Liberati, Amici and Lamborghini are 2016 GT Asia Series champions

FFF Racing Team by ACM claim Rnd#12 win and 2016 GT Asia Series title

Liberati, Amici and Lamborghini are 2016 GT Asia Series champions
#37 BBT Ferrari 488 GT3: Davide Rizzo, Anthony Liu
#88 Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche Porsche 911 GT3 R: Richard Lyons, Frank Yu
#6 Phoenix Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3: Alex Yoong, Alex Au
Mika Hakkinen
Race winners #37 BBT Ferrari 488 GT3: Davide Rizzo, Anthony Liu, second place #9 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3: Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, Duncan Tappy, third place #6 Phoenix Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3: Alex Yoong, Alex Au
#55 FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3: Edoardo Liberati, Andrea Amici
#6 Phoenix Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3: Alex Yoong, Alex Au
#5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3: Marchy Lee, Shaun Thong
#66 Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy Team-AAI: Matt Solomon, Nico Bastian
#7 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3: Adderly Fong, Andrew Kim
#15 FFF Racing Team by ACM Lamborghini Huracan GT3: Jeroen Mul, Richard Antinucci
#66 Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy Team-AAI: Matt Solomon, Nico Bastian
#5 Phoenix Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3
#12 TP12 Racing Team Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
#98 GruppeM Racing Porsche 911 GT3R
#55 FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3: Edoardo Liberati, Andrea Amici
#88 Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche Porsche 911 GT3 R: Richard Lyons, Frank Yu
Start action
#55 FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3: Edoardo Liberati, Andrea Amici
#95 Miedecke Stone Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage: Ash Walsh, George Miedecke
#55 FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3: Edoardo Liberati, Andrea Amici
#98 GruppeM Racing Porsche 911 GT3R: Philip Ma, Tim Sugden
#88 Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche Porsche 911 GT3 R: Richard Lyons, Frank Yu
#98 GruppeM Racing Porsche 911 GT3R
#5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3: Marchy Lee, Shaun Thong
#95 Miedecke Stone Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage: Nathan Morcom, George Miedecke
#8 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3: Jonathan Venter, Keita Sawa
#6 Phoenix Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3: Alex Yoong, Alex Au
#8 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3: Jonathan Venter, Keita Sawa
#37 BBT Ferrari 488 GT3: Davide Rizzo, Anthony Liu
#3 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3: Mok Weng Sun, Gianmaria Bruni
#37 BBT Ferrari 488 GT3: Davide Rizzo, Anthony Liu
Lovely grid girl of #3 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3: Mok Weng Sun, Gianmaria Bruni
Start action #7 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3: Adderly Fong, Andrew Kim leads
#7 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3: Adderly Fong, Andrew Kim

After 12 dramatic rounds, the 2016 GT Asia Series has come to its conclusion with two young Italian stars claiming the crown after a final event that perhaps fittingly, provided plenty of intrigue.

Ultimately it came down to the final race of the season in wet and tricky conditions, for FFF Racing Team by ACM Lamborghini stars Edoardo Liberati and Andrea Amici to claim the title, and with it, the first ever championship victory for the new Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

For title rivals Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo, their final couldn’t have been any worse.. Needing to reduce the deficit to the points leaders by just nine points coming in, their event started perfectly with both Liu and Rizzo claiming front row starts in qualifying.

Sadly from there things went sideways starting from the opening lap of race one, with Rizzo tagged by outgoing champion Darryl O’Young - from there it was a matter of playing catch-up as the advantage swung back in favour of the two young Italians who were battling their own issues. Rizzo stormed back though the pack to catch the leaders, but made heavy impact with the rear of the GruppeM Porsche under brakes in near zero visibility, forcing the team’s second retirement of the year. The AF Corse supported BBT team regrouped to repair the car for race two, three hours later, with Liu starting strongly before a spin at turn three - again on the opening lap - saw him tagged by the pack as they tried to avoid him. Starting once more from the rear of the field, the two Ferrari drivers charged back through the field to finish sixth.

Whilst the BBT team endured their toughest event of the season, Phoenix Racing Asia delivered another strong result with Alex Yoong and team-mate Alex Au claiming their maiden wins in GT Asia in Round 11, whilst team-mates Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong closed out the season with two podium finishes to advance to second in the championship on debut.

Along with their outright championship victory, Liberati and Amici were also crowned the Pro-Cup champions for the 2016 season, whilst Shaun Thong finished his debut season in GT Asia as the Am-Cup champion.

Bentley Team Absolute - by claiming four wins in the 12-round season - were crowned GT Asia Series Teams champions, whilst Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and Kantasak Kusiri claimed the GTC Class crown.

