Lamborghini has kicked off the 2017 Super Trofeo Asia Series last weekend (8/9 April) at the Sepang International Circuit, marking the race debut for the sixth consecutive season.
The 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Series saw teams from all over the world competing this year, with competitors from the continental European and Middle Eastern Super Trofeo series joining the Asian championship, in what has become an important platform for professional drivers moving into GT competition.
During the first of two qualifying sessions on Friday, Clazzio Racing, managed to clinch pole position for race one, with their drivers being local favorites and 2016 Asia series champions, Afiq Yazid, and teammate Cozzolino Kei of Japan. Also on row one and second on the grid was GDL Racing, made up of Pro-Am team Rik Breukers from New Zealand and Nigel Farmer from Hong Kong. Lazarus racing team’s Artur Janosz of Poland and Meindert Van Buuren from the Netherlands shared row two in third, with X-One Racing Team’s Antonio D’Amico from Italy and Nicolas Costa from Brazil in fourth.
Among the AM teams, X-One Racing Team’s Vincent Wong of Hong Kong and Andrew Haryanto of Indonesia placed sixth on the grid, with Thai brothers Sarun and Saravut Sereethoranakul of PSC Motorsport in eighth overall and George Chou and Samson Chan of Taipei and Hong Kong respectively, together in eleventh. Meanwhile among the Lamborghini Cup competitors, Michael Choi and Keith Chan both from Hong Kong started twelfth on the grid for Arrows Racing, followed by Bill Ng of Singapore for Tedco racing in thirteenth, Supachai Weeraborwornpong from Thailand with Top Speed Racing in fourteenth and Petri Corse’s Gabriele Murroni from Italy in fifteenth.
Despite the drizzling weather at the start of race, the first round of the 2017 Super Trofeo Asia Series competition got underway as the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo engines roared to life on the main straight approaching the first corner.
In the first lap, Haryanto managed to slip past Pro team Leipert’s Ben Gersekowski from Austria, moving up into fifth overall, meanwhile another Austrian driver Richard Goddard of FFF racing Team lost his spot, moving down to fourteenth from ninth, allowing Leipert’s Pro-Am team driver Mikko Eskelinen from Finland, Ng, Keith Chan, Murroni and Weeraborwornpong to move up the ranking.
As the rain started to fall, track conditions became increasingly slippery on circuit, and there was no shortage of action for spectators. The third lap saw Murroni go from 12th to 13th, replaced by Weeraborwornpong, while in lap five Goddard overtook Keith Chan to go into 11th. Lap seven saw a costly mistake from Ng lose him six places, moving to the back of the pack, meanwhile a nice overtake from Sereethoranakul on Haryanto meant the two exchanged positions, the Thai driver now going into seventh overall.
The opening of the pit window saw teams making not only driver changes, but also tyre changes, as deteriorating conditions demanded a full wet setup. During their pit stop, Clazzio Racing lost significant time, dropping down three places into fourth. This allowed GDL Racing Team’s Rik Breukers to pull ahead and put his teammate Nigel Farmer into a comfortable lead, with Van Buuren of Lazarus now in second and Gersekowski in third. However by lap 21, Yazid’s teammate Kei managed to pull back a spot and hold it till the end of the race, allowing them to secure a podium finish. In the final few laps an unfortunate error cost Goddard four places, dropping into 13th overall.
The final results saw GDL’s Pro-Am team of Farmer and Breukers take the chequered flag and the first win of the 2017 season, rewarded for their consistent performance. They were followed by Lazarus’ Pro drivers Janosz and Van Buuren in second and Clazzio Racing’s Yazid and Kei in third, after perhaps the fiercest battle of the race unfolded between the Van Buuren and Kei in the closing laps, with the two cars finally crossing the line side by side, with less than 0.03 seconds separating them.
In the Am class, it was X-One Racing Team’s Wong and Haryanto taking the win, followed by Top Speed Racing’s Chou and Chan in second and PSC Motorsports’ Sereethoranakul brothers in third. Among the Lamborghini Cup class drivers, Top Speed Racing’s Weeraborwornpong took first, followed by Arrows Racing’s Choi and Chan in second and Tedco Racing’s Bill Ng in third.
