Teams for which Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific provide technical support endured a challenging weekend during the latest round of the Blancpain GT Series Asia at Fuji Speedway, as four GT3-spec Porsche 911 GT3 R, and a pair of Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR entries, raced at the historic Japanese venue.
In qualifying for the weekend’s first race, Sandy Stuvik set the fourth quickest time aboard the #911 Craft-Bamboo Racing machine, while Aidan Read qualified in 15th position in the sister #991 entry. Tetsuya Yamano clocked the 12th fastest lap for the #33 Porsche Team EBI car, with D’station Racing’s #47 placing 16th at the hands of Satoshi Hoshino.
Despite making a strong start from the second row, Stuvik was forced into an unfortunate early retirement, following an incident. The #991 faced a similarly challenging opening race, eventually coming through the finish in 14th position.
Porsche Team EBI’s #33 guest entry, driven by brothers Naoya and Tetsuya Yamano, avoided the chaos ahead on the first tour to jump from 12th to eighth, eventually coming home in ninth position for a second-consecutive points finish.
Satoshi Hoshino ran as high as 11th in the #47 D’station Racing car in the early stages, before a penalty dropped the team outside the top-20. Japanese veteran driver Seiji Ara took over for the second half of the race, recovering to 16th position.
After qualifying the car 10th for race two, Australian Shae Davies took the start in the #911, battling hard to remain inside the top-10. A quick turn-around from the Craft-Bamboo Racing team in the pits saw Stuvik gain a position, with the 23-year-old taking one further place on track, bringing the car home eighth.
Darryl O’Young was given the duty of starting car #991, making up numerous places from 21st on the opening few laps. After the mandatory pit-stop, Read continued to climb up the order, before a spin caused by contact stopped the team from making further progress, finishing 17th.
Despite starting 20th and dropping back in the opening stages, the #33 Porsche Team EBI car made a rapid comeback in the second half of the one-hour race to place 15th at the chequered flag. D’station Racing’s #47 entry also made up ground from their starting position, eventually finishing just outside the points in 11th.
Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific also provided technical support for a pair of GT4 runners, with both Taiwan Top Speed Racing’s #17 and #11 TTR Team SARD competing with the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
Qualifying one saw Brian Lee driving car #11 set the third fastest time in class, while George Chou clocked a lap good enough for fifth position in the #17 machine.
Following a rapid start from the second row of the grid, Lee jumped into the lead on the opening lap, before battling it out for top-spot over the course of the first stint. Tony Fong Wai Shing took the car over at half distance, going on to bring home a season-best third in class for the #11.
After running as high as third in the first portion of the race in the hands of Chou, the #17 entry fought away fiercely in the hands of Keo Chang, eventually crossing the line just off the podium in fourth.
Starting the weekend’s second race from third, Chang vied for the final podium position throughout his stint. Handing over to Chou in fourth, the Japanese racer continued to fight for third place, but ultimately finished just off the rostrum.
It was Fong who took the green flag for TTR Team SARD in race two from fourth place, showing good pace to climb into the top three. After handing the car over, Brian Lee continued the charge to earn a deserved second-place finish, the team’s best result of the season.
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, said: “It’s good to see Porsche represented well in the GT3 class with four Porsche 911 GT3 R entries racing at this historic venue. The D’station Racing and Porsche Team EBI squads both produced strong runs in this highly competitive championship. To be battling for the top-10 positions as non full-season entrants in this highly competitive championship is no mean feat. The two outfits campaigning the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in the GT4 category had their best weekends of the season taking a podium apiece. This is a mark of the hard work TTR Team SARD and Taiwan Top Speed Racing have been putting in, and we’re looking forward to seeing them continue to progress at the remaining races.”
Up next for the Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific-supported teams in the Blancpain GT Series Asia will be a visit to the Shanghai International Circuit, China (22-23 September), though prior to that, a number of Porsche runners will compete in the inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours, as part of the Internconinental GT Challenge (24-26 August).
Source. Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific/Photo. SRO Motorsports Group