Round #11 quotes

Alex Yoong (#6 Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3): “I’ve done this championship for a few years now, so I was very tense and I really wanted to get that first win. The new Michelin tyres that they brought for this race were excellent, the car was perfect, the team did a really good job with the car and pretty much Alex [Au] was perfect as well, his pace was so strong in the second half, so he was able to put Frank [Yu] under pressure. Very, very happy with this win.”

Alex Au (#6 Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3): “The last race here at Shanghai was definitely good preparation for this event, so that aided my progress, it’s fantastic though to finally stand on the top step of the podium.”

Adderly Fong (#7 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3)
: “I think this is where we should have been. We got caught out yesterday in qualifying after I had a spin on my opening lap, and conditions worsened for my second lap. Michelin brought fantastic tyres, so they were consistent and we saved a lot of time in the pit stop as well. Andrew [Kim] is doing a fantastic job, he’s definitely made big improvements and the Bentley isn’t the easiest car to drive in the wet.”

Andrew Kim (#7 Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3): “After I was fighting with Frank Yu I was forced to go slower, and I saw Marchy was coming but I didn’t care, so I managed to finish second.”

Shaun Thong (#6 Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3): “Actually I got a good start and jumped up to fifth in a few corners, and I got some contact from some other cars. Over the first few laps, everyone was trying to find where the grip was as the rain started to pour down. I had a few really big moments where I nearly lost the car, but to climb from eighth to third in these conditions I think is a very good race.”

Marchy Lee (#5 Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3): “Today was quite tough for everybody because it was raining quite hard in the middle of the race. I think Shaun did a good job, and handed me the car mid-field, and with the new Michelin rain tyre which performed really well, I just focused on getting through the traffic. It was a good result for the team with Alex Au and Alex Yoong claiming the win, so very happy.”

Round #12 quotes

Jeroen Mul (#15 FFF Racing by ACM Lamborghini Huracan GT3): “It’s incredible, it’s the first championship that Lamborghini has won and it’s just the first year of the Lamborghini customer racing program. The win and certainly the championship mean a lot to the factory back in Italy as well, especially the people who work so hard on these cars. It’s very special.”

Marco Mapelli (#15 FFF Racing by ACM Lamborghini Huracan GT3)
: “We saved one set of [wet] tyres from practice and qualifying. Jeroen was really fast with old tyres at the beginning of the race to keep pace with the cars in front of us. With new tyres I knew I had 3-4 laps to close the gap or even increase the gap if I had one, so it worked fine and we were able to win the race.”

Marchy Lee (#5 Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3): “Second in the championship is not a bad result. For Phoenix Racing Asia it’s our first year, and we’re still learning. The first three or four laps I lost a bit of time to the leader, but then I could match him for speed and held onto position before handing the car to Shaun.”

Shaun Thong (#6 Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3)
: “I knew that Edo [Liberati] was much faster than me, but I was trying my best to keep him at bay and try to avoid any contact. Today, to finish second in the championship is the maximum we can do.”

Andrea Amici (#55 FFF Racing by ACM Lamborghini Huracan GT3): “We feel great.. It’s an amazing job from all the team and from Lamborghini. It was great for us to win at the last round, because the competition was really high - we arrived in Shanghai for the final with five potential title rivals.. I want to say a special thanks to FFF and to Lamborghini Squadra Corse to support us this season, but I also want to say a special thanks to my team-mate because it’s nice to share the experience with a great driver, and nice to have a great friend to share it with in the paddock.”

Edoardo Liberati (#55 FFF Racing by ACM Lamborghini Huracan GT3)
: “I was really glad to take the chequered flag, to cross the line and win the championship. It’s true that it was a little bit harder for me than for Andrea, but he did a really super job, in the races, in qualifying and especially in the wet here in Shanghai and in Fuji earlier in the year. I’m really glad after the mistake in Korea, and in Thailand where we got a drive through penalty, I kept really focusing and I was sure that we could win this championship. So thanks to everybody at FFF and Lamborghini who supported us, GT Asia is not easy at all, I think the other Lamborghini showed this - the drivers who came have raced in Europe, they’ve won in Europe, they did four championships with this car this year and they came here and had a lot of difficulties, so this showed that this championship is at a really high level. It’s been great, I still don’t realise what’s happened, I’m sure it will take a few days!”

