It was a positive final balance sheet for Race-1 of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia disputed today at Japan’s Suzuka circuit. HubAuto Corsa’s 488 GT3, a Silver class entry, and T2 Motorsports, taking part in Pro-Am, crossed the finish line in fourth and eighteenth overall positions, although the Yuya Sakamoto and Andre Heimgartner pairing posted third place in their category.
Steady race. The two Ferraris got off to a good start in spite of Teo dropping two positions on the opening lap, sliding down to twentieth place. Sakamoto jostled with the front-runners, in particular the Porsche of Inthraphuvasak and Bo. The three were embroiled in a lengthy, intense dueI right up until the moment the mandatory pit stop window opened. The two 488 GT3s entered the pit lane with Sakamoto in fourth position and Teo lying twentieth. Heimgartner climbed aboard the HubAuto Corsa car, forced to serve a 10-second penalty as a result of the second place from Race-2 of the previous round, while in the Ferrari of T2 Motorsports it was time for Rio Haryanto’s stint.
Final crescendo. With the pit stops out of the way, the New Zealander came back on track in fourth place, third in his class, while Haryanto held twentieth spot. The time accrued by HubAuto’s Corsa Ferrari in the forced stop effectively ruled out chances in the battle for the overall podium. Haryanto, meanwhile, had clawed his way back to eighteenth position by the chequered flag, tenth in the class.
Standings. The result means that Sakamoto continues to hold second place on the leader board, reaching the 65 points of Roelof Bruins, but is overtaken by the Hamprecht-Sathienthirakul duo, after the 25 points earned from today’s victory, who now command the table.