Following the Blancpain GT Series Asia’s Sepang season opener, the 2018 championship now heads north to Thailand’s Chang International Circuit for races 3 and 4 on the 12th-13th of May. 30 supercars consisting of 19 GT3s and 11 GT4s will do battle at the 4.551km track in Buriram, following the intensely interesting opening races at Sepang. GruppeM Racing currently leads the GT3 Teams’ and Drivers’ championships after winning both races at Sepang, however neither of their race winners Brice Bosi or Raffaele Marciello will be racing in Thailand.
Filling in for Marciello will be fellow Mercedes-AMG factory driver Maxi Buhk, as the Italian driver takes on the Nurburgring 24 Hours on the same weekend. Buhk also won at Buriram with GruppeM in 2017, and this year he will share driving duties with new Am driver Alexander Mattschull in place of Bosi. During Saturday’s Race 1, the #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 will still be hit with the 15 second success penalty incurred for winning at Sepang.
The #999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 will continue contesting the Silver Cup for GruppeM, driven by Patric Niederhauser and Markus Pommer who takes Bastian’s place for 4 rounds in total. They start the weekend third on the championship table, just behind FFF Racing Team by ACM’s Dennis Lind and Martin Kodric, with high chances of an intense battle similar to Sepang’s Race 1 as neither car has to contend with any penalties.
Absolute Racing’s Anthony Liu and Josh Burdon will incur a 10 second success penalty for clinching second in Race 2, giving them less chances of pulling off another strong qualifying lap. Nevertheless, this opens the way for Silver Cup leaders Martin Rump and Franky Cheng to put up a strong fight for Absolute as they don’t need to compensate for any success penalties. Another potential challenge has risen in the Silver Cup however: reigning class champion Marchy Lee of Hong Kong will return at Buriram to the Blancpain GT Series Asia, joining Alex Yoong at Pheonix Racing Asia. Having won the Silver Cup last season with Shaun Thong, Lee enters this season 40 points behind the GT3 championship leaders. The veteran Silver Cup crew should have an interesting fight against their younger rivals throughout the 2018 season.
Arrows Racing and CMRT Eurasia’s drivers also have to sit out the Buriram race due to business commitments, leaving AMAC Motorsport’s Ben Porter and Andrew Macpherson to battle Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka of KCMG for GT3 Am Cup victory. In the GT4 class meanwhile, the withdrawal of GruppeM’s Russell Ward will definitely affect the standings. Ward and his co-driver Reinhold Renger currently share the top GT4 Drivers’ championship spot with Team iRace.Win’s Ringo Chong and Gilles Vannelet, with both crews having come away from Sepang with a victory and third place finish each. Third place is also shared by 2 teams, reigning champions Frank Yu and Jean-Marc Merlin of Craft-Bamboo Racing along with BMW Team Studie’s Takayuki Kinoshita and Sunako Jukuchou, with each pair separated from the top spot by 10 points after scoring a podium each in the opening round.
The GT4 class’ 8 full-season entries including cars from McLaren, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, and BMW will be joined by 3 additional Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs run by Thai teams at, providing a series record total of 11 cars to make up the GT4 grid. Live streaming for qualifying and both races will be available on the Blancpain GT Series Asia website and Facebook page, along with SRO’s GT World Youtube channel. Fox Sport Asia will broadcast live coverage throughout the Asian continent while TRUE4U provides coverage in Thailand, and China’s Youku platform will stream live race coverage country-wide.