From Sepang to Chang: Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS heads to Thailand for Rounds 3 + 4

From Sepang to Chang: Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS heads to Thailand for Rounds 3 + 4

> Factory stars Pilet, Stolz, Engel and Goetz join the grid
> B-Quik back for one-off appearance
> Entry list: Chang, Rounds 3 + 4

Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS 2024 truly gathers pace this weekend in Thailand when 33 entries contest rounds three and four at Chang International Circuit.

The championship hasn’t, by its usual standards, had to travel far for its latest instalment. Instead, the GT3 contingent has been road hauled across the Malaysian border for two more one-hour races at the Thai MotoGP venue in Buriram.

A victory apiece just over two weeks ago sees Origine Motorsport’s Lu Wei – who’s joined this weekend by Patrick Pilet – and Franky Cheng and Adderly Fong (FAW Audi Sport Asia Racing Team) leading the early standings, which feature as many different class combinations in the top three positions. The Pro-Am Porsche heads a Silver R8 by two points, while double Silver-Am winners Yuan Bo and Leo Ye Hongli – who race Origine’s other 911 GT3 R – are eight points behind their team-mates.

Pro-Am crews have traditionally contended for overall wins, and Lu certainly underlined his championship credentials by dominating Race 2 with Laurin Heinrich last time out. But Sepang also proved that Fanatec GT Asia’s new Silver-Am category and competitive Silver class has the potential to shake up the established order.

Lu was an overall title contender last year but only finished fifth and 19th on the opening weekend 12 months ago in Buriram. Instead, it was the championship’s eventual top two – Anthony Liu and Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim – who clinched a victory apiece for Craft-Bamboo and Triple Eight JMR, respectively. Bakar, who is joined by his Buriram-winning co-driver Luca Stolz this weekend, also claimed pole in Q1.

Both collected top five finishes at Sepang where a post-race penalty denied Liu a second solid points haul. Without that, the Absolute Porsche he shares with Alessio Picariello – who sealed pole at Chang last year – would be far higher than eighth in the early reckoning.

Instead, it sits behind the likes of VSR’s Lamborghini featuring Edoardo Liberati and Bian Ye whose decision to start Race 1 from 12th on rain tyres resulted in a second place finish. Cao Qi and Daniel Morad (Craft-Bamboo, Mercedes-AMG) scored the same result in Race 2 after a puncture ended their victory chances in the first, while Harmony’s Liang Jiatong and Luo Kailuo powered their Ferrari from 13th to third in the second contest.

However, the price for that podium – and one also payable by Lu/Pilet and Cao/Maro Engel – is a pitstop success penalty on Saturday when an extra 15, 10 and five seconds must be served by Sepang’s top three finishers.

Engel will be making his Fanatec GT Asia debut but isn’t the only new Mercedes-AMG driver at Craft-Bamboo this weekend. Fellow German and 2021 DTM champion Maximilian Goetz joins Jeffrey Lee on the other side of the garage.

Elsewhere, the top Thai protagonists had contrasting weekends at Sepang. Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak’s weekend was by no means ideal but he did at least finish Race 1 in fourth place alongside his AAS Phantom co-driver Bastian Buus. Compatriot Tanart Sathienthirakul, on the other hand, remains point-less after a tough outing with Eshan Pieris. Both drivers do at least have extensive experience of Chang.

In the class standings, Cheng and Fong’s overall victory helped them establish a four-point advantage over Silver rivals and fellow Audi drivers James Yu and Akash Nandy (Absolute Racing). Liang and Luo are a point further back.

In Silver-Am, two class wins and maximum points helped Yuan and Ye compile a comfortable lead over Hiroaki Nagai and Yuta Kamimura (Porsche Center Okazaki). But there’s just three points between Am’s top crews, Hiroshi Hamaguchi/Mineki Okura and David Tjiptobiantoro/Christian Colombo who shared a win apiece.

That class features an extra entry this weekend in the shape of B-Quik’s Audi. The car, run by Absolute Racing and driven by Henk Kiks/Rodney Jane, is a regular race-by-race entrant at Chang.

Qualifying and both races are live on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel this Saturday and Sunday.


13:00 – 14:30: Test 1
15:30 – 17:00: Test 2

12:00 – 13:00: Official Practice 1
14:30 – 15:30: Official Practice 2
15:40 – 16:10: Bronze Test

11:00 – 11:15: Qualifying 1
11:22 – 11:37: Qualifying 2
15:00 – 16:00: Race 1

10:45 – 11:45: Race 2


15s - #4 Origine Motorsport
10s - #30 Craft-Bamboo Racing
05s - #77 Harmony Racing