Race#1 (60-minutes)

Shanghai International Circuit, China (20 October, 2016)
GT Asia Series Shang Peng Race of Shanghai

1. 6. Yoong/Au (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) - 24-laps
2. 7. Fong/Kim (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +23.717
3. 5. Thong/Lee (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +26.057
4. 88. Lyons/Yu (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +38.705
5. 15. Mapelli/Mul (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) +41.886
6. 96. Zhang/Li (GruppeM Racing Porsche GT3-R) +48.471
7. 55. Liberati/Amici (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) +52.652
8. 8. Venter/Sawa (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +1:00.322
9. 9. Tappy/Inthraphuvasak (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3) +1:20.495
10. 91. O’Young/Bhirombhakdi (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) - 15-laps
11. 37. Rizzo/Liu (BBT Ferrari 488 GT3) - 4-laps

Race#2 (60-minutes)

Shanghai International Circuit, China (20 October, 2016)

1. 15. Mul/Mapelli (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) - 25-laps
2. 5. Lee/Thong (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +16.872
3. 55. Amici/Liberati (FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) +17.834
4. 8. Sawa/Venter (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +21.078
5. 6. Yoong/Au (Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3) +21.698
6. 37. Liu/Rizzo (BBT Ferrari 488 GT3) +30.165
7. 88. Yu/Lyons (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +31.560
8. 7. Kim/Fong (Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3) +49.771
9. 91. Bhirombhakdi/O’Young (Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche GT3-R) +1:18.997
10. 96. Li/Zhang (GruppeM Racing Porsche GT3-R) - 12-laps
11. 9. Tappy/Inthraphuvasak (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3) - 1-lap

GT3 Championship points (after 12 rounds of 12)

1. Edoardo Liberati/Andrea Amici (144-points), 4. Marchy Lee/Shaun Thong (126), 3. Anthony Liu/Davide Rizzo (119), 4. Adderly Fong/Andrew Kim (115), 5. Jonathan Venter (113), 6. Alex Yoong/Alex Au (108), 7. Keita Sawa (106), 8. Vutthikorn Inthrapuvasak (96), 9. Duncan Tappy (88), 10. Piti Bhirombhakdi/Carlo Van Dam (84), 11. Frank Yu/Richard Lyons (74), 12. Tim Sugden (56), 13. Darryl O’Young/Naiyanobh Bhirombhakdi (55), 14. Jono Lester (32), 15. Mok Weng Sun (28), 16. George Miedecke (18), 17. Gianmaria Bruni (15), 18. George Richardson (14), 19. Ashley Walsh, Franky Cheng/JingZu Sun, Richard Wee (13), 20. Philip Ma (10), 21. Andrew Palmer (8), 22. Christer Jöns, Fabian Hamprecht (7), 23. Nathan Morcom (5)

Pro-Am Cup points (after 12 rounds of 12)

1. Shaun Thong (151-points), 2. Anthony Liu (137), 3. Andrew Kim, Alex Au (134), 4. Vutthikorn Inthrapuvasak (119), 5. Piti Bhirombhakdi (105), 6. Frank Yu (96), 7. Naiyanobh Bhirombhakdi (80), 8. Philip Ma (25), 9. Mok Weng Sun (17), 10. JingZu Sun (16)

Pro Cup points (after 12 rounds of 12)

1. Edoardo Liberati/Andrea Amici (144), 2. Marchy Lee (126), 3. Davide Rizzo (119), 4. Adderly Fong (115), 5. Jonathan Venter (113), 6. Alex Yoong (108), 7. Keita Sawa (106), 8. Duncan Tappy (88), 9. Carlo Van Dam (84), 10. Richard Lyons (74), 11. Tim Sugden (62), 12. Darryl O’Young (56), 13. Jono Lester (32), 14. George Miedecke (17), 15. Gianmaria Bruni (15), 16. George Richardson (14), 17. Franky Cheng, Ashley Walsh (13), 18. Andrew Palmer (8), 19. Christer Jöns, Fabian Hamprecht (7), 20. Nathan Morcom (4)

GT Cup points (after 12 rounds of 12)

1. Kantasak Kusiri/Bhurit Bhirombhakdi (84-points), 3. Voravud Bhirombhakdi/Tin Sritra (34), 5. Aekrat Discharoen (32), 6. Suttiluck Buncharoen, Toshihito Funai/Masayuki Ueda (16), 9. Akihiro Asai/Ken Seto (14)

GT Asia Series Teams Championship points (after 12 rounds of 12)

1. Bentley Team Absolute (295-points), 4. Phoenix Racing Asia (247), 3. FFF Racing Team by ACM (144), 4. Craft-Bamboo Racing (135), 5. BBT (120), 6. Singha Motorsport Team (85), 7. GruppeM Racing (58), 8. Clearwater Racing (29), 9. Miedecke Stone Motorsport (19), 10. Absolute Racing (13), 11. Singha Plan-B Motorsport (8), 12. A Motorsport, Singha Motorsport Team Thailand (4), 13. Team Naoryu Age Age Racing, Dilango Racing (2), 14. Team Rosso Scuderia, True Visions Motorsports Thailand (0)

GT Asia Series

 

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