After a cloudy day yesterday, light rain finally came to Motegi on Sunday, and the race director declared the track wet. With some sectors of the track in varying degrees of dampness, tire strategy became an important factor in the race. The race ended with Philippe Prette winning in the Trofeo Pirelli AM category, Michael Choi and Kenneth Lau winning in the Coppa Shell and Coppa Shell AM categories respectively. All three winners are from Blackbird Concessionaires HK.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. In the Trofeo Pirelli AM class, pole-sitter Go Max (M Auto Hiroshima) made advantage of the grip granted by rain tires to take the lead at the start of the race but was then challenged by Philippe Prette (Blackbird Concessionaires HK) whose pace kept improving lap after lap as his slick rubber got to operating temperature. Despite being initially disadvantaged by his tire choice, Prette drove an impressive race, starting 4th overall on the grid and then managing to make his way to the front of the pack. He seized the opportunity to take the lead when Max spun and kept it till the end. With this win, Prette has strengthened his leadership in the standings with 162 points. Max had to settle for second position in the race and in the standings with 107 points. Nobuhiro Imada (Rosso Scuderia), the winner of Race 1, had to retire from the race after an early spin.
Coppa Shell Jay Park (Forza Motor Korea) had a good start from pole and lead his category for most of the race. However, at lap 9, the runner-up in Race-1 Michael Choi (Blackbird Concessionaires HK) made a great comeback by using his faster pace to complete a fightback from sixth place overall and overtaking three of his opponents. At the chequered flag, Choi reaped the rewards for his tenacity, having beaten off the attacks of Park and Kazuyuki Yamaguchi (Cornes Osaka), to win the race. His win today and second place yesterday have propelled him to the top of the standings with 112 points. Park had to settle for second place and is now fourth in the standings with 92 points. Yamaguchi took the last step on the podium and is third in the standings with 98 points. Yanbin Xing (CTF Beijing) who was leading in the standings after Race 1 yesterday is now a close second with 105 points.
Coppa Shell AM. Kenneth Lau (Blackbird Concessionaires HK) pulled off an encore in the Coppa Shell AM category. Lau drove a blistering race, starting from eleventh on the grid and steadily making his way up to the front of his category. He was unstoppable, finishing ahead of Kent Chen (Modena Motori Taiwan) who came in second and Andrew Moon (Forza Motor Korea) in third. Moon has kept his lead in the standings with 126 points. Min Xiao (CTF Beijing) lies now second with 83 points after his fourth-place finish in Race 1. Chen is third with 82 points while Lau has climbed to fourth with 72 points after winning both races this weekend. Yansheng Liang of CTF Beijing was the winner of the Gentlemen Cup while Kanthicha Chimsiri (Cavallino Motors Bangkok) took the Ladies’ Cup.
The fifth round of the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific takes place in Fuji Speedway International Circuit from 29th August to 1st September.