Sprint Cup: Win Motorsport emerges victorious in Race 1
William Lok and Davide Rizzo have emerged victorious in the season opener of the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup at the Sepang International Circuit
Win Motorsport and its drivers, William Lok and Davide Rizzo have emerged victorious in the season opener of the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup at the Sepang International Circuit. This would also be the duo’s first ever outing as a new team as well, as they took their #1 Ligier JSP3 to a well deserved win.
Coming in second overall was the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 of Neale Muston, who despite a valiant effort by James Winslow early on, had to contend with back markers and a problem with his rear right tyre that delayed his pit stop significantly. In third was the #99 TKS Ginetta LMP3 driven by Shinyo Sano.
The GT3 class win was taken by the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and Kantasak Kushiri who also came in fourth overall. Second and third in class went to the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 of Michael Choi and Maxx Ebenal and the #93 Team AAI McLaren 650S GT3 of Jun San Chen and Terry Fang. GT Cup class saw the #77 Team NZ Porsche 997 driven by Graeme Dowsett and John Curran take the win, while the #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche 997 with Eurico de Jesus and Wong Kian Kuan placing second.
Qualifying 1 saw once again yesterday’s fastest car, the #1 Win Motorsport Ligier JSP3 driven by Davide Rizzo set the pace in a time of 2 minutes 1.433 seconds on Lap 4. He was followed by the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 of James Winslow on 2 minutes 3.837 seconds. Completing the top three was the #99 TKS Ginetta LMP3 with Shinyo Sano, who is competing for the first time in the LMP3 class clocking 2 minutes 4.172 seconds.
Over at GT3, the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS of Kantasak Kusiri clinched top spot in his class and fourth overall with a time of 2 minutes 4.973 seconds. Second in GT3 and taking fifth spot on the grid was the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 driven by Maxx Ebenal on 2 minutes 7.494 seconds. Rounding up the top three in GT3 and eighth overall was the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 with Chi Huang at the wheel on a time of 2 minutes 15.425 seconds. The other Team AAI car, the #93 McLaren 650S GT3 of Terry Fang had to contend with the final spot on the grid on a time of 2 minutes 17.521 seconds.
In CN class, the #3 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS53-EVO set a 2 minutes 11.548 seconds lap time with Dominic Ang at the helm. Moving onto GT Cup, Team NZ’s #77 Porsche 997 driven by Graeme Dowsett scored a time of 2 minutes 14.430 seconds. Behind him was the #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche 997 on 2 minutes 16.327 seconds with Wong Kian Kuan at the wheel.
Drastic changes ensured in Qualifying 2 as the #99 TKS Ginetta LMP3 of Shinyo Sano went the fastest with a time of 2 minutes 4.756 seconds. Even more surprising was second place overall going to a GT3 car; the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 with Ollie Millroy setting a blazing 2 minutes 5.527 seconds. Third spot was filled by the #1 Win Motorsport Ligier JSP3 driven by William Lok on 2 minutes 5.724 seconds.
Fourth overall and third in LMP3 was the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 with Neale Muston clocking 2 minutes 6.008 seconds. He was followed by the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 on 2 minutes 7.536 seconds who also took second place in his class. The other Team AAI car of Jun San Chen driving the #93 McLaren 650S GT3 placed third in class and sixth overall with a time of 2 minutes 7.545 seconds. Clinching seventh overall was the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 of Michael Choi 2 minutes 8.630 seconds.
GT Cup saw the #77 Team NZ Porsche 997 of John Curran victorious again with 2 minutes 13.820 seconds. The #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche 997 of Eurico de Jesus managed a 2 minutes 17.001 seconds. In CN, the #3 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS53-EVO of Douglas Khoo clocked 2 minutes 28.934 seconds.
Nine cars started off the grid on Race 1 with the only non-starter being the #3 Eurasia Motorsport with drivers Douglas Khoo and Dominic Ang. The race got off to a clean start with the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 surging past pole-sitter, the #1 Win Motorsport Ligier JSP3 of Davide Rizzo and takes the lead going into Turn 1. The chase then began as the #1 Ligier JSP3 continually hounded the race leader throughout the entirety of Lap 1 before reclaiming P1 status on Turn 15. Similarly the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 of Maxx Ebenal who placed 10th on the grid had a fantastic start and was up to fifth by the end of Lap 1.
Back up front, Rizzo in his #1 Win Motorsport Ligier JSP3 increased his lead further by 2.7 seconds on his second lap. Further down the grid, the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3 with Chi Huang at the helm was having problems with his machine having spurn out at Turn 14 on Lap 3 and ending up in the gravel at Turn 12 on Lap 5 with a blown engine. Unfortunately for Huang, he was forced to retire from Race 1 and hopefully will be able to take part in tomorrow’s Race 2.
By Lap 9, Rizzo had further increased his lead by 16 seconds over Winslow’s #27 ADESS 03 and continued to set faster sector times throughout further opening up the gap. Lap 11 saw the pit window open and the first to pit was the #93 Team AAI McLaren 650S GT3 of Terry Fang. With the grid systematically pitting in, this allowed the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS of Kantasak Kusiri to move up to third on Lap 13. At this point, the two race leaders, Rizzo and Winslow continued to stay out, up till Lap 15, where they both pitted in for a driver change.
For Win Motorsport, William Lok took over the reins of the #1 Ligier from Rizzo while Neale Muston replaces James Winslow in the #27 ADESS. However, as Lok pulled out of the pits to rejoin the race, Muston was delayed as his team’s pit crew found an issue with his rear right tyre and quickly tried to solve it. Even though he rejoined the race and kept his position, the gap between the lead car by now was far too great. A lap later the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS pitted in as well for a driver swop to Bhurit Bhirombhakdi.
Lap 17 saw the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 in trouble again as Muston spins out between Turn 2 to Turn 3 though he recovers quickly to maintain his position yet again. By this time the #1 Win Motorsport Ligier was so far ahead, on Lap 19, Lok had increased the gap to a staggering 55 seconds. Then on Lap 21, the #99 TKS Ginetta LMP3 of Sano passes the #59 Audi R8 LMS GT3 for the final spot on the podium. The standings remained that way right up till the chequered flag.
Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup
Sprint Cup – Round 1: Free practice sessions kick-off race weekend
Sprint Cup – Round 1: Race 2 sees WIN Motorsport take the chequered flag again!