Thailand Super Series 2016 Rd 2 (Buriram): Super Car GTC

Thailand Super Series 2016 Rd 2 (Buriram): Super Car GTC

25.08.2016: Super Car GTC resumed battle in Buriram last month for Race 3 and 4 of the year and Narasak Ittritpong





Super Car GTC resumed battle in Buriram last month for Race 3 and 4 of the year and Narasak Ittritpong in the Vattana Motorsport KTM X-Bow GT4 really asserted his grip on the ‘junior’ category with two entirely comfortable wins from the two races.


Add those to his debut victory in the KTM here back in May during the season opener and he's bagged three wins out of the four races so far and at the season's halfway point looks to have established a firm grip on the championship standings.


The wins were convincing too, in the first race Narasak had a massive 43 second cushion at the finishline while in the second race he edged half a minute clear.


With three maximum points scores from the four races so far Narasak has moved up to 66 points – that puts him 18 points clear of his closest rival. With Bira and Bangsaen likely to better suit the KTM than Buriram it's ominous for his rivals and it doesn't at the moment seem too obvious where a serious challenge to him is going to come from.


The driver himself, after an unproductive couple of seasons in Super Car where he had been sporadically driving Vattana Motorsport’s ageing Mitsubishi Evo, has now been really set loose in the KTM. “We have got the new record in GTC, we follow our plan and first is the final answer for us,” he said. “I love this car so much.”


Toyota Team Thailand bounced back into a rich vein of form in Buriram in Super Car GTM and the factory outfit was also the one to take the challenge closest to the all conquering KTM in GTC. Manat Kulapalanont, who was also driving in Super 2000 the same weekend, continued the fighting form. He took the runners up spot in both races to help his championship chances.


 After scoring just 4 points during the opening round the 30 points Manat collected on the return visit to Buriram bump him up to fourth place in the standings at the season’s halfway point and he’s now well positioned to stake his claim to one of the coveted top three spots.


Manat’s teammate Suttipong Smittachartch capably backed up his efforts to make it a 2-3 for Toyota in the first race and his sixth place in the second really helped the Teams’ points haul.


In fact that swapped a 26 point deficit in the standings going into the second round into a six point advantage when the team departed – and if Toyota can keep both of their cars reliable and finishing high up on the podium then they should have a strong chance of nabbing the Teams’ championship title.


After their impressive run of success at the opening round, winning the Teams' trophy in both races and moving into the lead of the Teams’ championship, PTT Yokohama RZ KS The Pizza Company came back down to earth with a bang, despite again running three cars.


 It proved to be a very tough weekend for the rotary runners as multiple issues hit them but they still learnt a lot and took plenty away from the weekend.


Rotary Revolution ran a trio of machines with U-tain Pongprapas enjoying his second race in the latest example of the team’s RX-7 build programme; however two early race retirements left him with scant rewards for his efforts.


In the first race Narin Yensuk dropped out after two laps and Pete Thongchua, the GTC championship leader coming into this race, was gone from proceedings after nine laps. In Race 2 both made it to the line, in eighth and ninth places respectively, to at least chalk a few points on the board.



There were nearly two B-Quik Porsche 996 GT3 Cup entries on the grid. However the team’s second car, which was scheduled to be in the hands of Thomas Raldorf, was withdrawn during practice as a precaution after engine warning lights reared.


That left Attapot Sriprom to defend the team's honours in GTC and in the first race he added a trip to the podium to the one he made at the season opener thanks to finishing fifth. In the second race he came home seventh to make it four points finishes from the four races so far this year and depart from the North East in sixth place in the Drivers’ standings.


 Good, tidy work from this young driver who has made a huge step up from B-Quik's Super Eco programme and has a lot to learn, but he's doing very well.


Also on the podium was Sontaya Kunplome in his Porsche 997 GT3 Cup. He had a late start to the year, in fact a late start to the weekend too, but was well rewarded with an excellent third place in Sunday’s race to opening his points’ tally for the year in real style.


In fact it was a busy weekend on track for Sontaya as he was also racing in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and he enjoyed two strong finishes in Class B to cap a productive trip to the North East.


Rudolf Yu put in a decent weekend in the Ginetta G55 as he made trips to the podium in both races with a fourth and a fifth place, although it could have been much more.


Add that to the two runners up spots he earned at the season opener and he retains his second place in the Drivers’ championship classification; he’s usefully only eight points adrift of Narasak.


Prateep Tumprasert was back behind the wheel of the NSports-built Mitsubishi Evo X for his second event in GTC and after retiring just before half distance during the first race the Super Car rookie finally saw the checkered flag for the first time this year in the now ‘battleship grey’ liveried car with an excellent fourth place in Sunday’s race to get his point scoring in GTC off the mark in some style.

 

- Edd Elllison also phoot

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/thailand-super-siers-buriram-super-car-gtc---153987.html

25.08.2016 / MaP

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