B-Quik Thailand Super Series (TSS) heads to Buriram’s Chang International Circuit next week for the third and final time this year, but most significantly, this is the last round of the season, so the titles will be decided!
And, as is ever the case in this series, it’s ultra close across the multi category programme, everything is resting on a knife edge – and as ever, too, expect a real cliff hanger in store!
It’s been a hectic year so far! It seems an awful long time ago when it all kicked off with the Bangsaen Grand Prix back at the end of June while the season also included the ground breaking non-championship visit to Singapore’s Marina Bay Circuit as well as a full programme of points counting rounds as TSS resumed its full schedule following two seasons that were heavily curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anyway, onto next week’s finale and it’s as close as it could be in Super Car GT3 with the destiny of the Drivers’ title set to be fought over between Sandy Stuvik and Akash Nandy in the #25 B-Quik Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II and the #11 Vattana Motorsport Honda NSX shared by Andrea Gagliardini and Jacopo Guidetti.
Stuvik is looking for an unprecedented hattrick of Super Car GT3 Drivers’ titles, having claimed honours in 2019 and 2020, while the other three pilots are all enjoying a blistering rookie year in Super Car GT3. The Honda-mounted Italians have two wins to the Thai-Malaysian Audi crew’s one.
The #25 Audi suffered a costly zero points score at the season opener in Bangsaen after a mechanical failure but the crew got stuck right in and pulled out big points in the next round although the #11 Honda was able to cover them off. Then at the last round it all went horribly wrong for the Vattana crew as they ground to a halt on the final lap, the NSX coughing and spluttering out of fuel, while seemingly cruising to the win.
That let the hovering Stuvik and Nandy back into the title fight and if fact they held onto a slender 5 point advantage when the dust settled. Realistically, to win the championship either car is going to need a win next weekend and the Honda crew probably have to start as slight favourites despite their slender points deficit.
Third in the overall standings are Chonsawat Asavahame and Pitsanu Sirimongkolkasem in the #28 Vattana Lamborghini Huracán GT3 and although they are, at least mathematically, still in with a shout, their focus will be on GT3 AM where they hold a 7 point advantage over Daniel Bilski and Philip Massoud in the #27 B-Quik Absolute Audi. These two crews very neatly cancelled each other out at the last round where they scored a win and a runners up spot apiece so it’s all going to come down to the final weekend in GT3 AM.
Elsewhere in Super Car GT3 we welcome Viper Niza Racing back with their Aston Martin Vantage GT3, shared by Douglas Khoo and Dominic Ang. The Malaysian team made a late season entry at the last round and had a few issues to work through to get up to speed, but with that weekend in Buriram behind them expect this striking looking car to be pushing hard.
And not to forget the former Formula One legend that is Markus Winkelhock, he’s returning again to share the #55 B-Quik Absolute Audi with Vincente Floriendo and when the German gets into the cockpit you can always expect fireworks, he only has one mode, flat out!
The #19 Toyota Lexus RC F of Manat Kulapalanont and Nattapong Horthongkum have a win to their name in Buriram earlier this year and although this factory run duo are out of the title battle they will be looking to sign the year off with another win.
The #89 Singha Motorsport Team Thailand Ferrari 488 GT3 shared by former Super Car champion Voravud Bhirombhakdi and ex-Japan F3 champion Carlo Van Dam, after a really tough early season will also be looking to sign out in style following their recovery which has seen them bounce back onto the podium in the last three races.
In the GT3 Teams’ standings B-Quik Absolute Racing come into the event with a very useful 30 point advantage over Vattana Motorsport and while that should be enough to deliver them the title anything can happen and both teams will need to be focused on pulling in high points scores and avoiding any costly DNFs. Toyota look well placed to pick up third in the championship.
In Super Car GTM the car to beat is the #15 Porsche of the Sathienthirakul brothers, Tanart and Munkong. With two wins and four runners up spots from six races they look odds on to wrap up the title as they have a useful 29 point cushion at the top.
Vattana’s Ananthorn Tangniannatchai paired with Japan’s Akihiro Asai are still in the GTM title hunt, mathematically, but they would need a miracle as, despite three wins this year, two no scores have proved very costly.
In GTM AM the experienced Pasarit Phromsombat holds a 19 point cushion over veteran racer Nattavude Charoensukhawatana, but the Toyota factory star can never be ruled out, he has three wins so far this year to Phromsombat’s one. However, the last round proved hugely costly and he emerged without a point to his name, that could well be the game changer. But never rule this guy out, never!
And Phromsombat will also have a new car to get to grips with next weekend as he will swap his regular Porsche for a Lamborghini Gallardo FL2.
In Super Car GTC B-Quik Absolute’s Adisak Tangphuncharoen is on a real roll in his rookie year in the category, scoring points in every race as he gets to grips with a whole new level of car and he’s cranked it up with a win and two runners up spots from the last three races, which puts him 13 points clear at the top.
Kris Vasuratna in the best placed of the trio of Supras entered by Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand will be looking to zoom in on the title after a consistent year that has seen him score points in every race while just one point further back is Jack Lemvard in the CRE Mustang, with two wins to his name this year. Fourth is “Australian V8 Supercars” star driver Steve Owen.
Next up is a driver that’s taken a less well trodden path into circuit racing. 18-year-old Thanathip Thanalapanan has won everything there is to win in SIM racing and has battled it out with Pierre Gasly at the console! He’s been finding his feet this year in GTC behind the wheel of Vattana Motorsport’s quirky KTM X-Bow GT4 and he ramped it up with a sensational win last time out. Keep an eye out for this kid, he’s going places and he’s trailblazing a path from SIM racing to cars!
B-Quik Absolute Racing will have a new driver behind the wheel of their MY2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Iaro Razanakoro has been working his way up the ranks in TSS and will now try his hand in GTC. He will add further to the diversity as he will be the first ever driver from Madagascar in Super Car!
Finally, the first Mercedes-AMG GT4 is set to arrive in the series. It’s being entered by YK Motorsports for their long-time driver Dechathorn Phuakkarawut. YK are well known for bringing the fearsome AMG GT3 into the series and they scored a fantastic win in the Singapore GP support race with this car just two months ago. Now the team will set another first with the arrival of the slightly more tame GT4 version.
The race action takes place next weekend (8-11 Nov) with double header races across the Saturday and Sunday.
Source. FastTrack Media