Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute finished first and second in Saturday’s GT World Challenge Asia race in Buriram. Germany’s Markus Winkelhock made a pass for the lead with 15 minutes to go, clinching victory for the #40 Audi.

By Steven Walton

For much of the one-hour race in Buriram, the #41 silver class Audi shared by James Yu Kuai and Akash Nandy looked a favourite for victory. Yu started from pole position and led the first half of the race.

But in the second stint, Nandy couldn’t hold off the more experienced Winkelhock in the #40 Audi. With 15 minutes to go, Winkelhock executed a race-winning pass on Nandy at turn three.

Winkelhock, who drives with Huang Ruo Han, took the chequered flag six seconds ahead of Nandy, who came home second to give Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute a 1-2 finish.

Nandy and Yu were the winners of the silver class.

The #36 car of Franky Cheng and Adderly Fong finished third overall to make it an all-Audi podium.

Fong drove in the second stint and had to fight hard in the final laps to hold back the Porsches of Alessio Picariello and Leo Ye.

Picariello, who shares his #1 Porsche with reigning champion Anthony Liu, couldn’t find a way past Fong and he also had to defend against attacks from Ye.

In the end, Picariello brought his car home in fourth, about a second ahead of Ye, who finished fifth overall but first in the Silver-Am class.

Thai driver Tanart Sathienthirakul finished sixth in the #911 Absolute Racing Porsche he shares with Eshan Pieris.

Seventh place went to the #60 LMcorsa Ferrari of Ryo Ogawa and Shigekazu Wakisaka, which started on the front row but lost ground in the second half of the race.

Drivers’ championship leader Lu Wei finished outside the points in 14th.

Lu is sharing his #4 Porsche with Patrick Pilet this weekend. At the last round in Sepang, Lu drove with Laurin Heinrich.

Japanese drivers Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Mineki Okura, who share the #19 Spirit of FFF Racing Audi, took victory in the Am class.

Another 60-minute race in Buriram will be held on Sunday, starting at 10.45am local time (3.45am GMT).

Full results are available here.

Author’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the #66 Climax Racing Mercedes took victory in the Silver-Am class. The #66 car finished second in class. The winning car in the Silver-Am class was the #87 Origine Motorsport car driven by Bo Yuan and Leo Ye.

Header image credit: Macca/Asian Motorsport

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