After two strong finishes in the ‘qualifying races’, 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup racer Stephen lined up eighth on the grid for the Main Race and made immediate progress to sixth in the opening stages on a drying track. He handed over to son Brenton who improved to fourth during the first lap after a safety car restart.
The race ended behind the safety car as weather conditions worsened, securing a podium finish in the GT Cup finale for the Grove Racing pair, awarding them a bronze medal in the maiden FIA Motorsport Games.
Despite a challenging start to the weekend with contact in race one and aquaplaning in race two, the Earl Bamber Motorsport Team Malaysia Porsche charged from the rear of the field in the Main Race with haste. Porsche Carrera Cup Asia racer Adrian Henry D’Silva reached 12th before handing over to Weiron Tan.
His progress was halted by safety car interventions due to the weather, locking the team into 11th.
Team Thailand’s Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak rose from sixth to second in the first half of the race with exceptional pace, but the torrential rain saw the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia Pro-Am champion spin off into the gravel.
His team-mate, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup driver Kantadhee Kusiri, managed to put in strong performances earlier in the weekend, battling for the race two podium in changeable conditions.
The fourth Porsche 911 GT3 R entry from Team Germany won race one, but did not finish the Main Race after contact.
Stephen Grove, Team Australia: “It’s fantastic to come over here and represent your country with your son and more importantly do it in a Porsche. Although it’s been a hard weekend with some crazy conditions to be racing in, we were able to put it together. Third is just outstanding and I’m really proud of my son.”
Brenton Grove, Team Australia: “For us it’s awesome to win a medal in the first FIA Motorsport Games, and being the lead Porsche is really cool as well. I struggled at the start quite a bit because Stephen was out there when it was drier and the tyre had disintegrated considerably, so it took me a while to find my rhythm but after the safety car restart we were on it, making a few good moves.”
Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, Team Thailand: “It’s disappointing to end the way we did, but I’m still extremely happy with our performance during the first FIA Motorsport Games. The speed in the Main Race was incredible and I’m confident that we could have scored a silver medal. Thanks to the team and to Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific for this weekend.”
Kantadhee Kusiri, Team Thailand: “I’m proud to have represented Thailand but it’s a pity we could not finish the race. The track conditions were extremely difficult because the weather constantly changed between dry and heavy rain, so everyone was struggling. Nonetheless, I am happy with our performance and hope to come back for the next FIA Motorsport Games.”
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific: “Congratulations to Stephen and Brenton Grove for Team Australia’s bronze medal, it’s a fantastic achievement for them in what were extremely challenging conditions throughout the weekend. Well done also to Team Malaysia and Earl Bamber Motorsport for their turnaround. Team Thailand showed amazing speed during the Main Race and put in a great performance. The first FIA Motorsport Games has been a huge success and we look forward to future events.”