Qualifying for the GT4 and GTC categories was action-packed, with close competition and several incidents affecting the final results. Asian Motorsport takes a look at what went down on the 3.74-kilometre Bangsaen Street Circuit.

By Nida Anis

16 entries took part across both qualifying sessions, with 25 drivers attempting to set the fastest lap time around the picturesque beachfront track in Bangsaen.

Thungsuteeranonkul tops the timesheets in GTC

Siramedt Thungsuteeranonkul (THA) set the fastest time in GTC qualifying, clocking a 01:42.324 on his third lap of the Bangsaen Street Circuit in his #11 Ford RR Daytona GT Coupe. The Tecpro Racing driver was 2.825 seconds ahead of his closest rival, Manat Kulapalanont (THA), who set a 01:45.149 in his Toyota Gazoo Racing #37 Toyota Supra BAR.

There wasn’t as much of a gap behind to third place, as Kulapalanont’s teammate Akkarapong Akkaneenirot (THA) was just 0.424 seconds behind in his #38 Toyota Supra 3S. Turtle Monster Racing driver Cem Yudulmaz (TUR) finished fourth in his #35 Ford Mustang, whilst Cre-Lanotec Liqui Moly Racing driver Damien Hamilton (THA) was fifth in his #88 Ford Mustang TA2 6.2L.

Hamilton spun on his fifth lap in qualifying, affecting his final tour of the Bangsaen Street Circuit.

GTC qualifying top five

  1. Siramedt Thungsuteeranonkul (THA) – TECPRO RACING, 11, Ford RR Daytona GT Coupe, 1:42.324
  2. Manat Kulapalanont (THA) – Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand, 37, Toyota Supra 8AR, 1:45.149
  3. Akkarapong Akkaneenirot (THA) – Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand, 38, Toyota Supra 3S, 1:45.573
  4. Cem Yudulmaz (TUR) – Turtle Monster Racing, 35, Ford Mustang, 1:47.656
  5. Damien Hamilton (THA) – CRE-LANOTEC-LIQUI MOLY RACING, 88, Ford Mustang TA2 6.2L, 1:49.954

Pitanu S. fastest in first GT4 qualifying session

Thai driver Pitanu S. took his AAS Motorsport #18 Porsche 718 GT4 RS Clubsport to the top of the timesheets in the category’s first qualifying session. He set a 01:42.207 on his sixth lap and remained unchallenged throughout the rest of the session. Second-placed 2W Zoomies #58 driver Nanin I. (THA) was not too far behind, however; he set a 01:42.250, only 0.043 seconds behind the #18.

Racing Aurora’s Peter H. (AUS) finished third in his #36 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT4. However, he was significantly slower than his other two GT4 Pro counterparts and 2.614 seconds behind the leader’s lap time. The fourth GT4 Pro entry, Team NZ’s #7 Aston Martin Vantage GT4, faced a disappointing session; they placed eighth overall with a lap time of 01:49.161.

The B-Quik Absolute Racing cars lived up to their name in the GT4 Am class, as Sathapond V. (THA) and Henk K. (THA) secured a 1-2 finish. The two Porsche 718 Cayman GT4s were separated by just 0.750 seconds. In third was the 2W Zoomies’ #59 driver Prakhun P. (THA), setting a lap time just 0.159s behind Henk K.

During the session, the Team Manager of the #58 was summoned to the stewards. However, no reason was immediately given for this.

GT4 qualifying one top five

  1. Pitsanu S. (THA) – AAS Motorsport, 18, Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, 1:42.207 (GT4 Pro)
  2. Nanin I. (THA) – 2W Zoomies, 58, Toyota GR Supra GT4, 1:42.250 (GT4 Pro)
  3. Peter H. (AUS) – RACING AURORA, 36, Mercedes Benz AMG GT4, 1:44.821 (GT4 Pro)
  4. Sathapond V. (THA) – B-Quik Absolute Racing, 88, Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, 1:45.511 (GT4 Am)
  5. Henk K. (THA) – B-Quik Absolute Racing, 26, Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, 1:46.261 (GT4 Am)

Kazuhisa U. quickest in second GT4 qualifying session

For most of the second GT4 session, it looked like Pitsanu S.’ teammate, Kanthadee K., was the man to beat in the #18 AAS Motorsport Porsche 718, after he set a 01:41.117 on his fourth lap. However, 2W Zoomies’ Kazuhisa U. (JPN) set a late flyer on his eighth lap to go fastest overall with a 01:40.857.

Racing Aurora’s Hayden H. (MAS) was unable to challenge the top two GT4 Pro drivers, ultimately setting a 01:41.764 lap time on his seventh tour around the Bangsaen Street Circuit. Team NZ improved upon their challenging first qualifying session to place fourth overall, although Ananthorn T. (THA) had a sizeable 1.763s gap to the leader.

In Am, B-Quik Absolute Racing’s #88 Porsche 718 driver Iaro R. (THA) led the class with a 01:43.588 lap time, ahead of 2W Zoomies’ #95 Warren A. (THA) and Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand’s #19 driver Grant S. (THA). The second B-Quik, now driven by Erwin de S. (THA), fell to eighth overall in the standings.

GT4 qualifying two top five

  1. Kazuhisa U. (JPN) – 2W Zoomies, 58, Toyota GR Supra GT4, 1:40.857 (GT4 Pro)
  2. Kantadhee K. (THA) – AAS Motorsport, 18, Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, 1:41.117 (GT4 Pro)
  3. Hayden H. (MAS) – RACING AURORA, 36, Mercedes Benz AMG GT4, 1:41.764 (GT4 Pro)
  4. Ananthorn T. (THA) – TEAM NZ, 7, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 1:42.620 (GT4 Pro)
  5. Iaro R. (THA) – B-Quik Absolute Racing, 88, Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, 1:43.588 (GT4 Am)

Header photo credit: Nida Anis

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