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DW Evans GT and Absolute Racing Share Spoils in Adelaide Adventure

11 juin 2024

Marco Giltrap and Clay Osborne retain PRO lead after dramatic weekend

DW Evans GT’s Dan Wells and newly-announced Lamborghini Super Trofeo Junior driver Emilien Carde, and PRO points leaders Marco Giltrap and Clay Osborne, took an overall win apiece in a thrilling round two of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia (LSTA) at The Bend Motorsport Park in Australia.

The fleet of Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2 racing cars, expertly campaigned by the international field of teams and drivers, gave local fans a weekend to remember. As the dust settled after the two, white-knuckle races, Giltrap and Osborne have strengthened their lead in the PRO standings after a win in race two, and now have a margin of 12 points over second-placed Charles Leong Hon Chio and Miki Koyama – both Lamborghini Super Trofeo Junior drivers for 2024 - who celebrated two further PRO podium finishes with SJM Iron Lynx Theodore Racing in Australia, continuing their unbroken run. Race one winners Wells and Carde are now just one point adrift of Leong and Koyama in third ahead of Arrows Racing’s Gavin Huang, another Lamborghini Super Trofeo Junior driver this year, and Jonathan Cecotto.

Continuing to lead the PRO-AM standings after a class podium and win in race two are Madness Racing Team’s André Couto and Chen Fangping. DW Evans GT’s Thomas Yu Lee and Nikolas Pirttilahti remain second in the Lamborghini Osaka car.

The new AM championship leaders are YK Motorsports by Star Performance’s Thailand duo of Nattanid ‘Kat’ Leewattanavalagul and Dechathorn ‘Phu’ Phuakkarawut after two more strong podium finishes demonstrated their consistent pace. SQDA – GRIT Motorsport’s Brian Lee Changwoo drops to second on the leaderboard after a DNF in race one, despite a class win and impressive overall podium in race two.

Continuing to top the hotly-contested Lamborghini Cup leaderboard are HZO Fortis Racing by Absolute Racing brothers Haziq and Hairie Oh after a clean sweep of maximum points with two podiums and two class victories. Siamgas Corse’s Supachai Weeraborwornpong lies second with two more class podiums under his belt, while Iron Lynx driver Kumar Prabakaran climbs to third in the standings having also earned a class podium in both races.

The weekend began in dramatic style with a multi-car incident off the start when Leong was clipped from behind as he, Osborne and Wells stormed into turn one, resulting in damage and an unscheduled pit stop for the Absolute Racing Lamborghini and triggering a safety car intervention. Race two saw Giltrap and Osborne regain their supremacy with a storming run to victory from pole, chased across the line by Wells and Carde and joined on the overall podium by impressive Lee.  

As the series bid farewell to another successful Australian round, the teams and drivers were already looking forward to the next challenge on the LSTA 2024 calendar: South Korea’s spectacular Inje Speedium and round three from July 19-21.

Race 1
As the field was released for the start of race one, SJM Iron Lynx Theodore Racing’s Charles Leong initially stole the march on pole-sitter Clay Osborne, but the Absolute Racing Kiwi was quickly back alongside. DW Evan GT’s Dan Wells was up with the leaders and the trio stormed into turn one three abreast on the opening lap. However, Leong was clipped from behind as the tightly-packed field jostled for position and, although he was able to continue, Osborne wasn’t so lucky. He managed to make it back to the pits where the team raced to get the car race-worthy and back on track, albeit down the order.

The incident triggered a safety car intervention, and disappointingly ended the race prematurely for TRUE VISIONS MOTORSPORTS THAILAND’s Suttiluck Buncharoen and for SQDA – GRIT Motorsport’s Brian Lee Changwoo, the Lamborghini Seoul car also damaged in the heat of battle. YK Motorsport by Star Performance’s Nattanid ‘Kat’ Leewattanavalagul was another driver forced to make a pit stop, but she reemerged with a fire lit under her to mount an eye-catching comeback.

