Lu Wei and Patrick Pilet took victory in Sunday’s GT World Challenge Asia race in Buriram, marking the second win of 2024 for the #4 Origine Motorsport Porsche. The #30 Craft-Bamboo Mercedes that led most of the race finished outside the points after being penalised for a short pitstop.

By Steven Walton

Victory in Buriram for the #4 Origine Motorsport Porsche means driver Lu Wei has retaken the lead in the overall drivers’ championship.

This weekend Lu raced with French pro driver Patrick Pilet, a change from Sepang when he drove with German pro Laurin Heinrich. Lu and Heinrich won the second race in Sepang.

As it happened

Pilet started Sunday’s one-hour race from sixth, but he was up to fourth by the end of the first lap.

About 20 minutes into the race, Pilet passed the TEAM 5ZIGEN #500 Nissan to move into third. Then, minutes later, Pilet inherited second place when the #22 Climax Racing Mercedes of Ralf Aron went off at turn 5.

The #30 Craft-Bamboo Mercedes of Maro Engel and Cao Qi led the race’s first half.

Engel started the Mercedes and on the first lap, he heroically swooped around the outside of two cars at turn three to take the lead.

Engel pitted from the lead with about 25 minutes to go, handing his car to teammate Qi, who reemerged in the lead with the #4 Porsche, now driven by Lu, not far behind.

But, Craft-Bamboo Racing’s hopes of victory were soon dashed. The #30 Mercedes was handed a one-second stop-go penalty by race control due to a short pitstop.

This dropped Engel and Qi outside the top ten and handed the race lead to Pilet and Lu.

Lu cruised home to victory, finishing 13 seconds ahead of the #500 TEAM 5ZIGEN Nissan of Hirobon and Yu Kanamaru.

Kanamaru put on a mighty defence against professional European drivers in the race’s first half, keeping the Nissan in contention for the podium.

The #500 TEAM 5ZIGEN finished on top in the Silver-Am class.

Defending GT World Challenge Asia drivers’ champion Anthony Liu finished the race third overall in the #1 Absolute Racing Porsche he shares with Alessio Picariello.

Liu had a fantastic stint at the end of the race, moving from seventh to third in just over 20 minutes.

The #87 Origine Motorsport Porsche of Yuan Bo and Leo Ye finished fourth, just ahead of Saturday’s race winner, the #40 Audi of Huang Ruo Han and Markus Winkelhock.

The two Thai drivers in the field – Tanart Sathienthirakul and Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak – finished sixth and seventh respectively.

Sathienthirakul, who shares the #911 Absolute Racing Porsche with Eshan Pieris, won in the silver class.

The #75 Garage 75 Ferrari, driven by David Tjiptobiantoro and Massimiliano Wiser, earned the Am class victory.

Difficult day for several Pro-Am cars

Several highly fancied Pro-Am cars hit trouble in Buriram. Only four of the top ten finishers were in the Pro-Am class.

At the start, the #88 Craft-Bamboo Mercedes of Maximilian Goetz made contact with other cars at turn one, picking up a left-rear puncture and ruining any chance of a decent result.

The pole-sitting #888 Triple Eight JMR Mercedes was running third at the halfway mark, but it appeared to have a problem during its pitstop and rejoined the race nearly a full lap down.

The #22 Climax Racing Mercedes, which ran second early in the race, finished 23rd after picking up penalties for a short pitstop and pit lane speeding.

Header image credit: Macca/Asian Motorsport


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