TSS Buriram Qualifying: Super Car GTC

TSS Buriram Qualifying: Super Car GTC

21.05.2016: Thailand Super Series at Buriram No one had been quite sure what to expect when Vattana

Thailand Super Series at Buriram

No one had been quite sure what to expect when Vattana Motorsport announced it would enter a Reiter Engineering developed KTM X-Bow GT4 in Super Car GTC this year. It was a logical acquisition for the team to make due to the close link between the two companies.

Certainly though if the X-Bow GT4 went was as fast as it looked like it could go then everyone else was going to be in trouble. And that proved to the case in qualifying as Khun Narasak Ittritpong banged in a 1:45.733 which was a second quicker than anyone else could manage.

 It also looks like there is plenty more to come from this all carbon-fibre racecar. Fast and striking, all that now remains to be seen is just how it handles the race. That question will be answered here this afternoon.

Alongside the matte black carbon KTM (albeit with a few matte blue wrapped panels) will be the red and white Toyota 86 of Khun Manat Kulapalanont.

He’s joining GTC for the first time after running in GTM last year. The car has been tweaked and will be a much better fit for GTC and that should allow this talented driver to show off more of his handy driving skills. He started doing that in qualifying yesterday afternoon by banging in a 1:46.783 that gets him off to a great start.

This year the Toyotas have a striking new adaption to their traditional red and white livery, fusing the two colours in the middle with a series of sharp flashes, and there will be two of these 86s in the top three on the grid as Khun Suttipong Smittachartch set the third quickest time in qualifying with a 1:49.317.

Fourth fastest was the Rotary Revolution run #13 Mazda RX-7 of Khun Narin Yensuk, the Chiang Mai driver was the quickest of the team's three strong entry with Khun U-tain Pongprapas next up fifth quickest and Khun Pete Thongchua, last year's Super Car GTC vice champion, in sixth.

Khun U-tain is debuting in GTC this weekend and is getting his first laps in with the RX-7 so it’s a big learning process, especially as the red, white and green racecar was finally finished with an overnighter in the garage that allowed him to turn in a few shakedown laps on Thursday just before the qualifying session loomed on Friday. So he’s on a steep curve but it’s all looking very promising so far.

Stuck in the middle of the trio of rotary powered cars is the Ginetta of Khun Rudolf Yu. The Hong Kong driver, who drives in Super 2000 for Painkiller Racing, is doubling up to take over the little British sportscar, which has been vacated by its driver from last year, Khun Naputt Assakul, who has graduated to GTC.

Khun Rudolf, who lost a lot of running time during Thursday’s free test sessions due to problems with the car, including making a trip back to the pits on a tow truck, did his customary neat and tidy job to claim P5.

The GTC grid will be wrapped up this afternoon by Khun Attapot Sriprom, the B-Quik driver is debuting in the team’s newly acquired Porsche 996 GT3 Cup.

He’s graduated from the team’s Super Eco programme so has a lot to learn but he did a very nice job to keep out of trouble, improve his lap times and place himself decently for the race.

The final car on the grid will be the pretty grey Mitsubishi Evo X of Khun Prateep Tumprasert, who is joining GTC for the first time.

- Edd Ellison -   also photo


21.05.2016 / MaP

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