Race 2: Triple Eight JMR’s Ibrahim and Stolz profit from post-race penalties

Race 2: Triple Eight JMR’s Ibrahim and Stolz profit from post-race penalties

> All but four entries penalised 30 seconds for Safety Car procedure breach
> Race 2 Result

Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Luca Stolz have been awarded victory in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS’s second race at Fuji Speedway.

The #88 Triple Eight JMR Mercedes-AMG was provisionally classified 14th but now scores maximum points after heeding Race Control’s instruction to avoid an incident on the start-finish straight by passing through the pitlane during the third Safety Car period. Those that didn’t, which includes all 13 cars that provisionally finished ahead, have had 30 seconds added to their elapsed race time in lieu of serving a drive-through penalty.

It’s for the same reason that EBM’s Setiawan Santoso and Reid Harker finish second.

Provisional winners D’station Racing would ordinarily have completed the revised podium. However, the team’s Aston Martin was penalised an additional 10 seconds post-race for overtaking a competitor outside of track limits. The extra time drops Satoshi Hoshino and Tomonobu Fujii to seventh.

R&B Racing’s Lu Wei and Dennis Olsen therefore finish third overall – one place lower than their provisional classification.

Solo driver Tadao Uematsu was initially classified an excellent sixth overall and Am class winner. However, completing his mandatory pitstop outside of the window incurred a post-race penalty that handed class victory to Comet Racing’s Yusuke Yamasaki and Yorikatsu Tsujiko. 

Checkshop Caymania Racing's Naohiko Otsuka and Sho Kobayashi took GT4 honours ahead of Akiland Racing's Toyota.


Quite possibly the craziest race in Fanatec GT Asia’s history featured not one but two collisions between the leaders, three Safety Car periods and a briefly airborne Corvette, all of which helps to explain how D’station came through from 12th on the grid to win on the road before its post-race penalty.

The tone was set on the opening lap when 5ZIGEN’s Nissan suffered right rear suspension damage during an altercation at Turn 1. Ahead, Daniel Juncadella had converted pole into a narrow lead over Dennis Lind and Alessio Picariello who muscled his way past Kei Cozzolino before the stranded GT-R necessitated a short Safety Car period.

Olsen’s audacious pass around the outside of Cozzolino aside, the top positions remained unchanged once racing resumed. Fujii, meanwhile, had made little progress after engaging in an entertaining battle with KCMG’s Edoardo Liberati whose Honda eventually found a way past.

The racing was even fiercer further back where a high-speed collision between Saturday’s winning BINGO Racing Corvette and The Spirit of FFF Racing Lamborghini sent the C7 GT3-R spearing hard left into the start-finish straight barriers and briefly into the air. Both Akira Iida and Hiroshi Hamaguchi emerged from their cars unscathed, but the lengthy clear up operation forced Race Control to postpone the pit window by three minutes.

It opened on the same lap as racing resumed. But while cars lower down the order elected to stop immediately, the leading Pros focused on maximising their stint lengths. 

Lind had already sized up Juncadella at the previous restart and tried again at the first opportunity into Turn 1. However, Climax’s jinking Mercedes-AMG clipped the rear of its Craft-Bamboo counterpart in the braking zone, which sent Juncadella on to the grass where he nerfed the inside barrier, ran across the track and into the waiting gravel trap.

Lind lived to fight another day but dropped to second behind Picariello who was able to scamper clear while Olsen also looked for a way past. The Norwegian passed Lind down the start-finish straight next time around before pitting six seconds behind the leading Porsche.

Picariello and Lind, who were 10 seconds apart, stopped together two laps later but their cars emerged much closer thanks to AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing’s Success Penalty. Zhou Bihuang also appeared to get up to speed before Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, but his eagerness to pass the Porsche resulted in contact that spun it into the tyre barrier.

At the same moment an unrelated incident on the start-finish straight resulted in a third Safety Car period when a sudden failure sent Jeffrey Lee’s Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG into the pit wall. Its ramifications would have a huge bearing on the final result.

Less than 10 minutes remained when the race went green for the final time. Zhou led on the road but pending drive-through penalties for the separate incidents with Juncadella and Inthraphuvasak meant Paul Ip in second place was now the effective leader. Liberati’s earlier pass on Fujii had also ensured KCMG’s Honda emerged from the driver changes ahead of the Aston Martin, but when racing resumed it was Hoshino who made what appeared to be the decisive race-winning pass.

R&B’s Porsches followed him through to complete a provisional podium separated by 1.1s. 

All of that changed post-race, however, when penalties were applied.

Lu and Olsen still scored their second rostrum of the weekend despite also serving an extra five seconds in the pits, while Silver driver Leo Ye Hongli’s comparative pace against the Ams helped the car he shares with Bo Yuan to rapidly rise from outside of the top-20. It was ultimately classified fourth.

Tomohide Yamaguchi and Seiji Ara brought PLUS Racing with BMW Team Studie’s M4 home fourth on the road but fifth in the final result ahead of Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute’s Andrew Haryanto and James Yu who vaulted up the order post-race.

Next up its Suzuka, which hosts the first of back-to-back weekends with Motegi on July 14-16.