.063 km/23 turn Marina Bay Street Circuit.
However, this combination was fast out of the blocks and straight to the top of the timesheets in Free Practice, Kusiri trading places at the top with the experienced Darryl O’Young in the #99 Craft-Bamboo AMG GT3.
By the end of Free Practice Kusiri had edged that tussle as he became the only driver to dip into the 1:16s and the pair continued their front running form right through the 30-minute Qualifying session that closely followed. As times tumbled Kusiri chopped more than two seconds off his best FP time to bag pole position with a stunning 2:14:366.
O’Young, however, chased him all the way to the chequered flag and as his times fell the Hong Kong star driver wound up with a blistering best in 2:15.739 to make it all all-AMG front row for tomorrow’s Race 1.
Yasser Shahin in the quickest of the gaggle of Audi R8 GT3 Evo II entries, the #777 Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute example, relentlessly worked his way up the timesheets all day to wind up with the third quickest time, half a second up on Yuey Tan, the “local” star being the fastest of the Porsche runners as he wrapped up what will be row two of tomorrow’s grid.
Row three, meanwhile, will be an all-Porsche affair, the 991 GT3-R of Adrian D’Silva edging out the 992 GT3 Cup of Tanart Sathienthirakul, the latter utterly dominated the GTM class throughout both sessions to claim GTM pole. That pair set the fifth and sixth quickest times, respectively.
Seventh fastest was the Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Thailand-entered Lexus RC F of Nattapong Horthongkum, while the top ten was wrapped up by Andrew Haryanto in the second Audi Sport Asia Absolute entry, Jeffrey Lee in second Craft-Bamboo AMG GT3 and Vincente Floriendo in the #55 B-Quik Absolute Audi who made it three Audis in the top ten.
Just outside the top 10 in a very impressive P12 was emerging lady driver Yin Yu Chen in the #91 Fist – Team AAI BMW M6 GT3. Also in the heart of the midfield were the two new Aston Martin Vantages of Viper Niza Racing, the GT3 version driven by Douglas Khoo and the GT4 in the hands of Romain Stephane Pierre Leroux. Expect them to be pushing hard into the top ten tomorrow as drivers and team get more familiar with their new mounts.
The 30-minute qualifying session had started in an explosive fashion and was red flagged after just three minutes when the McLaren of Charun Kietbumrungkul went off at Turn 7, the session however resumed just five minutes later, albeit without the Full Function 570S. With ten minutes to go there were yellows fluttering in three sectors, although they were quickly cleared and then there was a spin for Greg Bennet in the #11 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport although he was able to continue unscathed before finally the session wound to a close with a plethora of yellows waving which scuppered a late showdown as Kusiri returned to the track in the dying seconds but aborted his lap with his pole time safely in the bag.
Race 1 comes up tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at 1510 and it will be 25 minutes plus 1 lap.
Results are provisional.
Souce. Edd Elllison
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