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Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific will have 10 entries in this weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS season opener at Chang International Circuit in Buriram, nine of which are set to race in the brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992).

Returning for the first time since 2019 is Absolute Racing, who have entered two cars into the series. The #911 AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing machine will be driven by 2019 championship runner-up Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Porsche Driver Alessio Picariello. Three-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Pro-Am champion Bao Jinlong and Alexandre Imperatori take to the wheel of the #992 car, which sports a striking livery to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.
HubAuto Racing also enter a pair of Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992), with team owner Morris Chen and Alvaro Parente competing in the #72 car, while Brian Lee and Hideto Yasuoka team up in the #14 entry.
The final outfit with two Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992) is R&B Racing, who have 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Pro-Am champion Lu Wei racing alongside Patrick Pilet and Dennis Olsen, with the two Porsche Drivers set to rotate throughout the season. Meanwhile, in the #87 car, Yuan Bo and 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Leo Ye race in the Silver class. The duo will also be eligible for the brand-new China Cup, which is for crews comprising of two drivers from the greater China area.
Returning for 2023 is EBM Giga Racing’s Setiawan Santoso and Reid Harker in the #8 car, while two-time series Am champions Andrew Macpherson and Ben Porter will look to make it three titles in a row at the wheel of the #51 Porsche 911 GT3 R (991.1) for AMAC Motorsport. Porsche Center Okazaki’s Hiroaki Nagai and Yuta Kamimura will compete the full season in 2023 following their Japan Cup entry last season, where they picked up three podium finishes.
Porsche’s final full-season participant is NK Racing’s Kiyoshi Uchiyama and Tsubasa Kondo, who will take to the track in the #25 Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992), while Naohiko Otsuka and Sho Kobayashi will tackle the Japan Cup for Checkshop Caymania Racing. The duo will race the four Japanese rounds in the #718 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, marking the model’s debut in the championship.

Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing: “I’m thrilled to be competing with Absolute Racing and Porsche again this year. In 2019, I had an incredible journey in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia, which is the pinnacle of GT racing for amateur drivers in the region. Being out of the cockpit during most of the pandemic made me miss racing even more, and I am eager to get back in full-time with the team and Alessio alongside me. I’m confident we will have a great season together!”

Alessio Picariello, AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing: “I’m happy to be returning to Asia after nearly four years. It’s exciting to be back. The region has always been important to me because it’s where I was able to relaunch my career, so I’ve always wanted to be involved in Asian racing somehow. Although I’m really busy in Europe this year and can only participate in four rounds, I’m looking forward to enjoying it fully, especially being back with Absolute Racing and sharing the car with Vuthi, who is not only a really fast driver but also a great person. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Alexandre Imperatori, Absolute Racing: “I’m delighted to be joining Absolute Racing and to share the new Porsche 911 GT3 R with Bao in this year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia. After the last three years, which were affected by the pandemic, it’s great to finally be able to return to the series. Over the last seasons I have seen Bao’s development in China and we are both excited to return to the international stage. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic season and I can’t wait to start working with the entire Absolute Racing family as well as Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific.”

Bao Jinlong, Absolute Racing: “After a three-year absence, I am very happy to race abroad. I’m also thrilled to drive the new Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia races. Our objective is to win the class title.”

Fabien Fior, Absolute Racing Team Director: “We are really happy to return to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia after a three-year absence due to the pandemic. The team is eager to go head-to-head again with some of the top teams and drivers in the Asia-Pacific region. We have high hopes for the new Porsche 911 GT3 R, which we believe will help us achieve the same success in the series as its predecessor.”

Morris Chen, HubAuto Racing: “I’m ecstatic to be back behind the wheel. The thrill of being on track is unbeatable. I’ve missed the rush of adrenaline that comes with racing, and I can’t wait to push myself to new limits. I am immensely pleased to race with Alvaro Parente as my co-driver in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia. Alvaro is highly talented in GT cars and it’s sensational to welcome him back into the HubAuto Racing team.”

