Tokyo, Japan / June 25, 2017
Lamborghini, drivers and teams returned to Suzuka Circuit again today to once again do battle for the podium after yesterday’s epic race. After a drizzling and damp morning at track, featuring the dramatic second of two rounds of the Blancpain GT Asia series, the Huracán Super Trofeo took to the grid for what was to be a safety car start. With a wet race declared, teams fitted wet tires and drivers adjusted their traction control settings for the awaiting challenge. As the light rainfall steadily gained in momentum and with water collecting on the track, it was sure to be a thrilling race.
Lamborghini’s global customer GT racing event, the Super Trofeo, is back at Suzuka for the second year running for the third stop of the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series. Hosting a mix of racing celebrities and rookies, the world’s most thrilling single make series provides a platform for veterans and gentleman drivers alike to hone their tracks skills. This year’s competitor roster includes former Formula One star Shinji Nakano and teammate, accomplished Japanese GT racer Hiroyuki Iiri.
With the temperatures just above the 20 degree C mark, overcast skies and persistent rain, conditions were considerably more challenging than yesterday’s. With the Safety Car entering the pit lane after two sighting laps, race two got underway in earnest. As soon as the throttles opened, tall rooster tails of spray informed onlookers of just how wet it was on the circuit, and the limited traction available.
Local driver Kei Cozzolino controlled the field at the front of the grid in Clazzio Racing’s car #11, pushing hard to secure an early advantage from the Safety Car start. He was followed by British driver Toby Sowery in car #3 with team Lazarus, and another local driver Kaneishi Toshihiro in car #63 with Emperor Racing, then in third. At the head of the PRO-AM pack and in fourth overall was Toshiyuki Ochiai with HoJust racing in car #38, while the AM class was led by Yasuke Hayashi with Car Guy Racing in car #74, then in seventh overall. Italian driver Gabriele Murroni led the Lamborghini Cup class in fourteenth overall.
By the fourth lap, Kei had put a two second gap between himself and Sowrey, with Toshihiro trailing the Brit by just over a second. Back in seventh and eighth place, Akihiko Nakaya with Emperor Racing’s car #19 managed to get past Hayashi. Meanwhile, as the rainfall got heavier, AM driver Andrew Haryanto in car #69 with X-One Racing was putting heavy pressure on the back of the pack, having started in fifteenth after a spin in qualifying left him near the back of the grid for race two. Over the next laps he charged through the field, Murroni being first to fall, followed by Thai AM driver Bobby Suttiluck in car #59 with True Visions Motorsport. Shortly after he passed Samson Chan with Top Speed Racing in car #66 and FFF Racing’s Carrie Schreiner in car #50, taking him into eleventh overall. At the same time, PRO driver Jack Bartholomew who started right at the back of the grid after qualifying woes, was making his way up the field, behind Haryanto. By the sixth lap, Haryanto was in tenth, passing Leipert’s Mikko Eskelinen in car #33, while Bartholomew had made his way through the cars into eleventh, just a handful of seconds of the back of Haryanto.
Into lap seven and Hiroyuki Iiri in car #12 with Lamborghini Osaka Racing Team makes an unfortunate error on the hairpin turn sixteen, whilst piling pressure onto British driver Rory Collingbourne in front, spinning out and dropping nine places right down the grid into fifteenth overall.
The pit lane opened in lap eight, with Schreiner being the first to come in for the required pit stop period, shortly followed by Supachai Weeraborwornpong in car #77 with Top Speed Racing. With the rain intensifying, the rest of the drivers started to pit and change drivers over the following laps.
In the twelfth lap, Maxx Ebenal in car #33 lost traction but recovered quickly, going on to overtake Takeshi Kimura in car #74 with Car Guy Racing. Meanwhile, George Chou in car #66 managed to get past Suttiluck.
In the sixteenth lap, Shinji Nakano in car #16 was able to get past Kimura.
Having failed to stop for the mandatory minimum pitstop time length by just fractions of a second, Armaan Ebrahim in car #5 received a stop and go penalty in lap eighteen, causing him to drop down to twelfth from seventh. Meanwhile, Edoardo Liberati in car #19 kept the pressure up on Ben Gersekowski in Leipert’s car #2, eventually making a successful pass in lap twenty, while Ebenal fought hard to pass Haryanto. Having had a torrid Race One, Farmer was again in trouble with Race Officials for a Pit Stop infringement, receiving a Stop and Go penalty in the twentieth lap and was unable to leave the pitlane before the Chequered Flag fell, unfortunately earning himself a DNF.
The final results saw Afiq Yazid and Cozzolino Kei with Clazzio Racing take first in PRO class, followed by Artur Janosz and Toby Sowery with Lazarus in second and Masami Kageyama and Kaneishi Toshihiro with Emperor Racing taking the third spot on the Podium, in only their first weekend competing in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2017. In the PRO-AM class, Takeshi Matsumoto and Toshiyuki Ochiai with HoJust Racing took the win, followed by Carrie Schreiner and Richard Goddard with FFF Racing in second and Leipert’s Mikko Eskelinen and Maxx Ebenal in third. In the AM class, Andrew Haryanto with X-One Racing Team came in first, followed by Takeshi Kimura and Yasuke Hayashi with Car Guy Racing in second and George Chou and Samson Chan with Top Speed Racing in third. In the Lamborghini Cup class, Supachai Weeraborwornpong with Top Speed Racing again bested Gabriele Murroni with Petri Corse.
The Suzuka race weekend is the third of six Super Trofeo Asia series race fixtures this season. Round four is to be held at Fuji International Speedway, with round five at Shanghai International Circuit and round six and the World Final at Autodromo of Imola. Situated in Italy’s Bologna region, home of Automobili Lamborghini, the Imola circuit will host the conclusion of the Super Trofeo Asia, Europe and North American series, converging in a world final and contest for a prized spot on the global podium.
With the weekend’s action now coming to a close, drivers and teams will be eagerly anticipating round four of the championship taking place on August 19 and 20 at Fuji International Speedway in Japan.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Asia
Sepang (MYS) 8/9 April
Buriram (THA) 20/21 May
Suzuka (JPN) 24/25 June
Fuji (JPN) 19/20 August
Shanghai (CHN) 23/24 September
Imola (ITA) 16/17 November
Imola (ITA) 18/19 November
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