A moment for motorsport to reflect and pay its respects

A moment for motorsport to reflect and pay its respects

25.01.2017: The Royal Automobile Association of Thailand Under Royal Patronage organized a special event a week last Sunday afternoon that

The Royal Automobile Association of Thailand Under Royal Patronage organized a special event a week last Sunday afternoon that allowed the Thai motorsport community to come together as one to pay respect and offer condolences to the recent passing of His Royal Highness King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
 


The event was held on the large apron at IMPACT’s Lakeside in Muang Thong Thani and focused  in bringing 89 cars together in the shape of the Thai numeral nine “๙” as well as spelling out the ‘RAAT’ acronym “รยสท” in Thai letters thanks to the formation of a large contingent of students from Taweethapisek School, Thonburi, that also joined, arriving on more than half a dozen buses. The RAAT was represented by President Somporn Suebtawilkul, the board of directors and many VIPs including TSS President Sontaya Kunplome.
 


The racecars brought together represented all levels of national motorsport, from Super Car GTM and GTC, through TCR Thailand and Super 2000 all the way to club and grassroots level.



Very capably representing GTM was the overall championship leading Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo of Sarun Sereethoranakul as well as the Amateur class leading Porsche 991 GT3 Cup of Paul Kanjanapas. Also in the GTM mix were the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup machines of their teammates, respectively, Saravut Sereethoranakul and Naputt Assakul.
 


In fact all the major race series were represented on the baking hot concrete apron: Thailand Super Series, RAAT Thailand Endurance Championship, Toyota Motorsport’s One Make Race, Grand Prix Racing League and Toyo 3K Racing Car Thailand as motorsport seamlessly blended together as one to honour and pay respects. The letter was even tipped by half a dozen electric karts from the adjacent IMPACT SpeedPark.
 


TSS Vice President Preeda Tantemsapya explained the objective of this occasion. “This is our tribute to the passing away of our beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama 9, and thanks to Paul [Kanjanapas] the owner of IMPACT SpeedPark and to Muang Thong Thani in general for supplying us with a nice facility to do this event.”
 


“But much more than that we would like to thank the many racers who brought their racecars to join eighty nine cars that made up the nine figure in the Thai numeral,” he continued. “Not only that thanks also to all those in RAAT, President Somporn, Mr Sontaya Kunplome and the rest of the board members including the staff who put this event together.”
 


Other GTM standouts fanned out in the No 9 shape included the two red and white factory run Toyota 86s driven by Nattavude Charoensukhawatana and Nattapong Horthongkum which led out a big presence from Toyota including a string of cars from its popular ‘One Make’ race series – which will be supporting TSS as usual in Bangsaen next month.
 


Preeda was pleased with how everyone had immediately thrown their weight behind the event once the idea had been floated. “This is just something to show our feelings of deep respect,” he noted.



 “Although it was put together during a busy weekend the participation and assistance we have received from Thai motorsport drivers and team owners has been amazing and we have been able to draw all these cars in to make the figure nine in a very short period of time.



That this has come together so quickly and so well I think is due to the fact we all see the same the importance of remembering the passing away of our beloved King.”

 
 
 
  Edd Ellison - also photos

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25.01.2017 / MaP

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