FFF Racing Team’s Andrea Amici and Poland’s Artur Janosz won round 4 of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 at Chang International Circuit in Buriram, and celebrated their third victory of the season. Both drivers battled under pressure from Leipert rivals Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat throughout the 50-minute race’s sweltering morning heat, and took the chequered flag a mere second ahead of the Australians. Pro-Am winners Takeshi Matsumoto and Toshiyuki Ochiai of Hojust Racing rounded out the podium by taking third place.
D1 Racing Team’s Armaan Ebrahim and Anindith Reddy fought for position with Gama Racing’s Evan Chen and Akihiro Asai throughout a tight race. Ebrahim and Reddy held their position to take second in Pro-Am ahead of Chen and Asai. True Visions Motorsport’s Suttiluck Buncharoen celebrated his first victory of the season by taking the Am win on his home track, while Lamborghini Cup honors went to 852 Challengers’ Paul Wong and Clement Li.
Muscat started cleanly on pole, but Janosz rocketed off from fourth place and had taken the lead by Turn 3. This set the 2 drivers off on a race-long battle, with Muscat immediately piling on the pressure. Leipert’s Juuso Puhakka and Sereethoranakul spun in separate incidents soon thereafter, bringing out the Safety Car and forcing both cars to retire. When the race continued on lap 4, Janosz held the lead ahead of Muscat and Aylezo Motorsport’s Cedric Sbirrazzuoli. D1 Racing Team’s Han Huilin led the Am class, while Li held the Lamborghini Cup lead ahead of his rivals.
A tyre puncture then forced GDL Racing Team’s Gabriele Murroni to retire and brought the Safety Car out again. The pit window opened during the Safety Car period, and most of the field immediately dove into the pits for their mandatory stops. Amici took over from Janosz and came out of the pits ahead of Muscat’s co-driver Gersekowski. Bartholomew moved up to take third ahead of Ebrahim, Matsumoto and Asai. The Am lead continued to be held by Buncharoen, while Wong’s co-driver Li emerged from the pits ahead of YH Racing Team’s Takamichi Matsuda.
The second half of the race saw plenty of drama throughout the field: Amici defended brilliantly against the aggressively attacking Gersekowski, retaking the lead after the Leipert driver passed him briefly. Matsumoto put in an impressive drive and made his way up the order, overtaking first Ebrahim and then Bartholomew in the race’s closing stages. Chen drove hard in the Pro-Am category, putting pressure on Ebrahim and closing the gap to three-tenths of a second between them, but he was eventually unable to overtake the D1 Racing Team driver.
A tight wheel-to-wheel battle ensued between Wong and Matsuda in the Lamborghini Cup. Great driving saw Matsuda overtake Wong twice, nevertheless the Hong Kong driver managed to re-take his position both times and ultimately crossed the line to take 852 Challengers’ third win in the Lamborghini Cup. Japan will be next to experience Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia action, with the next 2 races taking place at Suzuka Circuit on June 30th to July 1st.
Artur Janosz #63 FFF Racing Team – Pro Winner Race 2
“The start for me was amazing. I was surprised that I gained so many places. I just had a good reaction time so after two corners, I was already in P1 and I was just keeping this position but it was not easy. Muscat was behind me [and] I felt the pressure. Both times with the safety car, he [caught up] to me. We did a good pit stop and Andrea went again in front and I was already happy but I knew it wouldn’t be an easy win. All race, I felt the pressure – I knew that it was really close. There was a moment when Gersekowski passed him, and I thought P2 is still good, but then the next corner Andrea was in front again and we finished P1. I’m really, really happy about it [today’s win].”
Andrea Amici #63 FFF Racing Team – Pro Winner Race 2
“Another great result for the team. My teammate did an amazing start and after the driver change, we were again in P1 but our rival was pushing a lot so I was just managing the second stint. After the second corner, he passed me so I was trying to recover the position and in turn 5, I passed him and then I managed to put the car in the first place at the end of the race.”
“We suffered a little bit with the set-up during the weekend but today the car was great so I want to thank especially to my engineering for their great work that they did. Looking for the championship I’m feeling positive, but we have to do the same in Suzuka I think.”
Takeshi Matsumoto #38 Hojust Racing – Pro-Am Winner Race 2
“Conditions were better today compared to yesterday. The set-up was better therefore the tyres were not worn out toward to the end so we had better grip towards the end compared to yesterday. We were able to overtake some other cars and stay with the top three and keep the pace so that was good about the race.”
Toshiyuki Ochiai #38 Hojust Racing – Pro-Am Winner Race 2
“Today’s race was great. Matsumoto was very fast and racing together with number 2 and 63. Finishing third overall was very important and next time, I need same position or number one! I’m very happy with today’s race.”
Suttiluck Buncharoen #59 True Visions Motorsport – Am Winner Race 2
“I’m very pleased to win because this is my first weekend this season racing in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia. I’m very happy to win, but I’m sad that Saravut, my friend, was unable to finish the race. I have to learn more about the car, practice more and my goal this year is to be on the podium in every race.”
Clement Li #44 852 Challengers – Lamborghini Cup Winner Race 2
“I was at a pretty good position, and wanted to build a gap, but because of the safety car, I went back to the pit and gave the car to my teammate. My job in the first stint was to keep the car safe on track and pass it on to my teammate and [Paul] did a really great job in battling with the second-place driver. Finally, we won the race. I was really nervous watching in the pits, seeing wheel-to-wheel racing between Paul and the second-place driver. I hope we can continue winning and take the overall class championship.”