Liu to defend title with Absolute, Picariello and Porsche

Liu to defend title with Absolute, Picariello and Porsche

> Second car features Silver Cup duo Pieris and Sathienthirakul

Reigning champion Anthony Liu has switched to Absolute Racing and Porsche for his Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS title defence.

The Chinese driver joins Porsche factory ace Alessio Picariello in the first of Absolute’s two 911 GT3 Rs, while the second – a Silver Cup entry – features Eshan Pieris and Tanart Sathienthirakul.

Liu, who has switched across from Craft-Bamboo and Mercedes-AMG, beat Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak to last year’s overall title. Incidentally, the latter was paired at Absolute with Picariello who contested a handful of rounds alongside the Thai.

But the new full-season combination is nothing new: the same team and driver pairing scored two podiums together, albeit with an Audi, in 2018 before Liu made a further appearance with the team and now-previous-spec Porsche one year later in South Korea.

“It feels great to be returning to my racing ‘family’ at Absolute Racing,” said Liu. “It’s shaping up to be a fantastic year, and I’m highly motivated to drive the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. I'll be aiming to defend my crown, and I’m sure with Alessio on board I will have a great chance of more success!”

Picariello added: “I'm happy to be back in Fanatec GT Asia with Absolute Racing and to partner with the reigning champion, Anthony. The goal is clear for everyone, and I'm looking forward to helping him defend his crown and getting Absolute, Porsche, and myself our first one.”

They’re joined in Absolute’s garage by two drivers with different levels of Fanatec GT Asia experience.

Pieries contested last year’s events at Chang and Sepang with a B-Quik Absolute Racing Audi, but also sampled the Porsche at the recent Sepang 12 Hours where he claimed GT3 class victory.

He joins Sathienthirakul who is returning to a Absolute-run Porsche following a successful 2019 campaign that included and overall title tilt and second place finish in the Silver Cup. He has raced elsewhere since then but rejoined Absolute last year and went on to win both The Super Series (GT3) support races at the Singapore Grand Prix.

After participating in last year’s Fanatec GT Asia rounds in Thailand and Malaysia with B-Quik Absolute Racing, Eshan Pieris is stepping up to compete in the full season of the Fanatec GT Asia series. Following a strong debut at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992) in the 12 Hours of Sepang, where he won in the endurance race GT3 class, Pieris will continue his development. However, now he'll be going head-to-head with the best GT drivers in the region in the GT3 Silver Cup class.

Joining Pieris in the No.911 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992) entry this season will be Tanart Sathienthirakul. The experienced Thai driver is returning to a Porsche drive with Absolute Racing after a successful 2019 campaign that culminated with a second-place finish in the GT3 Silver Cup. After competing elsewhere, he rejoined Absolute Racing last year and went on to win both The Super Series (GT3) support races of the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay.

“Fanatec GT Asia will be a step up for me coming out of TSS, but I am feeling motivated to take up the challenge,” said Pieris. “With a strong team like Absolute Racing, I am sure the year is going to be an exciting one!”

Sathienthirakul added: “I'm pleased to be back with Absolute Racing this season, competing alongside Eshan in the Silver Cup. The grid looks strong, but I am confident that with Porsche, we have the package to achieve positive results this year. I am super excited for the first round in Sepang.”

Two Porsches complete Absolute’s Fanatec GT Asia programme, which also includes a pair of Audis and new Ferrari 296.

The first of six regular season events kicks off in Malaysia on April 19-21.