GT Asia Series GT4 - 0.150s covers top-two in Sepang

GT Asia Series GT4 - 0.150s covers top-two in Sepang

15.04.2018: Blancpain GT Series ASIA Sepang International Circuit Sunday, April 15th 2018 Team iRace.Win’s Ringo Chong and Gilles Vannelet converted pole position

Blancpain GT Series ASIA
Sepang International Circuit
Sunday, April 15th 2018


 


Team iRace.Win’s Ringo Chong and Gilles Vannelet converted pole position into Race 2 victory at Sepang, but they were made to work for it by both BMW Team Studie and GruppeM Racing.



Just 0.150s separated Chong from Takayuki Kinoshita at the chequered flag after the BMW reeled in the Mercedes-AMG over the closing laps. That was after the Japanese driver and yesterday’s winner Russell Ward made contact following the pitstops, which ultimately denied the latter and his GruppeM co-driver Reinhold Renger a chance to challenge once again.


That followed a particularly entertaining opening stint between the same three cars. Vannelet held sway initially after starting on pole but was soon under pressure from Reinhold and Kinoshita’s co-driver Sunako Jukuchou.



The GruppeM Mercedes-AMG eventually found a way past but couldn’t build enough of an advantage to overcome its full 15-second success penalty.


Vannelet, by contrast, only had a five-second handicap, which gave Chong breathing space initially before BMW Team Studie’s late race challenge.


Craft-Bamboo Racing’s reigning champions Frank Yu and Jean Marc Merlin were fourth, although their chances weren’t helped by the 10s success penalty incurred for finishing runners-up yesterday, while BMW Team Studie’s second M4 came home fifth.



Chong/Vannelet and Ward/Reinhold share the championship’s top spot after the opening weekend, while Yu/Merlin are 10 points behind in third.


Ringo Chong, #72 Team iRace.Win Mercedes-AMG GT4: “I must say that it’s very different this year with all the new cars and drivers – the level has definitely increased.



We had a gap after the pitstops, which was important because I’m suffering from flu this weekend and I knew things would get harder.


Then the team started counting down the gap to the BMW behind: six seconds, five seconds, four seconds.



I could see his lights in my mirrors, so I knew where he was until he turned them off, which was very sneaky! Maybe with one more lap he would have had me.”
 




Brice Bosi, #888 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It’s been a great weekend for us and the team, and to be leading the championship on my debut really is something special. Raffaele [Marciello] did the hard bit by building a gap and clawing back the success penalty.



He can’t be with us in Thailand but Maxi [Buhk] knows the team, car and championship from last season, plus we have also worked together in the past, so we should be in the mix again.”



Chang International Circuit in Thailand hosts round two of this year’s championship on May 12/13.




-Benjamin Franassovici - photos SRO


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/gt-asia-series-gt4-top-two-sepang---174999.html

15.04.2018 / MaP

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