GT3 / GTM qualifying took place under sunny conditions at the 3.74-kilometre-long Bangsaen Street Circuit. Asian Motorsport reviews the action.

By Nida Anis

Winhere by BQAR #37 Audi R8 dominates qualifying one

The Winhere by BQAR #37 Audi R8 GT3 EVO II (Sandy S. (THA) / Yi Deng (CHN)) dominated the first GT3 / GTM qualifying session, with the GT3 Pro car finishing 2.158 clear of their closest rivals, Singha Motorsport Team Thailand’s #89 Honda NSX GT3 2021 (Voravud B. (THA) / Carlo V. (NED)).

The Singha Motorsport Team Thailand #25 (Kittipol P. (THA) / Supakit J. (THA)) led the GTM field, ahead of Fire Monkey Motorsport’s #10 (Simon Chan (HKG)) and Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand’s #24 Lexus RCF GTM (Nattavude C. (THA)). The latter two were GTM Am drivers who displaced the second and third-placed GTM Pro drivers to fourth and fifth in the overall GTM standings.

It was clear from the very start that the #37 was the car to beat, as it set the early pace with a 01:36.121 on its second lap around the Bangsaen Street Circuit. It was a similar story in GTM, with the #25 establishing its status as a top performer early on.

The Ford-Cre-Lanotec-Liqui Moly Racing #8 Ford Marc Mustang Car 5.2L brought out the red flag with 10 minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock after it had a hard impact with the barriers. The session resumed at 13:49 and it wasn’t long before lap times continued to tumble.

The #37 continued to improve, setting a 01:35.794 on its fifth lap and a 01:34.793 on its sixth lap, widening the gap to the Singha Motorsport Team Thailand #12 Honda NSX GT3 (Piti B. (THA / Kantasak K. (THA)). The #37 then set an untouchable 01:34.345 flying lap, going purple in all sectors and extending its advantage to 2.232s clear of second.

Viper Niza Racing #65 driver Douglas K. (MAS) held up cars in his Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3, causing drivers to get held up in traffic. The B-Quik Absolute Racing #62 Audi R8 (Xuanyu Li (CHN) / Wenlong Lu (CHN)) flashed its lights in frustration at having its qualifying laps compromised.

The #37 looked on course to improve even more towards the end of the session after going fastest in Sectors 1 and 2. However, it didn’t improve in its third sector and ultimately didn’t beat its best time in qualifying one. No-one else was able to challenge the #37, which ultimately finished with a dominant 2.158s gap to second.

GT3 qualifying one top five

  1. Sandy S. (THA) / Yi Deng (CHN), Winhere by BQAR #37, Audi R8 GT3 EVO II – 1:34.345 (GT3 Pro)
  2. Voravud B. (THA) / Carlo V. (NED), Singha Motorsport Team Thailand #89, Honda NSX GT3 2021 – 1:36.503 (GT3 Pro)
  3. Piti B. (THA) / Kantasak K. (THA), Singha Motorsport Team Thailand #12, Honda NSX GT3 – 1:36.577 (GT3 Pro)
  4. Hao Lin (CHN) / Christopher H. (GER), B-Quik Absolute Racing #27, Audi R8 GT3 EVO II – 1:37.171 (GT3 Pro)
  5. Henk K. (THA) / Adisak T. (THA), B-Quik Absolute Racing #25, Audi R8 GT3 EVO II – 1:38.908 (GT3 Am)

GTM qualifying one top five

  1. Kittipol P. (THA) / Supakit J. (THA), Singha Motorsport Team Thailand #25, Ferrari 488 Challenge – 1:39.726 (GTM Pro)
  2. Simon Chan (HKG), Fire Monkey Motorsport #10, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup – 1:40.538 (GTM Am)
  3. Nattavude C. (THA), Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand #24, Lexus RCF GTM – 1:40.645 (GTM Am)
  4. Nattachak H. (THA) / Kmik K. (THA), AAS Motorsport #17, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup – 1:41.403 (GTM Pro)
  5. Kris V. (THA) / Nattapong H. (THA), Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand #38, Lexus RCF GTM – 1:41.634 (GTM Pro)

#62 B-Quik Absolute Racing takes qualifying two pole

The #37 was the early pace setter again, setting a 01:35.744 on its second lap. It wasn’t long before it improved further to a 01:33.888, 0.279s clear of the second placed B-Quik Absolute Racing #27 Audi R8 (Hao Lin (CHN) / Christopher H. (GER)).

The AAS Motorsport #17 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup (Nattachak H. (THA) / Kmik K. (THA)) impacted the barriers with its right rear. However, its qualifying session was ultimately saved by a red flag triggered by the B-Quik Absolute Racing #62 Porsche, which crashed into the barriers after setting a purple first sector and near equal middle sector.

The session resumed with just over six minutes remaining. The #17 returned to action after its mechanics checked out the car during the interruption. However, it wasn’t long before another incident affected the field, as overall leaders #37 crashed into the barriers and held up the #89 behind, compromising its lap.

The #89, which was driven by Carlo van Dam, later jumped up to third, 0.339 seconds off with 30 seconds remaining. Audi factory driver Christopher Haase set a purple middle sector and took provisional pole with a 01:33.724. Whilst Van Dam improved on his first and second sectors, he ultimately remained third overall in the standings.

The results of qualifying two saw an Audi front-row lockout, with 0.118 seconds separating the top three.

GT3 qualifying two top five

  1. Sandy S. (THA) / Yi Deng (CHN), Winhere by BQAR #37, Audi R8 GT3 EVO II – 1:34.345 (GT3 Pro)
  2. Voravud B. (THA) / Carlo V. (NED), Singha Motorsport Team Thailand #89, Honda NSX GT3 2021 – 1:36.503 (GT3 Pro)
  3. Piti B. (THA) / Kantasak K. (THA), Singha Motorsport Team Thailand #12, Honda NSX GT3 – 1:36.577 (GT3 Pro)
  4. Hao Lin (CHN) / Christopher H. (GER), B-Quik Absolute Racing #27, Audi R8 GT3 EVO II – 1:37.171 (GT3 Pro)
  5. Henk K. (THA) / Adisak T. (THA), B-Quik Absolute Racing #25, Audi R8 GT3 EVO II – 1:38.908 (GT3 Am)

GTM qualifying two top five

  1. Kittipol P. (THA) / Supakit J. (THA), Singha Motorsport Team Thailand #25, Ferrari 488 Challenge – 1:39.726 (GTM Pro)
  2. Simon Chan (HKG), Fire Monkey Motorsport #10, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup – 1:40.538 (GTM Am)
  3. Nattavude C. (THA), Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand #24, Lexus RCF GTM – 1:40.645 (GTM Am)
  4. Nattachak H. (THA) / Kmik K. (THA), AAS Motorsport #17, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup – 1:41.403 (GTM Pro)
  5. Kris V. (THA) / Nattapong H. (THA), Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand #38, Lexus RCF GTM – 1:41.634 (GTM Pro)

Header photo credit: Mac

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