Gama Racing’s Chris van der Drift and Evan Chen celebrated victory in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia today, closing the gap in the Pro championship to just two points heading into the season finale and Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final in Jerez next month. Second across the line after 23 laps at the Shanghai International Circuit were Maxime Jousse and Norman Nato of Kamlung Racing Team, with fellow Pro drivers and current championship leaders Takashi Kasai and Juuso Puhakka of FFF Racing Team third.
Hojust Racing’s Afiq Yazid and Toshiyuki Ochiai made it a perfect weekend for the Pro-Am pairing as they scored maximum points for two pole positions, a class win yesterday and a victory today, their sixth so far this season. Second in Pro Am was Leipert Motorsport’s Brendon Leitch and Massimo Vignali, while Philip Kadoorie and Dan Wells in the sister Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO were third.
Huilin Han of T Sport Racing strengthened his lead in the Am class standings with a win today in his home race. Second on the Am class podium were Zen Low and Angelo Negro of Aylezo Motorsport, with Bobby Buncharoen of True Visions Motorsport third.
GDL Racing’s Gabriele Murroni took a well-deserved victory in the Lamborghini Cup, his first of the 2019 season. Murroni was joined on the Lamborghini Cup podium by fellow GDL Racing driver Tony Walls, making his Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia debut this weekend, and yh Racing Team’s Takamichi Matsuda and Dai Yoshihara.
With just two races remaining in the 2019 season, the title battles across all four championships are coming down to the wire. Two points separate Puhakka and Kasai from Chen and van der Drift, while in the Pro-Am championship Yazid and Ochiai have a more comfortable 28-point lead from Leitch.
In the Am class, Han has a 17-point lead to PSC Motorsports drivers Sarun and Saravut Sereethoranakul. 852 Challengers’ Clement Li currently tops the Lamborghini Cup, ahead of fellow 852 Challengers driver Paul Wong, while Matsuda and Yoshihara are third in the championship standings.
Round 5, Race 2
Jousse, making his series debut this weekend, started from pole position, but Chen soon got the advantage, making his way past the Frenchman at the first corner. Ochiai also dropped back at the start, with Wells moving up to third and Sarun, the early Am class leader, in fourth.
Chen attempted to pull a gap, but Jousse piled on the pressure in the opening laps and the Gama Racing driver was forced to push harder. Kasai, meanwhile, was down in sixth, but quickly moved up the order and was battling Ochiai, who was now fourth, finding a way past on Lap 7.
Vignali was among the first drivers to make the mandatory pit stop, handing over to Pro driver Leitch. A lap later, Chen, who had nearly a two-second lead, handed driving duties over to van der Drift, while Kasai and Ochiai also came in for their pit stops. Nato took over from Jousse a lap later.
Once the pit window had closed, van der Drift had already established a more than six second lead over Nato, with Puhakka of FFF Racing Team a further 14 seconds adrift. Yazid was fourth overall and leading the Pro-Am class, while a battle loomed between Am rivals Saravut and Han. Murroni continued to lead the Lamborghini Cup, ahead of yh Racing Team’s Matsuda.
Van der Drift continued to build a lead and by the end of Lap 18 there was more than 10 seconds separating the Gama Racing driver from his rival. But behind the leading pair, there was plenty of action. Sarun and Han, second and first the championship, respectively, were both fighting for the Am class win. The pair touched and Sarun spun, with Han ultimately given a drive through penalty for his role in the incident and Sarun forced to end his race prematurely.
In the closing stages of the race, a battle of epic proportions emerged between Lamborghini Cup drivers Walls and Matsuda, who were fighting for second place in the category. Over three laps the pair were nose to tail, with series newcomer Walls getting past on the final lap. Matsuda mounted one final challenge, but a small error meant that the Australian finished ahead of the yh Racing Driver.
With the Asian rounds of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia complete, the series heads to Jerez de la Frontera next month for the season-deciding Round 6, just before the highly anticipated Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final which brings together drivers from the Asia, Europe and North America series.
Evan Chen #68 Gama Racing, Pro Winner, Round 5, Race 2
“The start was interesting – he was on the on the very minimum so I was just managing. I saw the lights go green so I just went and I think I got a good reaction so I pulled in front and managed to cut him [off] in the first corner. From there I just tried to manage and lead the race. I was trying to pull a gap earlier so I could manage my tyres in the middle stint, but [Maxime Jousse] caught up and so I started to push even more. We managed to give Chris a car and tyres in pretty good condition and luckily we just managed to the end so that was awesome.”