The second of two qualifying sessions on Saturday, held just 10 minutes after the first, was again favorable for Clazzio Racing, who once more took pole position for race two, both drivers showing confidence in their abilities on the Malaysian circuit; local Squadra Corse Young Driver’s Program graduate Afiq Yazid and teammate Cozzolino Kei of Japan. Sharing with them row one this time was X-One Racing Team drivers Antonio D’Amico of Italy and his teammate Nicolas Costa of Brazil, up from fourth on the grid in race one. Again, third on the grid was Polish driver Artur Janosz of Lazarus Racing Team and Meindert Van Buuren from the Netherlands, while in fourth was Carrie Schreiner of Germany with Australian teammate Richard Goddard with FFF racing Team, up from ninth in race one.
Among the AM teams, X-One Racing Team’s Andrew Haryanto of Indonesia placed fifth on the grid, up from sixth, followed by George Chou and Samson Chan of Taipei and Hong Kong respectively, together in tenth up from eleventh in the previous race, with Thai brothers Sarun and Saravut Sereethoranakul of PSC Motorsport starting eleventh on the grid, down from eighth in the previous race. Among the Lamborghini Cup competitors, Supachai Weeraborwornpong from Thailand with Top Speed Racing started twelfth on the grid, up from fourteenth the previous day, followed by Petri Corse’s Gabriele Murroni from Italy in thirteenth, with Bill Ng of Singapore for Tedco racing in fourteenth and Michael Choi and Keith Chan both from Hong Kong now starting from the back of the grid.
With an earlier race time on Sunday than the previous day, track temperatures higher and moisture levels down considerably with no rain imminent, slicks were to be the choice of all for the duration of the race. After a rolling start, the pressure was on immediately as all drivers went full throttle down the straight and the Huracán Super Trofeo race cars screamed past the spectator stands.
In the first lap, Leipert’s Pro-Am team driver Max Ebenal from Canada was able to get past Haryanto, moving up into fifth overall, while further back in the lineup Ng overtook Murroni to go into thirteenth overall. In a spate of bad luck between laps two and five, Weeraborwornpong lost three places, first to Ng then Murroni, followed by Choi. Meanwhile back at the front of the pack and also during lap five, Van Buuren snatched second away from Costa, who then in lap six dropped right down to ninth overall due to an unforced error. This allowed Goddard to take third. By lap eleven, Costa had managed to regain three places and was now back up in sixth place.
The compulsory pit window saw the teams swap drivers for the second part of the race and pushing hard to make up places. By lap fifteen, Yazid of Clazzio was in pole, followed by Janosz in second and Schreiner in third, with Indian driver Armaan Ebrahim with FFF Racing’s Pro team in fourth overall. Rik Breukers from New Zealand, representing GDL Racing Team moved up into fifth, past Mikko Eskelinen from Finland and D’Amico who went into sixth and seventh respectively. In lap sixteen, Ebrahim and Breukers moved past Schreiner who slipped into fifth, while Australian Ben Gersekowski and Haryanto moved past Ebenal and into seventh and eighth position, the top three spots now held in order by Yazid, Janosz and Ebrahim.
The as the chequered flag fell, the leaders held their positions, with Clazzio’s Afiq Yazid taking pole followed by Artur Janosz with Lazarus in second and FFF Racing Team in third with Armaan Ebrahim. In the Am class, it was again X-One Racing Team’s Andrew Haryanto taking the win, followed by PSC Motorsports’ Sereethoranakul brothers moving up on the podium into second after the previous day’s third place, and Top Speed Racing’s Chou and Chan in third. Among the Lamborghini Cup class drivers, Tedco Racing’s Bill Ng took the win, with Gabriele Murroni of Petri Corse in second and Top Speed Racing’s Weeraborwornpong move down to third on the podium after yesterday’s cup win.
The Sepang race weekend is the first of six Super Trofeo Asia series race fixtures this season, the first five rounds being held at some of Asia’s famous race tracks, while round six and the World Final will be held at Lamborghini’s hometown in Italy.
With the weekend’s action now coming to a close, drivers and teams will soon head to Buriram International Circuit in Thailand for the round two of the championship taking place on May 20 and 21.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Asia 2017 Calendar
- Sepang (MYS) 8/9 April
- Buriram (THA) 20/21 May
- Suzuka (JPN) 24/25 June
- Fuji (JPN) 19/20 August
- Shanghai (CHN) 23/24 September
- Imola (ITA) 16/17 November
- Imola (ITA) 18/19 November