TCR Thailand Round 2 Buriram: Race 4 review

TCR Thailand Round 2 Buriram: Race 4 review

12.08.2016: TCR Thailand Round 2 Buriram: Race 4 (Sunday) The top five reverse grid saw Khun Chen on pole with Khun Jack lining

TCR Thailand Round 2 Buriram: Race 4 (Sunday)

The top five reverse grid saw Khun Chen on pole with Khun Jack lining up alongside. Row 2 comprised of Khun Alexander and Khun Carlo while the first race winner, Khun Narasak, started from the third row alongside Khun Paritat who finished sixth in the first race.

Khun Narasak made a slow getaway at the green lights as he suffered boost problems and dropped off the back of the pack while Khun Jack dived inside polesitter Khun Chen to lead out of Turn 1 with Khun Alexander trying to sweep round the outside, a strategy which he carried into Turn 3 and that cost him time, letting Khun Carlo dive up the inside and lock onto the back of Khun Jack.

Khun Chen salvaged third as they started the run back up the hill with Khun Alexander after his excursion onto the runoff slotting back in fourth.

By the time the cars reached Turn 5 Khun Narasak had closed up the deficit and was back past the Honda of Khun Nattachak while through the essess Khun Alexander quickly deposed his Taiwanese teammate out of third place.

Over the line for the first time and the top two, Khun Jack and Khun Carlo, had broken five car lengths clear and were locked together while further back Khun Narasak was now back past Khun Grant and into sixth place.

Through the second lap Khun Carlo was trying everything to get past Khun Jack while as they came to the line to start the third lap Khun Narasak powered past Khun Chen and up to fourth; that meant both Vattana Motorsport entries were in the top four overall.

But that state of affairs wouldn’t last long as Khun Narasak started to drop back again, the intercooler piping had dislodged and that was costing him a lot of power, he lost a couple of the places had regained in the gasping Honda, while into Turn 3 there was contact between the Vattana driver and Khun Paritat who went onto the grass on the inside but managed to keep everything together before returning to the track safely albeit now he was right at the back of the pack.

Khun Alexander then picked up a puncture and retired from the race but barely had Khun Chen taken up his teammate’s third position than he ran very wide at Turn 8 and that allowed the quickly recovering Khun Narasak into third place. Khun Nattachak was driving well and he passed Khun Grant before homing in and then challenging Khun Chen for the AM class lead.

At the end of the lap though Khun Narasak suffered yet further from the lack of turbo power and out of the final turn he lost the places he had clawed back while a little further back Khun Paritat dived into the pits. A pretty eventful first three laps which marked one-third distance.

Into the fourth lap Khun Carlo finally got past Khun Jack as he lined himself up on the inside on the run up the hill to Turn 4 to nip through and claim a lead he would assuredly hold to the finish, the Dutchman eventually easing out to an 8 second advantage over Khun Jack.

The battle for third though was where the interest lay and it raged for lap after lap as Khun Nattachak mixed it up with the two Krating Daeng entries of Khun Chen and Khun Grant, all three taking turns at the front of this mini battle.

In the end it was settled in favour of Khun Chen, albeit by just seven tenths of a second over Khun Nattachak while Khun Grant drifted off the back to finish almost 40 seconds away from the battle but was still able to claim the final PRO-AM podium position. Khun Chen and Khun Nattachak meanwhile bagged the top two positions in the AM class.

 Then came Khun Paritat who had returned to the track after his pitstop, a lap down, and finally Khun Narasak, who continued to circulate in the down on power Civic and eventually came home two laps adrift to pick up some championship points.

In the PRO-AM Drivers’ championship standings Khun Carlo continues to romp away at the top, he has 93 points now thanks to three wins and a runners up spot from the four races so far this year and that puts him 27 points clear of Khun Jack who has 66 points for his three runners up spots and a third place.

Khun Grant is third in the PRO-AM classification with 53 points. In AM, Khun Chen has a perfect score of 100 points as he’s performed a clean sweep over the first half of the season with four wins out of four while Khun Nattachak is in second place with three runners up spots and a third place, he has 69 points.

In the Teams’ championship Krating Daeng has been boosted by its strength in numbers, finally running all three of its cars in Buriram, and that paid off handsomely as they move up to 105 points.

 Vattana Motorsport was also boosted by the arrival of its second car on the entry list and climbs to 94 points while, thanks to Khun Carlo’s superb solo efforts, Singha Motorsport Team Thailand is next up on 93 points – and that’s just a solitary point away from second place.

Last word to the Saturday race winner, he was clearly delighted with his debut in TCR Thailand. “It was a great weekend for us,” said Khun Narasak afterwards.

 “We worked so hard [but had] less time to set up for second time race. Now we know the car and we [will] keep trying to get the podium for next [race]. Thank you Vattana Motorsport and WestCoast racing.”

- Edd Ellison, also photo


12.08.2016 / MaP

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