Kantadhee Kusiri sweeps up on TCR debut in Thailand

Kantadhee Kusiri sweeps up on TCR debut in Thailand

04.09.2016: And if there was one driver whose name stood out over the weekend in Buriram

And if there was one driver whose name stood out over the weekend in Buriram it was Kantadhee Kusiri. He’s a name that’s very familiar to Thai fans as he’s one of the ‘Kusiri’ brothers that are regarded as two of Thailand’s brightest prospects, in fact his elder brother, Kantasak, is the reigning Super Car GTM champion and currently, as well as defending his title, is racing in GT Asia Series.

Kantadhee has been a little overshadowed by the successes of his ‘big brother’ but last weekend he really laid down his marker. In fact he’s had a couple of strong seasons. In 2013 he romped to the TSS Super 1500 title with Team Eakie and in 2014 he graduated to Super 2000 with the team in its ageing Toyota Altezza, making plenty of trips to the podium on his rookie season.

However for 2015 the team was bedding in a new Toyota 86 and very raw out of the box it took quite some time to come right. When it was sorted Kantadhee did what he does best and banged in a double victory when TSS visited Bira circuit.

This year Kantadhee has switched continents to race in Europe, driving a F3 Dallara-Toyota in the EuroFormula Open series, and he’s been impressing all season despite his lack of previous single seater experience.

However he was back on home soil as Team Eakie teamed up with BBR to acquire the MK TBN IHere Honda Civic TCR that Wijak Lertprasertpakorn raced during the TCR Thailand season opener back in May and so Kantadhee had another new car to try his hand at – he arrived in Buriram with just a few shakedown laps at Bira Circuit the previous week behind him.

With drivers in TCR Thailand of the proven caliber of Jack Lemvard, Narasak Ittiritpong, Grant Supaphong, Alexander Mies and Chen Jian Hong – all of whom have TCR races already behind them, Kantadhee wasn’t expect to beat the pack.

However he did just that, winning both TCR Thailand races comfortably and picking up a maximum score of 50 points, although that was only half the story, as the young driver mixed it up with the TCR International Series field, finishing sixth overall in the first race and ninth in the second, the only TCR Thailand driver to make the top ten finishers.

Along the way also he reached the Q2 session and qualified an impressive eighth, battled for the podium positions in Race 2 and held his own against a field of highly experienced household names.

A fantastic performance from Kantadhee, a quiet driver from a racing family who loves to race and always lets his racing do the talking. In Buriram last weekend it certainly did the talking – he drove like a future champion.

“Sixth and ninth in my first TCR event and at my home racetrack, I couldn’t be happier,” he said in the post race press conference.

“I think I did quite well and it was great fun to be able to fight with all these great international drivers, especially in Race 2, which was really exciting. And obviously I am also very proud that I won the two races for TCR Thailand on my first appearance in the championship.”

- Edd Ellison - also photo


04.09.2016 / MaP

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