Porsche Carrera Cup Asia qualifying opened Saturday’s action at the 2024 Bangsaen Grand Prix. Chris van der Drift took pole position after on-track leader Dylan Pereira had his fastest lap time deleted due to causing a session-ending red flag. Asian Motorsport reviews the action.

By Nida Anis

The session unfolded under clear skies, although the track was still damp in places due to the previous night’s downpour. Drivers had to balance risk and reward during their attempts to set the fastest lap time around the 3.74-kilometre-long circuit.

Sathienthirakul dominates first qualifying session

Munkong Sathienthirakul in the #76 EBM Giga Racing Porsche set the pace early on, securing the fastest lap of the session with a time of 1:40.855 on his fifth lap. This performance placed him comfortably ahead of the competition with a 1.561s gap to second.

Henry Kwong from Triple Ace Racing and Eric Kwong of Bergwerk Motorsport followed with times of 1:42.416 and 1:42.464, respectively. Phantom Global Racing’s Cao Qikuan and Z. Speed Motorsport’s Xu Zhefeng placed fourth and fifth with times of 01:42.489 and 01:43.244.

Several incidents affect qualifying

Late in the session, Yao Liangbo’s #98 R&B Racing Porsche made contact with the wall in the T8-T13 complex. Although the car returned to the pits, the damage hindered its ability to improve its lap time. Liangbo ultimately placed sixth overall with his best time recorded at 1:43.588.

With just under a minute remaining, the session was brought to an early end due to a red flag caused by a separate incident. The session did not resume, finalising the standings based on the times achieved before the interruption.

Qualifying one top ten

  1. Munkong Sathienthirakul (THA) – #76 EBM Giga Racing – 1:40.855
  2. Henry Kwong (HKG) – #91 Triple Ace Racing – 1:42.416
  3. Eric Kwong (HKG) – #23 Bergwerk Motorsport – 1:42.464
  4. Cao Qikuan (PHI) – #117 Phantom Global Racing – 1:42.489
  5. Xu Zhefeng (CHN) – #75 Z.SPEED Motorsport – 1:43.244
  6. Yao Liangbo (MAC) – #98 R&B Racing – 1:43.588
  7. John Shen (HKG) – #16 Modena Motorsports – 1:43.665
  8. Hendrik Jaya Soewatdy (IDN) – #88 TORO Racing – 1:44.216
  9. Jacky Wu (CHN) – #969 Porsche Own Retail 69 Team – 1:44.405
  10. Adrian D Silva (MAS) – #61 EBM Giga Racing – 1:44.578

On-track leader Pereira has laptime deleted after causing red flag

Florian Latorre in the #55 Porsche was the first to set a competitive lap time in the second qualifying session, clocking 1:38.303 on his second lap. Latorre continued to improve, recording a time of 1:36.234 on his fourth lap, which put him at the top of the leaderboard early in the session.

Bao Jinlong led the Pro-Am category, setting a time of 1:39.822 on his fourth lap. He later improved to 1:38.549 on his fifth lap, placing him sixth overall and comfortably ahead of other Pro-Am competitors. Jinlong would ultimately place eighth overall with a gap of 2.927s to his closest Pro-Am rival.

Dylan Pereira made a significant move, jumping ahead of Latorre with a time of 1:35.887 on his fifth lap.

Multiple red flags in dramatic qualifying

This was by no means a drama-free qualifying session, as multiple incidents affected on-track running. The #77 Porsche  crashed into the barriers in the T8-T13 complex and subsequently pitted with what appeared to be a fluid leak, ending its session prematurely.

With 10 minutes and 5 seconds remaining, a red flag was brought out due to the #321 car stopping on track. Some competitors, including R&B Racing’s Rodrigo Dias Almeida (#18), Dylan Pereira (#5), and Liu Kai Shun (#33), took this opportunity to switch to new slick tyres.

The pit exit reopened at 09:19 AM, allowing cars to return to the track. However, with just over three minutes remaining, Dylan Pereira’s #5 Porsche crashed into the barriers coming out of Turn 5, stopping at Turn 6.

