One of the most successful teams in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS history, Absolute Racing, returns to the series full-time this season armed with two new 992-based Porsche 911 GT3 Rs.
Its #992 line-up pairs Chinese newcomer Bao Jinlong with three-time race winner Alexandre Imperatori, while the second crew (#911) will be announced at a later date.
Established in 2010, Absolute Racing can count itself amongst the continent’s most recognisable teams thanks to various regional GT and single-seater programmes, as well as international forays. However, the global pandemic has prevented the Chinese squad from contesting Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia since it won the teams’ title in 2019.
This season will also mark Imperatori’s first appearance in four years. The Shanghai-based Swiss won twice with Panther/AAS Motorsport’s Absolute-prepared 911 in 2019 to help Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak finish second overall and clinch the GT3 Pro-Am title. He is also a former Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion who now works as the same series’ Talent Pool coach.
“I’m delighted to be joining Absolute Racing and to share the new Porsche 911 GT3 R with Bao in this year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia,” he said. “After the last three years, which were affected by the pandemic, it’s great to finally be able to continue where we left off in 2019. Over the last seasons I have seen Bao’s development in China and we are both excited to go back on the international stage. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic season and I can’t wait to start working with the entire Absolute Racing family as well as Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific.”
His new Pro-Am co-driver is also no stranger to Absolute Racing or Porsche but has only competed domestically in Carrera Cup Asia, GT Super Sprint Challenge and China Endurance Championship over the last two years. Jinlong’s prior international appearances include the Bathurst 12 Hour and Asian Le Mans Series.
“After a three-year absence, I am very happy to be able to race abroad,” he said. “I'm also thrilled to be able to drive the new Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia races. Our objective is to win the class title.”
The team’s director, Fabian Fior, added: “We are really happy to return to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia after a three-year absence due to the pandemic. The team is eager to go head-to-head again with some of the top teams and drivers in the Asia-Pacific region. We have high hopes for the new Porsche 911 GT3 R, which we believe will help us achieve the same success in the series as its predecessor. Alex and Bao are part of Absolute Racing family, and they are both capable of delivering strong performances.”
Chang International Circuit in Thailand hosts the 2023 season opener on May 12-14 before summer events at Fuji, Suzuka, Motegi and Okayama also count towards the Fanatec Japan Cup. Sepang then stages the final two 60-minute races in September.