Tanart Sathienthirakul is one of two Thai drivers competing in this weekend’s Thailand round of GT World Challenge Asia. He told Asian Motorsport it was special to race at home and he enjoys the fast and flowing nature of the Chang International Circuit.

By Steven Walton

Sathienthirakul races for Absolute Racing in the silver class of GT World Challenge Asia. He shares the #911 Porsche with Sri Lankan driver Eshan Pieris.

Sathienthirakul and Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak are the only two Thai drivers in the 33-car GT World Challenge Asia field.

This weekend’s round – at Chang International Circuit in Buriram – is the only time the championship visits Thailand. Three of the six rounds on the 2024 calendar are in Japan, while the other two rounds are in Malaysia and China.

“It’s always very special [to race in Buriram] because I don’t really race here often anymore,” Sathienthirakul told Asian Motorsport on Saturday.

“Last year I did [the Thailand Super Series], but this year I only do GT Challenge Asia and Europe,” he said.

“We always have fun coming here … I really enjoy driving on this track and also to stay around here, if we go into the city, we also have really nice food,” he said.

“I think the track is really nice, it’s very flowy, fast … overall it’s a very fast-cornering speed.”

Sathienthirakul described the fans in Thailand as “super” and said it was always good to see Thai flags being waved.

“In [Thailand Super Series], we have Thai flag[s] waving around … it always feels nice … hopefully here we have it again, it will be really nice,” he said.

“It’s always special to see your home country flag.”

‘Everyone’s pushing to the limit’

Asian Motorsport spoke with Sathienthirakul in the Buriram paddock after qualifying, where he put his car sixth on the grid for Saturday’s race.

Later in the afternoon, Sathienthirakul and teammate Pieris finished sixth overall and third in class in the first of the weekend’s one-hour races.

Sathienthirakul said the sprint race format in GT World Challenge Asia was “super competitive because everyone is pushing every lap”.

“[In] endurance we will relax a little bit more, it’s still pushing, but it’s an hour stint, but here it’s half an hour, so everyone’s pushing to the limit every lap,” he said.

Alongside his racing in Asia, Sathienthirakul does endurance racing in Europe, where he drives for Winward Racing in the Fanatec GT Endurance Cup.

Sathienthirakul previously raced in GT World Challenge Asia in 2022. He said back then there were fewer cars and professional drivers.

“But this year, all the factory driver[s] came, so it’s [made] it even more competitive,” he said.

“It’s like back then [in 2022] we are on hard mode, and now it’s like super hard mode, like extreme hard mode.”

Header image credit: Macca/Asian Motorsport

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