This incident brought out another red flag, ending the session early. Pereira’s earlier time of 1:35.887 remained the fastest, but he would ultimately have his fastest lap time deleted due to causing a red flag. As a result, Chris van der Drift secured pole position.

Qualifying two top ten

  1. Chris van der Drift (NZL) – #99 TORO Racing – 1:36.002
  2. Florian Latorre (FRA) – #55 Team Jebsen – 1:36.121
  3. Dylan Pereira (LUX) – #5 Team Shanghai Yonda BWT – 1:36.232
  4. Martin Ragginger (AUT) – #86 Porsche Holding – 1:36.445
  5. Marco Giltrap (NZL) – #84 Team Porsche New Zealand – 1:37.483
  6. Rodrigo Dias Almeida (MOZ) – #18 R&B Racing – 1:37.694
  7. Dylan Yip (HKG) – #6 Team Luanzhou Intl. Circuit – 1:37.830
  8. Bao Jinlong (CHN) – #7 Phantom Global Racing – 1:37.899 (Pro-Am leader)
  9. Nazim Azman (MAS) – #17 Sime Darby Racing Team – 1:38.038
  10. Li Xuanyu (CHN) – #321 Z.SPEED Motorsport – 1:40.826 (Pro-Am)

Combined qualifying results

  1. Chris van der Drift (NZL) – #99 TORO Racing – 1:36.002 (Pro)
  2. Florian Latorre (FRA) – #55 Team Jebsen – 1:36.121 (Pro)
  3. Dylan Pereira (LUX) – #5 Team Shanghai Yonda BWT – 1:36.232 (Pro)
  4. Martin Ragginger (AUT) – #86 Porsche Holding – 1:36.445 (Pro)
  5. Marco Giltrap (NZL) – #84 Team Porsche New Zealand – 1:37.483 (Pro)
  6. Rodrigo Dias Almeida (MOZ) – #18 R&B Racing – 1:37.694 (Pro)
  7. Dylan Yip (HKG) – #6 Team Luanzhou Intl. Circuit – 1:37.830 (Pro)
  8. Bao Jinlong (CHN) – #7 Phantom Global Racing – 1:37.899 (Pro-Am)
  9. Nazim Azman (MAS) – #17 Sime Darby Racing Team – 1:38.038 (Pro)
  10. Munkong Sathienthirakul (THA) – #76 EBM Giga Racing – 1:40.855 (Am)
  11. Zhang Yaqi (CHN) – #888 Phantom Global Racing – 1:40.919 (Pro-Am)
  12. Liu Kai Shun (HKG) – #33 R&B Racing – 1:41.361 (Pro-Am)
  13. Eric Kwong (HKG) – #23 Bergwerk Motorsport – 1:42.464 (Am)
  14. Cao Qikuan (PHI) – #117 Phantom Global Racing – 1:42.489 (Am)
  15. Li Chao (CHN) – #9 Team Betterlife – 1:42.589 (Pro-Am)
  16. Henry Kwong (HKG) – #91 Triple Ace Racing – 1:42.806 (Am)
  17. Xu Zhefeng (CHN) – #75 Z.SPEED Motorsport – 1:43.244 (Am)
  18. Yao Liangbo (MAC) – #98 R&B Racing – 1:43.588 (Am)
  19. John Shen (HKG) – #16 Modena Motorsports – 1:43.665 (Am)
  20. Hendrik Jaya Soewatdy (IDN) – #88 TORO Racing – 1:44.216 (Am)
  21. Li Xuanyu (CHN) – #321 Z.SPEED Motorsport – 1:44.327 (Pro-Am)
  22. Jacky Wu (CHN) – #969 Porsche Own Retail 69 Team – 1:44.405 (Am)
  23. Adrian D Silva (MAS) – #61 EBM Giga Racing – 1:44.578 (Am)
  24. Christian Chia (CAN) – #69 OpenRoad Racing – 1:44.627 (Am)
  25. Lu Zhiwei (MAC) – #777 R&B Racing – 1:45.636 (Am)
  26. Eric Zang (CHN) – #77 TORO Racing – 1:51.646 (Pro-Am)

For the latest updates and detailed reports from the 2024 Bangsaen Grand Prix, stay tuned to Asian Motorsport.

Header photo credit: Mac

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