Pro-Am duo Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Alexandre Imperatori are joining forces with reigning Thailand Super Series GT3 champions Panther/AAS Motorsport. The latest entry is in addition to Absolute’s other new 911s and two Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos, all of which were announced either side of Christmas.
Inthraphuvasak switches to Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia full-time in 2019 after previously making race-by-race appearances two years ago with Porsche and Bentley. That’s no coincidence considering title sponsor, AAS Auto Service, is the sole authorised importer and distributor for both manufacturers in Thailand.
“I’m really happy to bring AAS Motorsport to the most competitive GT series in Asia,” he said. “We were Thailand Super Series champions in 2018 but we’ll have to work even harder this year to try to achieve our goals. Absolute Racing is a fantastic team and the Porsche a very competitive car. I think we’ve got a very strong pairing and I can’t wait to get started.”
Meanwhile, Imperatori switches from a season with KCMG and Nissan to Absolute’s new 911 in a move that sees the Swiss driver reprise the successful partnership that helped him claim 2012’s Porsche Carrera Cup Asia crown.
Imperatori drove the team’s new 911 at Sepang earlier this month. Inthraphuvasak will do the same later this week as part of a comprehensive pre-season testing programme ahead of the championship’s opening round on April 6/7.
“I’m really excited about the new season ahead,” said Imperatori. “Vutthi will be one of the best Bronze drivers on the grid and an excellent partner. We have a great relationship and having him on-board for the full season gives us a strong chance of getting consistent results. The new Porsche is one of the best GT3 cars I’ve ever driven and I know that the team are capable of winning the championship. I can’t wait for the season to get underway.”
Team director Fabien Fior added: “We are really happy to welcome Panther/AAS Motorsport to Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia this season. It’s going to be a whole new challenge but we have a strong and motivated team. Some of our drivers have already sampled their first taste of the Porsche at Sepang and could definitely feel the potential within the car. I’m sure that Vutthi and Alex will make really good team-mates and we’ll be strong contenders for the championship.”
Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, Alexandre Gibot, believes both drivers’ previous Carrera Cup experience will prove vital this year.
“We’re delighted to have a fifth 2019-spec Porsche 911 GT3 R on the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia grid,” he said. “Two great teams in the form of Absolute Racing and Panther/AAS Motorsport working together is a hugely exciting prospect. Having the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Alexandre Imperatori alongside Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, who was also very successful during his time in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series, means we have a formidable line-up.”
Absolute’s Porsches and Audis join Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, McLaren and Mercedes-AMG on this season’s GT3 entry list.
Sepang in Malaysia hosts the first of this season’s six rounds on April 6/7.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group