Absolute Racing secured their first European Le Mans Series (ELMS) podium at Monza, with the Shanghai-based squad both qualifying and finishing third.
Competing in the #18 Porsche 911 RSR, the trio of Indonesian driver Andrew Haryanto, 2020-21 Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Selected Driver Alessio Picariello and Estonian racer Martin Rump took advantage of the strong pace they’ve shown all season to pick up a podium finish in their debut campaign. The team was originally classified fourth, before moving up to third following another car’s disqualification.
Current Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Selected Driver Yifei Ye, driving for Swiss team COOL Racing, showed his pace at the Temple of Speed. The Chinese driver qualified the car and sat second fastest after the first half of the session, but was unable to set a final lap time, crossing the start/finish line too late to benefit from another run.
Ye took the final stint in the #37 Oreca 07, making several overtakes to move from sixth to second, before serving a penalty for an earlier Full Course Yellow infringement, which dropped the crew down to eighth.
In the opening round of the Thailand Super Series, brothers Munkong and Tanart Sathienthirakul took GTM victory in Race 2, following their second-place finish in Race 1 for Mongkol Motorsports. Joining them on Saturday afternoon’s podium was the AAS Motorsport pair of Kantadhee Kusiri and Nattachak Hanjitkasem, who claimed third.
In the GTC class, Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak, son of 2019 GT World Challenge Asia GT3 Pro-Am champion Vitthikorn Inthraphuvasak, took the win in the opening round. Racing in the #14 AAS Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4, Inthraphuvasak followed up his win with a second-place finish on Sunday.
Yifei Ye, #37 COOL Racing Oreca 07: “Niklas started the race well and was in the lead battle for the first half of the race, so I’m really happy with the pace we showed. Unfortunately we received two penalties, costing us 30 seconds in total and we finished 31 seconds behind the leader, which proves how much speed we had. Despite this, the whole team performed well and I enjoyed my time in the car, pulling off several good overtakes. The end result is obviously not what we were hoping for but I’m satisfied with the way we kept pushing and with our team spirit. We worked really hard this weekend, so I’m going to enjoy the break until the next round in mid-August!”
Andrew Haryanto, #18 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 RSR: “I’m pleased we finished the weekend with a podium, even though we had to wait a few hours after the race to be classified third! We were all among the fastest drivers in our category, especially Alessio, who was amazingly quick. We have to commend Martin as well, he was involved in a few tough fights and came out the other side.”
Alessio Picariello, #18 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 RSR: “We had great pace this weekend, possibly the best in class so I’m pleased with third, although I believe we can do more! We’ll keep working and continue to aim higher in the upcoming races.”
Martin Rump, #18 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 RSR: “In the end it was a tough race, but a silver lining to get third. I still think the whole team deserved more considering the speed we had this weekend, but to get our first podium is a great achievement and one we should be happy with. Looking forward to the next event!”
Alexandre Gibot, Managing Director Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Ltd.: “It was a good weekend for Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific on track, with plenty of silverware and strong performances! I’m delighted for Absolute Racing, they’ve proven since the start of the season that they’ve got great pace and they deserved to take the podium. Yifei also continued to show his talent with some brilliant overtakes. Unfortunately the result wasn’t what he was hoping for but he still put in a great performance. I was also pleased to see Thailand Super Series return and for Porsche to go well there. Congratulations to Mongkol Motorsports for their victory and to AAS Motorsport for their successes as well. Looking forward to more in the coming rounds!”
Source. Pole/Photo. Paola Depalmas
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