The Super Compact class kicked off their first race of the event today, delivering an hour of intense action at the circuit. YK Motorsports secured a close 1-2 finish with their #14 and #95 Honda CRZs with just 0.062 seconds separating the two cars.

By the Asian Motorsport Team

Although cooler than yesterday, the warm weather tested the endurance of the drivers. The earlier rain had completely dried, setting the stage for an exciting race. 25 cars lined up to take the double-file rolling race start, although only 17 would count themselves among its finishers.

#14 Honda CRZ dominates in incident-filled early stages

The YK Motorsports #14 Honda CRZ (Thanaroj T. / Dechathon P.) established a commanding lead early on, pulling ahead by over three seconds within the first three laps. However, the race saw its share of drama when the Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand #25 Toyota Yaris (Norrat Apivat) went off track in the last sector of lap 4, causing it to drop out of the top ten.

Shortly after, the PTT Lubricants-VC Meat-Buono-RPM-Nexzter #4 Ford Fiesta (Kajonsak Na Songkla) and the DC Garage with Kuroki Racing #88 Honda CRZ (Yotsarun S. / Hideharu K.) engaged in a thrilling battle for 8th position on laps 5 and 6, right before the safety car was deployed to retrieve the stricken #25.

Safety car interventions affect pit strategies

During the safety car period, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand #23 Toyota Yaris (Na Dol V. / Tanchanok C.) opted for a pit stop for checks. As soon as the safety car returned to the pits, the Lex Dee Making H Rookie #27 Honda CRZ (Thornthep C. / Thanaphon C.) crashed, prompting another lengthy safety car period.

This ended just in time for the pit window for driver changes to open. The #33 (Phuwaporn T. / Phaophong C.), #24 (Thananthorn P. / Jirapat J.), #99 (Shivin S. / De Mola P.), and #23 seized the opportunity, boxing immediately for their mandatory driver changes.

The race saw additional drama as The Drive #46 Honda Jazz (Nat I./ Chokchai J.) and Sky Gallery Racing Team #34 Honda City cars (Phunnapat Phunsub) were investigated for passing under the safety car, resulting in five-second penalties for both.

The YK Motorsports #95 Honda CRZ (Buddhamont T. / Chanyaboot T.), running in second, pitted on Lap 11, followed by the M&M Shop by Nexzter #92 Honda CRZ (Chaiya Muang-ngam) on Lap 12. A battle for fourth ensued between the #33 and the Wing Hin Motorsports #38 Toyota Yaris (Mitchell C. / Muhammad Naquib N.).

The #14 pitted on Lap 14 with a 23-second lead, whilst Thanapattra Sutthisawang’s Unity by Insane Motorsport #5 Honda CRZ also pitted after climbing to second place. The #14 continued to lead following the pit stops, with the #95 ten seconds behind and the #33 a further three seconds adrift. Car 4 hit the wall hard under braking at Turn 18, forcing it to pit immediately for repairs.

The #92 faced multiple penalties, including a four-second stop-and-go for a pit stop that was too quick, and later a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. These penalties dashed their hopes of a podium.

A thrilling final showdown

In the final laps, the #95 consistently closed in on the leader, reducing the gap to seven seconds by Lap 18. Meanwhile, the #33 and #38 continued their battle for the final podium position, with just six minutes remaining. The gap between the leader and the #95, which had been steadily decreasing, stood at 2.7 seconds with four minutes to go. However, double waved yellows and lapped traffic stabilized the gaps as the race approached its conclusion.

In a dramatic finish, the #14 slowed dramatically at the finish line, securing victory by a mere 0.062 seconds from their YK Motorsports teammate in the #95. The #14 not only clinched the win but also set the fastest lap of the race, capping off a thrilling opening race for the Super Compact class.

TH Super Compact race results

  1. Thanaroj T. / Dechathon P. (Car 14) – Honda CRZ, 1:00:00.000
  2. Buddhamont T. / Chanyaboot T. (Car 95) – Honda CRZ, +0.062
  3. Phuwaporn T. / Phaophong C. (Car 33) – Honda CRZ, +5.597
  4. Mitchell C. / Muhammad Naquib N. (Car 38) – Toyota Yaris, +11.182
  5. Chotthanin C. / Aniwat L. (Car 5) – Honda City, +45.615
  6. Yotsarun S. / Hideharu K. (Car 88) – Honda CRZ, +51.982
  7. Achitaphon J. / Ayrton A. (Car 69) – Honda CRZ, +59.327
  8. Thananthorn P. / Jirapat J. (Car 24) – Honda CRZ, +1:25.291
  9. Phunnapat Phunsub (Car 34) – Honda City, +1:41.640
  10. Manatasit C. / Thanasith B. (Car 9) – Honda City, +1:56.769
  11. Chaiya Muang-ngam (Car 92) – Honda CRZ, –26 laps–
  12. Putinad T. / Arthon L. (Car 37) – Honda CRZ, –26 laps–
  13. Thanapattra Sutthisawang (Car 5) – Honda CRZ, –25 laps–
  14. Narakkrit G. / Manuel Rafael C. (Car 6) – Honda Jazz GK, –25 laps–
  15. Na Dol V. / Tanchanok C. (Car 23) – Toyota Altis, –24 laps–
  16. Shivin S. / De Mola P. (Car 96) – Honda CRZ, –25 laps–
  17. Strengths P. / Carlo V. (Car 11) – Honda City, –24 laps–
  18. Shane Ang (Car 66) – Honda Fit GR, –23 laps–
  19. Nat I. / Chokchai J. (Car 46) – Honda Jazz, –22 laps–
  20. Chananchicha Thanathittadakul (Car 20) – Honda CRZ, –22 laps–
  21. Kiattiphan Phaicharoen (Car 16) – Honda CRZ, –18 laps–
  22. Kajonsak Na Songkla (Car 4) – Ford Fiesta, –16 laps–
  23. Thornthep C. / Thanaphon C. (Car 27) – Honda CRZ, –8 laps–
  24. Norrarat Apivat (Car 24) – Toyota Yaris, –1 lap–
  25. Xie Boyu Jonathan (Car 17) – Honda CRZ, –1 lap–

Stay tuned to Asian Motorsport for all the latest updates and in-depth coverage of the Super Compact class and other racing categories at the 2024 Bangsaen Grand Prix.

Header photo credit: Mac

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