The #9 AAS Motorsport driver was one of five Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport entries in Buriram this weekend, with #14 Morseng Racing Team’s Tosaphol Phamyai edging ahead of #2 JWD Est Cola Racing Team’s Charavanin Bunditkitsada for second in the final drivers’ standings.
In race one, Bunditkitsada led the field away from Karnasuta, with the latter going wide at Turn 8 whilst defending from a GTC competitor, dropping behind team-mate Pasu Liptapanlop’s #46 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
It did not take long for the championship leader to overtake Liptapanlop though and he quickly caught up to Bunditkitsada’s #2 Porsche. Despite needing to only finish the race to secure the title, Karnasuta showed no signs of taking it easy, passing his rival with 30 minutes remaining for the lead.
The 18-year-old pulled a comfortable gap, crossing the line three seconds ahead to claim the Porsche Cayman Trophy Thailand title on his first attempt. Bunditkitsada was second, with Phamyai completing the podium ahead of #8 Racing Spirit Thailand’s Sontaya Kunplome. After an impressive start Liptapanlop was forced to retire in the opening stages.
Karnasuta opted to sit out the second race and so it became a straight fight for second in the championship. Bunditkitsada led once again, but was soon passed by Liptapanlop with the two going wheel-to-wheel for much of the opening stages.
Then, Bunditkitsada lost out to his nearest rival Phamyai shortly before a safety car emerged, due contact between with Liptapanlop and a GTC competitor. Although the AAS Motorsport driver managed to keep going initially after the restart, he dropped back on the final lap, allowing Phamyai to inherit the lead.
The Blancpain GT Series Asia driver held on to take his first victory of the season, with Bunditkitsada’s second meaning the duo finished with the same championship points. However, because he had the most recent victory, Phamyai ends the year as vice champion. Kunplome scored his third podium of the season, with Liptapanlop having to retire.
Alongside the Porsche Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand category, six other Porsche entries in the GTM Plus, GTM and GTC classes were in action at the Chang International Circuit.
In GTC, which ran alongside the Trophy Thailand competitors, B-Quik Racing Team’s Ian Geekie had an exceptional weekend on board the #18 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 997), taking class wins in both races and finishing ahead of several of the faster TA2 runners.
Over in the GTM Plus category, Henk J. Kiks and Peter Kox capped off the season with another strong weekend, guiding B-Quik Racing Team’s #26 Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 997) to sixth in race one and fifth in the final, equalling their biggest points return of the season.
Four Porsches were also entered in GTM, in which B-Quik Racing Team’s Alif Hamdan lifted the title. Driving the #72 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) he was classified fourth in race one, with a strong drive in race two seeing him clinch second place and the championship.
Hamdan’s team-mate and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia race-winner Will Bamber, driving the #11 machine, helped secure the teams’ title for B-Quik Racing, after claiming a maiden victory in race one.
Finally, Thomas Raldorf and Shaun Varney, followed home Bamber in second place after the race one penalties were confirmed to cap off a positive season for the Unixx – TR Motorsport Racing Team Porsche.
Tanart and Kunkong Sathienthirakul and the est Cola PTT Racing Team, overcame a disappointing run of non-finishes to score an exceptional victory on board the #15 Porsche in race two, confirming Porsche’s strength in the series.
Preeda Tantemsapya, Vice President of the Thailand Super Series, said: “We received such great official support from Porsche in the Porsche Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand’s first season, it is the only one of its kind in Asia. The prizes that the drivers receive, such as a Snow Force Experience and collecting the award in Stuttgart, are very unique and it’s a privileged opportunity. The Cayman’s good reliability means the drivers can spend more time racing each other, rather than fixing the car.
“Everybody is tremendously satisfied with the car’s performance and we are honoured to have them return next year, which will contribute to the increasing number of participants. Now, the Thailand Super Series receives support from international drivers and this championship serves as another stage to display their capabilities. The new cars are sure to be competitive, and the Cayman will continue to shine next year.”
Sontaya Kunplome, President of the Thailand Super Series, said: “Having the Porsche Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand, which is a globally recognised class, helps to elevate the Thailand Super Series. It provides an opportunity for Thai drivers to get behind the wheel of a truly magnificent car and allows them to develop their skills. As a driver in this category, I’m able to race in such a masterpiece and experiencing this is incredible. It also gives Thai motorsports a global platform and the championship is now recognised worldwide.
“For next year, there will be a new model coming to the Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand, which means that the car will be even more intelligent, nimble and great to drive. Therefore, this will set a new benchmark in Thailand’s motorsport industry, with the drivers able to experience the most up-to-date machinery from Porsche.”
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, said: “It was a fantastic way to end the 2018 Thailand Super Series, with Porsche once again putting on a strong performance. Congratulations to Kmik & AAS Motorsport on winning the Porsche Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand and GTC titles. There were great drives throughout the field and the fight for second in the championship came right down to the wire, which was exciting.
“Elsewhere, B-Quik Racing Team were crowned teams’ champions in GTM, with Alif collecting the drivers’ title and Ian Geekie taking a double victory in GTC, following another fantastic weekend for the squad. It was also great to see Will Bamber, as well as Tanart and Kunkong Sathienthirakul all on the top step of the podium for the first time.
“After an excellent season, now we look forward to 2019, which is sure to bring even more success. We’re very proud of all Porsche entries and now it’s time for a deserved winter break!”