TSS Double champ eyes up title hat trick

TSS Double champ eyes up title hat trick

28.04.2016: Thailand Super Series 2016 Over the last two seasons RMI Racing Teamís star driver Khun Pasarit

Thailand Super Series 2016

Over the last two seasons RMI Racing Team’s star driver Khun Pasarit Phromsombat has grown in stature to become one of the best known names in the TSS paddock after clinching two of the most highly competitive titles in the programme, Super Production (2014) and Super 2000 (2015).

He didn’t win either of those titles the easy way. Two seasons ago he clinched the Super Production title by a solitary point and the fight went to the very last green flag lap of the very last race of the season in Bangsaen.

After a DNF in the first race he went into the final race of the year with a 1-point deficit in the championship classification and would start from the back of the grid.

However a sensational drive in the second race saw the pendulum swing again and he ended up overhauling his rival right at the end of the race to finish with a 1-point advantage the other way and nail the title down.

If that was a truly outstanding performance, last year he was to defy the odds again as Khun Pasarit moved up to Super 2000 and arrived in Bangsaen for the end of year double header with a 10-point deficit to the BMW of Khun Jack Lemvard, the RMI driver the clear outsider although he had consistently scored points in every race.

While Khun Jack suffered two straight DNFs, Khun Pasarit steered clear of the carnage that always unfolds when Super 2000 fuses with the Bangsaen Street Circuit and he claimed his second consecutive title.

Khun Pasarit’s season was all about consistent excellence in the unfancied and ageing Honda DC 5, three runners up spots and three third places all delivered double-figure helpings of points, cemented by a fourth and a seventh place to make it eight points scoring finishes from the season’s eight races.

Two prestigious crowns that were both snatched in the final race of the season, very impressive, so what’s been the secret to his success?

“This past two years my team and I had to fight until the very last second,” says Khun Pasarit. “My way of doing it is not to give up even though you're losing, just keep trying to do your best and I also have my team and sponsors to thank for their support.”

The new Super Compact category (which replaces Super 1500 on the programme) was announced towards the end of last year as part of TSS’s strategy of responding to evolving motorsport trends and in particular to open up regulatory possibilities that allows teams to maximise the technical skill-learning platform which will prepare them to keep climbing up the ladder.

This thinking is exactly what attracted Khun Pasarit and the RMI Team to take a good look at the new category. “It started with Thailand Super Series initiating Super Compact which provides racers with more choices,” he explains.

“For myself, I'm very interested in the rules and regulations that has been changed and that's why I decided to participate in Super Compact.”

Picking Honda’s pretty little CR-Z for his Super Compact entry was something of a surprise, the sub-compact sports coupé only comes here CBU so it’s a very rare sight on the Thai roads and quite unknown in the paddock.

It’s certainly going to be another first for TSS – in an era of firsts. So why did Khun Pasarit choose the CR-Z? “Probably because it looks cool and no other team has used it yet,” he says.

The finished racecar certainly looks cool. As one would expect from Khun Pasarit, preparation standards are sky-high and close attention has been paid to ensure every last tiny detail is perfect.

A highly ambitious driver who is an equally ambitious engineer, the challenge of a building completely new type of car to a brand new set of regulations, which allow a distinct level of engineering freedom, certainty appealed.

“Nowadays motor technology has advanced so much and for Super Compact the new rules support the new car model,” he says.

 “Learning new things is a very good experience and I always enjoy trying something new, that's why my team and I decided to build a new car.”

Khun Pasarit had his work cut out with the CR-Z though as he didn’t have any other racing version to guide him although once the production car’s hybrid system is ditched it’s effectively a Honda Jazz engine under the bonnet.

“It was a bit hard in the beginning [to find race parts],” he says. “But some of the parts I could use from the Jazz model.”

Last week the new CR-Z took to the track for the first time in Buriram. The shakedown went well as the team started to dynamically understand its new car for the first time.

“We experienced both advantages and things that need to be improved but overall it worked out just fine,” reports Khun Pasarit.

Clearly this is a driver that knows exactly how to win competitive titles – the question now is that with a brand new racecar and a brand new category, can he hit the ground running and make it three championship titles in three consecutive years?

That would be an impressive result and as Super Compact is going to be a fresh experience for everyone, that’s going to help level the playing field.

So what are his expectations? “It's still the same like always, we'll be doing our best and enjoy every bit of it,” Khun Pasarit says. Clearly he has to be one of the early pre-season favourites for the title and few would bet against him.

Certainly all eyes will be looking out for the pace of the distinctive CR-Z when the serious track action gets underway next month in Buriram.

If the distinctive metallic blue and black car goes as well as it's been built then it's going to be headed straight for the higher steps of the podium.

- Edd Ellison also photo


28.04.2016 / MaP

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