Yuki Nemoto and Alex Au celebrate maiden victory in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia

Yuki Nemoto and Alex Au celebrate maiden victory in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia

22.06.2019: The Pro-Am pairing of Yuki Nemoto and Alex Au celebrated their maiden Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia victory today, winning the opening race of this weekend’s double header at Suzuka Circuit. Second overall and winner of the Pro category was FFF Racing Tea

The Pro-Am pairing of Yuki Nemoto and Alex Au celebrated their maiden Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia victory today, winning the opening race of this weekend’s double header at Suzuka Circuit. Second overall and winner of the Pro category was FFF Racing Team’s Takashi Kasai and Juuso Puhakka, ahead of the Pro-Am pairing of Afiq Yazid and Toshiyuki Ochiai of Hojust Racing.



Continuing to impress in his debut Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia season was Huilin Han of T Squared Racing who, in a remarkable solo effort, finished fourth overall, notching up a second victory in the Am category. Takamichi Matsuda and Dai Yoshihara of yh Racing Team celebrated their first win of the season in the Lamborghini Cup.



Japanese competitor Nemoto, who is making his season debut this weekend, was delighted to race – and to win – on his home track, while Au, having finished on the podium twice in his series debut in Sepang, earned his first overall victory in just his third Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia race.



The weekend has seen both the Am and Lamborghini Cup drivers given the chance to work with 2014 Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Champion Milos Pavlovic. Pavlovic, Lamborghini Squadra Corse Chief Instructor for Asia-Pacific and Huracán GT3 specialist, has been on hand to support the Lamborghini Cup drivers in further developing their racing skills in the championship.



With three races complete, Kasai and Puhakka lead the Pro class. New Pro-Am leader Au has a narrow two-point lead over rivals Yazid and Ochiai, while Han has further extended his lead in the Am championship. Hong Kong drivers Paul Wong and Clement Li of 852 Challengers continue to lead the Lamborghini Cup.



Puhakka set a red-hot lap during this morning’s opening qualifying session, which put the 20-year-old Lamborghini Squadra Corse Young Driver Program member on pole position for today’s race. Lining up alongside the Finn was Am class driver Jun Tashiro of Promotion Racing, who, along with fellow Japanese driver Satoshi Furuta is making a welcome return to the championship. Making up the second row was a pair of Pro-Am drivers: New Zealand’s Brendon Leitch of Leipert Motorsport and Ochiai. Au qualified fifth fastest, with GDL Racing’s Richard Muscat sixth on the grid. Both Leitch and Muscat are also part of the Young Driver Program, as is Evan Chen, who started the race from the ninth row after technical issues in qualifying.



Puhakka got off to a strong start, but behind him plenty of drama followed. After infringements at the rolling start, car #77 of Promotion Racing and #38 Hojust Racing were both penalized with a drive-through penalty. By the end of the opening lap, Puhakka was just ahead of Leitch, with Muscat having gained three places to lie third. Han led the Am class while Li took the early lead in the Lamborghini Cup.



The Safety Car was called out early following a spin by the #88 GDL Racing car of Gabriele Murroni. During the intervention, an error by Hong Kong’s Samson Chan of GDL Racing resulted in contact with Tashiro, with Chan forced to retire after five laps.



When racing resumed on Lap 6, Puhakka came under pressure from Leitch, Muscat and Chen. Chen was among the first drivers into the pit when the window opened, handing over to Chris van der Drift. Am driver Ochiai also handed over to Pro driver Yazid, with the Malaysian tasked with gaining places lost due to the error at the start.



Once all the pit stops and driver changes had been complete, it was Kasai, who held a narrow lead over van der Drift, with Nemoto third, ahead of series newcomer Danny Stuttered in the #47 car and Leipert Motorsport driver Massimo Vignali. Han continued to lead the Am class and was sixth overall while Wong, who had taken over driving duties from Li in the #44 car, was the Lamborghini Cup leader.



A lap later, van der Drift took the lead from Kasai, with Nemoto getting ahead of his fellow Japanese driver a lap later.  While van der Drift was first across the line, the #68 Gama Racing car was later excluded from the results due to a technical infringement.



Just behind the leaders, a thrilling battle emerged between Stutterd, Vignali and Han. Han piled on the pressure and when an opportunity presented itself, the Chinese driver found a way past Vignali, with Yazid, also getting past. Stutterd then ran wide, allowing both Han and Yazid through. A determined Yazid pushed hard and a lap later took fourth place from Han. In the Lamborghini Cup, Yoshihara had moved up two places in the category en route to his and Matsuda’s first victory of the season.



Race 2 of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia at Suzuka Circuit is set for Sunday, June 23, with the fourth race of the season getting underway at 13:30 local time (GMT+9).



-Nikki Kemp, photos Lamborghini

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/yuki-nemoto-alex-au-victory-lamborghini-super-trofeo-asia---192883.html

22.06.2019 / MaP

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