A hectic weekend for the final round of Thailand Super Series 2022 with a championship battle unfolding that saw the two almost level pegging title protagonists, Andrea Gagliardini and Jacopo Guidetti in the #11 Honda NSX GT3 and Sandy Stuvik and Akash Nandy in the #25 B-Quik Absolute Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II, going head-to-head in what would be nothing less than a winner takes all scenario.
And when the dust settled it was the Audi pairing that capitalised on a cruel stroke of luck for the Honda which suffered a tyre deflation while leading with just a handful of laps of Race 1 remaining.
B-Quik Absolute wrapped up a double win for the weekend as the GT3 AM pairing of Daniel Bilski and Philip Massoud in the #27 Audi didn’t put a foot wrong in Sunday’s second race to take in the end a pretty comfortable win.
In Super Car GTM there were two different winners with the Sathienthirakul brothers, Munkong and Tanart, emphatically sealing the title with a round to spare after winning the first race while it was a Lamborghini at the top in the second race with the victory this time going to #77 Vattana PSC Huracán shared by Saravut Sereethoranakul and Afiq Yazid.
SUPER CAR GT3/GTM – RACE 1
It was pumped on the grid with the two title contenders sitting on the front row side by side! And at the green lights the advantage went to the #25 Audi which powered into the lead, getting the jump on the #11 Honda.
The #25 Audi was quickly on a roll as it consistently pulled out around a second a lap as the laps started ticking off and by the time the pit window opened the gap was up to a useful 16 seconds.
A little bit further back it was proving a good start for B-Quik Absolute as the GT3 AM lead changed hands, the #27 Audi of Daniel Bilski and Philip Massoud powering past the class leading Lamborghini Huracán of Chonsawat Asavahame and Pitsanu Sirimongkolkasem, that battle also being for the championship, literally, everything was at stake.
In GTM, meanwhile, the #29 Vattana Lamborghini of Akihiro Asai and Ananthorn Tangniannatchai comfortably converted their pole position into the race lead and by one third distance they had 10 seconds in hand over the Porsche 992 GT3 Cup of Tanart and Munkong.
Behind the title fighters at the front came the two Lexus RC F cars which were locking into battle with each other nose-to-tail, with Manat Kulapalanont and Nattapong Horthongkum having the edge over Piti Bhirombhakdi and Reid Harker, while the #89 Singha Motorsport Team Thailand Ferrari 488 GT3 was sitting on their tails and looking to take any advantage that might come its way from the scrapping Japanese machines ahead.
Then the pit window opened – and when everyone had made their stops it was the #27 Audi that led by a couple of seconds from the sister #25 which crucially had three seconds over the #11 Honda as the title fight just about stayed in the favour of the black and yellow car.
Within a lap the #27 had handed P1 over to the #25 but the #11 muscled its way past the #27 a couple of laps later to open up a straight fight to the flag! Both cars had to win, it was as simple as that!
Within a couple of laps the Honda was right on the tail of Audi, but the race leader kept getting the better run of the traffic they had started lapping and was creating tenths here and there.
With 15 mins to go the Honda made a dive down the inside into Turn 3, the two made contact but the Audi was able to cling onto P1 and again take better advantage with the lapped cars that were now coming thick and fast.
With 7 mins and 16 secs left on the clock the Honda finally muscled its way past after the pair ran wide through Turn 1 and then locked into a straight side by side run down to T3 with the Honda getting the better exit to move into P1 as they powered back up the hill.
With positions reversed the #25 Audi clung onto the #11 Honda, but then agony hit the race leader as a rear tyre shredded and that handed the race win – and the Drivers’ title – on a plate to Stuvik and Nandy. And it also meant B-Quik Absolute wrapped up the Teams’ title.
SUPER CAR GT3/GTM – RACE 2
With the #11 Vattana Honda a non-starter for Sunday’s race, it was an all B-Quik Absolute Racing front row with the #55 Audi of Vincente Floriendo and Markus Winkelhock on pole and the #25 Audi, fresh from sealing the Drivers’ title yesterday, alongside.
At the green lights the #25 Audi would get the jump into P1 but it would peel off at the end of the first lap and into the pits to serve a drive through penalty added from the previous day’s race allowing the #55 Audi to assume the lead followed by the #26 Audi of Henk Kiks and Eshan Pieris in second place making it a 1-2 on track for B-Quik Absolute Racing.
The fast-starting Lamborghini of Asavahame and Sirimongkolkasem ran third, leaders on the road in GT3 AM, while another car to show quick pace over the opening laps was the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Douglas Khoo and Dominic Ang, which was enjoying its best outing so far, the new machine looking well sorted now and right in the window, running in P4.
In Super Car GTM meanwhile the #29 Vattana Lamborghini again converted pole to the race lead but into Turn 3 for the first time the blue and white car was pitched into a spin and although it got back into the race the rest of the GTM pack was by then in the distance.
That would be how the race order would run – rather uneventfully – until the driver handovers and when the pit window closed it was the “AM” #27 Audi of Daniel Bilski and Philip Massoud that took full advantage of the compensation times to hold the race lead from the #55 Audi although the latter car would start to slowly slip backwards. The #26 had briefly looked on course for second after the stops but dropped out of the frame after receiving a drive through for a pitstop timing error.
The #19 Lexus RC F of Manat Kulapalanont and Nattapong Horthongkum capitalised to move up to P3 while the #28 Lamborghini shook out in P4, just ahead of the second Lexus, the #12 of 2021 Super Car GT3 champion Bhirombhakdi and team debutant Harker.
The race flowed pretty much this way and after 37 laps of a very hot and dry afternoon Bilski swept the #27 Audi across the line to make it two wins out of two for B-Quik Absolute Racing from the weekend which helped them finish off their Teams’ championship tally in emphatic style.
The #55 Audi backed them up to make it a 1-2 finish for the team while the late race charge came from Harker and Bhirombhakdi in the #12 Lexus as they battled their way up to third place. The podium positions were wrapped up by the #28 Vattana Lamborghini and the #19 Lexus, which made it both of the Japanese machines on the rostrum.
In GTM meanwhile the #77 Lamborghini continued to run ahead of the #14 Lamborghini Gallardo of Pasarit Phromsombat, the GTM AM leader, and they would finish that way with the Sathienthirakul brothers, already having sealed the title, wrapping up their weekend with another helping of points for second in GTM PRO.
Source. FastTrack Media
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