Team AAI’s #91 BMW clinched victory in Sunday’s GT3 race in the Thailand Super Series. The race went down to the final corner of the final lap. The BMW produced a stunning defence to win by less than a tenth.

By Steven Walton

The #91 BMW of Kevin Chen and Jesse Krohn led much of the race in Buriram, but their lead was nearly lost on the final lap.

In the final sector of the last lap, the second-placed #25 B-Quik Absolute Racing Audi, with Huang Ruohan at the wheel, closed right up on the #91 BMW, piloted by Chen.

Chen defended into the final corner and Huang tried to make a switchback, but the BMW had enough traction out of the corner to get to the line first.

Chen’s #91 BMW finished 0.074s ahead of Huang’s #25 Audi. Footage of the finish is available in the Thailand Super Series live stream on YouTube.

“The last lap [was] a little bit dangerous,” Kevin Chen told Asian Motorsport after the race. He said that he was “really happy” with the result.

Krohn, a works driver for BMW, told Asian Motorsport Chen won the race for the team.

“He did a fantastic job, the defend into the last corner was a champions’ defend,” Krohn said. “He made the win today for sure.”

Sunday’s victory capped off a remarkable weekend for Chen and Krohn, who finished second in the GT3 race on Saturday.

Their double-podium result puts them in the lead of the Thailand Super Series GT3 drivers’ championship.

How the race unfolded

The #91 BMW, which started from pole position, led the way throughout the first stint with Krohn at the wheel.

By the half-hour mark, Krohn had pulled out a five-second lead over the second-placed #27 B-Quik Absolute Racing Audi, which had platinum-rated German driver Markus Winkelhock at the wheel.

Just after the halfway point, the #91 BMW and #27 Audi both made their mandatory pitstops and swapped to their bronze-rated drivers.

Emerging from the pits, Chen maintained the lead in the #91 BMW, but the gap back to the #27 Audi, now driven by Vincent Lin, soon shrunk to just over one second.

But, Lin could not find a way past as Chen managed the gap throughout the stint.

Lin looked set to bring his #27 Audi home in second, but in the final 10 minutes of the race he was given a 5-second penalty for repeated track limits violations.

Lin then lost position to his sister car, the #25 B-Quik Absolute Racing Audi driven by Huang Ruohan and Adisak Tangphuncharoen.

The #25 Audi ran eighth throughout the first half of the race, but it made up lots of time in the pits. With an all-bronze driver line-up, it benefitted from less compensation time being added to its pit stop.

The #25 Audi closed up on the leading #91 BMW in the final minutes of the race, producing the nailbiting finish. The #27 Audi, the car shared by Lin and Winkelhock, rounded out the podium by finishing third.

Full results from the second race are available here.

Header image credit: Thailand Super Series

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