It was another great win by a Lamborghini LP560 this time from pole to flag with Dilantha Malagamuwa at the wheel in Round 10 of the GT Asia Series. The Series is at the Autopolis International Circuit, Japan in support of the 2011 Autobacs Super GT Round 7.
Malagamuwa made a perfect start in the Dilango Racing Lamborghini and went on undisturbed throughout the 20-lap race. The Sri Lankan opened up a gap at the start and consistently kept his pace to leave the Ferrari F458 of Mok Weng Sun more than 6 seconds behind him by lap 7.
Then at the pit-stop window, Malagamuwa kept it quick and clean and went out ahead of Mok, keeping a steady pace all the way to the chequered flag.
“It was a good start. I was holding the pace. As soon as the red light went out I released the brakes and I knew the tyres were cold but I just wanted to get a good lap. I pulled away from the first 2-3 laps and I had a good pace and managed to maintain it.
“At the pit-stop, I did about 3 seconds more, just to be safe. I was confident and I wanted to do a pole to flag win. I was really not satisfied with what happened yesterday.
“Today we got a good result and the Championship is still open, so I hope to win it in Macau and get the title back” said Malagamuwa after the race.
For Mok, he managed to pull a gap from the battling field behind him, leaving the Eddie Yau in the Porsche 997 GT3 R to battle with Tunku Hammam in the Lamborghini LP560, Frank Yu in the Audi R8 LMS and David Lai in the second LP560.
“I finished P2. I set a goal to finish on the podium and get the points. Dilantha was absolutely too quick. I had him in my sights but I couldn’t get near him. He just kept pulling a gap.
“I managed to stay clean and raced by myself, so I kept trying not to overdrive and not to put myself in the kitty litter.
“I am pulling a comfortable lead heading into Macau, that said, anything can happen in Macau and I want to win the Championship” ended the Team Clearwater Racing driver.
The foursome of Yau, Lai, Hammam and Yu had a good fight changing positions a number of times with one another. In the opening laps, Lai took Yau and was ahead for two laps when on lap 3, Lai made a mistake leaving a small gap for Yau to get past. The Asia Racing Team driver then maintained his pace despite the charges from Yu, finishing the race in third, smiling as he got out of the car.
“I had fun. The tyres didn’t last very long, by the first few laps it was gone. I was following David for a while, and had a good time behind him but I couldn’t find a way past. Then after I got my rhythm back it was too late already” said Yau of the early part of the race.
“Great battle with Tunku and David, we were like sweeping floors everywhere and it was great fun” he ended.
In the end, Yu in the Audi R8 LMS claimed fourth for Craft Eurasia Racing HK while Lai took fifth ahead of GTM driver Kobayashi, for Team Clearwater Racing.
But it was not meant to be for Hammam as began to slow down on lap 4, with mechanical issues, dropping down the grid and finishing the race in seventh for Arrows Racing.
After a disappointing race result, being overtaken at the final lap after a downshifting mistake, Kenji Kobayashi managed to make amends to claim the GTM class win for Hitotsuyama Racing.
“I am really glad I made it today and managed to avenge the last lap loss I had yesterday. So I am really happy” he said after the race.
“We changed the setting a little, which allowed me to brake a little later and I could manage to keep pace with the GT3 cars. But they were too fast, as expected, to overtake.
“I am glad to win this race. I am the only Japanese here this weekend and I am really satisfied to be able to win this as a Japanese driver in Japan” ended Kobayashi.
Lamborghini Gallardo drivers, Keith Chan and Siu Yuk Lung, claimed second and third respectively in the GTM Class.
GT4 Asia driver, Nigel Farmer in the Ginetta G50 and Simon Waters in the Aston Martin Vantage N24 had a nice battle at the start. Waters took the lead at the start and held on to it until the pit-stop window. Waters went ahead, leaving Farmer on the track, made a couple of quick laps and reclaim the lead which he held on to the end.
“It was a great race. We went at each other at the start. I knew at the start there was a chance he could get past as he was quicker in the straight line. And he got past. All I could do was hand it to him. The front part of the track he has the pace and it’s only on the back (that I’m quicker) but it’s hard to overtake at the back. It was a fantastic battle”.
Waters took second for Concord Absolute Racing while the Lotus Evora of Anthony Chan crossed the line in third for TW Racing for GT4 Asia.
Once again, Shim Ching was unable to finish the race when he misjudged a turn and ended up in the tyre barrier. He then resumed the race but suffered from a puncture that ended his race on lap 13.
The results remain provisional subject to further technical checks.
The GT Asia Series continues in Macau on 17-20 November 2011 for the Season Finale during the 58th Macau Grand Prix.