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Bangsaen Grand-Prix - Evolution of the species

Bangsaen Grand-Prix - Evolution of the species

07.04.2017: It’s a time of positive change within Thailand’s bubbling touring car racing scene – that was the message that couldn’t be missed during


It’s a time of positive change within Thailand’s bubbling touring car racing scene – that was the message that couldn’t be missed during the recent 10th Anniversary Bangsaen Grand Prix where the ‘new kid on the block’, TCR Thailand, rounded out its inaugural season by crowning its first ever champion while Super 2000 ended its long run as the most closely fought domestic championship in style as it now prepares to evolve into a bright future.



Thailand’s ‘touring car’ racing mix has always been robust, boasting healthy grids as well as being popular with both drivers and fans alike thanks to the incessant door-to-door action, even as this motorsport discipline has ebbed and flowed elsewhere around the globe.



TCR Thailand was added to the Thailand Super Series (TSS) programme last year and it proved a perfect complement to Super 2000, the two categories offering different attributes to different drivers and teams. For the first time in Bangsaen both were in action during the delayed 2016 season closer held back in February.



TCR Thailand rocked up for its inaugural races on the Bangsaen Street Circuit to round out a hectic debut season and crown its first ever champion which turned out to be Carlo Van Dam, the Dutchman getting the upper hand in a battle that went to the wire with Jack Lemvard, the pair trading hefty points scores during the races to eventually cancel each other out.



However, as they slugged it out for the title they were somewhat overshadowed by Kantadhee Kusiri who ran away with both race victories to cement his claim to being a young star who has really now arrived.



Super 2000 ended its long glittering run in Bangsaen. It’s been the pinnacle category of touring car racing within TSS since the series was formed in 2013 and the roll call of champions has been a ‘who’s who’ of the fastest Thai drivers including Tin Sritrai and Pasarit Phromsombat – as well as the newly crowned final champion Kittipol Pramoj Na Ayudhya.



The last ever Super 2000 victories though belonged to Munkong Sathienthirakul who dominated proceedings in Bangsaen but he didn’t have it easy and the category signed off in style with its usual trademark ferocious battles, dramas, thrills and spills as well as incidents.



For the upcoming 2017 season Super 2000 will metamorphosis into the ‘Thailand Touring Car Championship’, the famous moniker being seen in TSS for the first time, the rules are evolving – but the aims are still the same, to provide some of the most exciting racing in Asia.



Finally, the Sereethoranakul ‘brothers’ are really making their mark in Thai motorsport. Sarun armed himself with a Lamborghini Huracán LP620-2 Super Trofeo last season and promptly won the Super Car GTM title. This year his team is acquiring a second Huracán and so his title winning machine will be in the hands of his younger brother Saravut who steps up after completing his rookie year in Super Car GTM.



The pair will get some useful pre-season running in the new car under their belts as they will take part in the opening round of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia at Sepang Circuit this weekend as – rather unusually – the two brothers, Sarun and Saravut, will be sharing the same cockpit during the pan-Asian series’ trademark 50-minute races which feature mandatory mid race pitstops and driver changes.



- Edd Ellison -   also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/bangsaen-gp-evolution-species---163005.html

07.04.2017 / MaP

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