Alvaro Parente, HubAuto Racing: “I’m really looking forward to being back with this incredible group of people and driving the new Porsche 911 GT3 R 992. I know we will be extremely competitive and achieve great things with Morris and the team.”

Lu Wei, R&B Racing: “It’s going to be great to compete in the upcoming Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia campaign, the tracks in this series are all unique and famous in the region and they’ll present a new challenge for me. It’s also an amazing experience to race alongside two Porsche factory drivers this year. I hope to continue to learn and achieve strong results this season.”

Dennis Olsen, R&B Racing: “I’m really looking forward to be back racing in Asia with R&B Racing! The brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 R has massive potential and I can’t wait to drive it in this championship. Due to my commitments in Europe in other series, I’ll be sharing the seat with Patrick Pilet, but I’ll give my best in all the rounds I race!”

Patrick Pilet, R&B Racing: “I’m really happy to be part of R&B Racing for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia campaign and I’m looking forward to discovering this championship alongside my new teammate Lu Wei. The level of competition will be high this year but I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun.”

Yuan Bo, R&B Racing: “I’m delighted to return to the region’s top-level GT championship after three years away and to be representing the team in the brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 R. I’m very excited because the competition will be strong, with plenty of talented drivers in the field. I’m confident that alongside Leo Ye, we can have a very good season ahead.”

Leo Ye, R&B Racing: “I’m thrilled to be back in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia. It’s where my racing career began and I still remember the excitement of taking part for the first time, as well as all the highs and lows I experienced. This championship helped me grow into a more professional driver and this year we’ll look to have plenty of success in the new Porsche 911 GT3 R.”

Reid Harker, EBM Giga Racing: “I’m excited to be back racing in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia this season with EBM alongside Setiawan Santoso. This year is a new challenge for us as it will be our first time in the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. We have a lot to learn and develop as a team. I’m really looking forward to kicking off the series in Thailand this weekend.”

Setiawan Santoso, EBM Giga Racing: “I am really excited for the coming race. I hope with the new car, we can be more competitive than last year and get some strong results.”

Hiroaki Nagai, Porsche Center Okazaki: “It’s been a long time since I’ve raced outside of Japan, so I’m excited to get the season started. I can’t wait to drive the new Porsche 911 GT3 R and it’s going to be an amazing challenge.”

Yuta Kamimura, Porsche Center Okazaki: “Our target for the first weekend is to stay out of trouble, finish the race in the best position possible and learn as much as we can about the new Porsche 911 GT3 R.”

Kiyoshi Uchiyama, NK Racing: “I’m excited to drive the new car and race in this amazing championship. We’ll do our best to get a strong result this weekend and start the season well.”

Tsubasa Kondo, NK Racing: “It’s going to be my first race in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia, so I’m really looking forward to getting out on track and giving my best for the team.”

Junichi Kanai, NK Racing Team Manager: “We’re really excited to be racing not just in Japan, but overseas as well this season in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia. As a team, we’ve achieved a lot of success with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and we know that stepping up to the new Porsche 911 GT3 R will be challenging, but it’s a project we’re really looking forward to. I fully believe we have what it takes to compete on the regional stage and I can’t wait for the season to begin.”

Alexandre Gibot, Managing Director Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Ltd.: “Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia is back and we’re very excited for the season to begin! We are very proud to have 10 Porsche entries doing the full championship, it’s a great showcase of the strength and development of motorsport in Asia. To also have nine brand new Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992) competing this year is a sign that customer racing remains strong in the region, and we can’t wait to see how the campaign plays out. On top of this, to see multiple customers stepping up into GT3 racing from the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is testimony that our Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific pyramid serves to support customers’ development and we could not be happier with this. We look forward to providing our Technical Support for our teams this year, including Support Engineering, Performance Engineering and track-side parts stock.  We are certain that this year will see some excellent racing and we can’t wait to be at every round supporting our customer teams – we wish each of them all the very best this year!”

Source. Pole/Photo. Absolute Racing,


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