Chris van der Drift #68 Gama Racing, Pro Winner, Round 5, Race 2
“Evan did the hard job – he got into the lead and then pulled a gap and managed the gap and that was really good. And then we decided to come in on the earlier side of the stop to see if we could get a good outlap and when I left I was by myself the whole time, and I just had to push on the out lap as fast as I could. The car was really good and Evan saved me some tyres so I could just cruise along. It was a really good race and the car was really good so it made our life easy.
“We needed really yesterday to not get the penalty because we would have been back again in the lead, so we just need to go to Jerez and finish in front of them, that’s it and then we win.”
Afiq Yazid, #38 Hojust Racing, Pro Am Winner, Round 5, Race 2
“A double win, we couldn’t ask for more. It was a perfect weekend for us, but today we were aiming for the overall podium. Kudos to my team mate, who did a great stint. On the start he lost a few positions but he managed to get his position after a few laps. During my stint, the track temperature was getting too high and my car started to oversteer towards the end. At the beginning I was catching up [Juuso Puhakka], but I was stuck behind the backmarkers and when I passed them, I saw that he was quite far in front of me. I didn’t want to risk anything so I just continued the race and brought the car back. We still have one more round to go and the World Final so we’ll see how it goes.”
Huilin Han, #39 T Squared Racing, Am Winner, Round 5, Race 2
“In the end it worked out okay today. Thanks to the team who did a fantastic job. For the first five, six laps, I tried to keep up with the frontrunners, but I had to back off a bit to save a bit to push for the second stint.”
Gabriele Murroni, #88 GDL Racing, Lamborghini Cup Winner, Round 5, Race 2
“We had very good pace all weekend. In Q1 we got the pole and I was leading yesterday and we had massive technical problems and I had to retire three laps from the end. But we are finally here [with a win]. It’s been a very bad season, with a lot of DNFs, but that’s motorsport. My driving has much better this year, but we had some difficulties – accidents, contact, which didn’t allow us to get to the end of many races, but now let’s focus on the World Final.”
2019 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Round 5 - Race 2 Results
1. #68/Pro/Gama Racing/Evan CHEN (TPE)/Chris VAN DER DRIFT (NZL)/50:59.504
2. #8/Pro/Kamlung Racing Team/Maxime JOUSSE (FRA)/Norman NATO (FRA)/+11.008
3. #63/Pro/FFF Racing Team/Takashi KASAI (JPN)/Juuso PUHAKKA (FIN)/+22.919
4. #38/Pro-Am/HOJUST RACING/Afiq YAZID (MAS)/Toshiyuki OCHIAI (JPN)/+47.403
5. #7/Pro-Am/Leipert Motorsport/Massimo VIGNALI (SIN)/Brendon LEITCH (NZL)/+1:09.748
6. #77/Pro-Am/Leipert Motorsport/Philip KADOORIE (HKG)/Dan WELLS (HKG)/+1:13.318
7. #39/Am/T Squared Racing/Huilin HAN (CHN)/+2:01.627
8. #69/Am/Aylezo Motorsports /Zen LOW (MAS)/Angelo NEGRO (ITA)/+2:01.993
9. #88/LC/GDL RACING/Gabriele MURRONI (ITA)/+1 lap
10. #11/LC/GDL Racing/Tony Brian WALLS (AUS)/+1 Lap
11. #30/LC/yh Racing Team/Takamichi MATSUDA (JPN)/Dai YOSHIHARA/+1 lap
12. #4/LC/852 Challengers/ Henry KWONG (HKG)/ Michael SOONG (HKG) /+1 lap
13. #78/Am/True Visions Motorsport/Bobby BUNCHAROEN (THA)/+1 lap
14. #28/LC/852 Challengers/Clerebold CHAN (HKG)/Clement LI (HKG)/+1 lap
15. #98/LC/Vincenzo Sospiri Racing/Kumar PRABAKARN (MAL)/+1 lap
16. #57/Am/PSC Motorsports/Sarun SEREETHORANAKUL (THA)/Saravut SEREETHORANKAUL (THA)/+1 lap
DNF. #99/LC/GDL Racing/Paul WONG (HKG)