Wells led the restart, perfectly timing his getaway to pull an immediate gap from Leong and Madness Racing Team’s André Couto behind, with the Arrows Racing pair of series newcomer Jazeman Jafaar and round one podium finisher Gavin Huang homing in on the leaders.

Wells remained comfortably out front, but behind him the positions changed between Huang, Couto, Leong and Jafaar in an intense duel for position ahead of the opening of the pit window.

Emilien Carde inherited the race lead from Wells with an impressive 17-second margin, and set off to retain the advantage the Briton had built. Jonathan Cecotto took over from Huang in second, with Miki Koyama seizing the reins from Leong in third. Osborne, who had made a sensational recovery from the earlier incident to plough back up through the field with a damaged car, handed over to Giltrap who stormed back out on track and up to fourth in the running. Fifth, and leading the PRO-AM runners, was Chen Fangping for Madness Racing Team who was capitalizing on a strong opening stint by team mate Couto. However, challenging him for class honours was local hero D1 Racing Team’s Tony D’Alberto.

As the second stint heated up, Cecotto began eating in to Carde’s lead, but couldn’t shake a quick Koyama behind, who herself was slicing into the gap between the pair.

With less than ten minutes remaining, drama struck again when Giltrap was unable to avoid a spinning backmarker, the incident further damaging the Absolute Racing Lamborghini and necessitating another unscheduled pit stop. However, the determined Kiwi returned to the track to finish in the PRO points and retain the team’s place at the top of the leaderboard.

The closing minutes also saw a thrilling battle for Lamborghini Cup honours, HZO Fortis Racing Team by Absolute Racing’s Haziq Oh mounting a heroic charge to snatch the class lead from local driver Mark Pearce of JAM Motorsport.

Out front, however, it was a white-knuckle ride to the flag. While Cecotto ran out of laps in which to get close enough to Carde to challenge for the lead, his second place was far from secure as Koyama relentlessly reeled him in, setting personal best sectors all the way to the flag and putting in a masterclass of wheel-perfect racecraft. Cecotto held firm, and sailed across the line in second behind Carde, with Koyama taking a well-earned podium finish.

D’Alberto took the PRO-AM honours alongside D1 Racing Team mate Adrian Deitz having got by second-place class finishers Chen and Couto, with DW Evans GT’s Thomas Yu Lee and Nikolas Pirttilahti joining them on the podium.

YK Motorsports by Star Performance’s dazzling comeback drive saw Kat and team mate Dechathorn ‘Phu’ Phuakkarawut cross the line first of the AM class, but their joy was short-lived after they were handed a time penalty for a pit lane speed limit infringement. The penalty elevated Arrows Racing’s Johnson Huang to AM victory, with 610Racing by Absolute’s Li Xuanyu and Xie Wenjun third behind the Thai duo.

Haziq and Hairie Oh continued their unbroken run of Lamborghini Cup victories with a third class win, beating series newcomers JAM Motorsport’s Pearce and JP Drake. Siamgas Corse’s Supachai Weeraborwornpong, meanwhile, took his third consecutive class podium.

Race 2
The Absolute Racing Lamborghini started from pole for the second time for race two, this time with defending champion Marco Giltrap at the wheel and SQDA – GRIT Motorsport’s Brian Lee alongside. Lee made a blinding start, leading the field into turn one, but was overhauled by Giltrap and a hard-charging Jonathan Cecotto of Arrows Racing on the exit, as DW Evans GT’s Emilien Carde ran wide.

As Cecotto challenged Giltrap for the race lead, a daring move saw Lee attempt to dive through on the inside, briefly making contact with Cecotto and forcing him to run wide. Lee was later handed a five second penalty for the incident. Meanwhile, Carde saw his chance and dived past the battling duo, gaining two places and moving up to second.

Giltrap set about pulling away from the pack out in front, building a gap of more than four seconds, but the safety car was called out for the stranded car of Madness Racing Team’s He Xinyan after a coming together with Vortex Racegraph’s Song Jiajun at turn one. Song was later penalised for the clash.

At the restart, Giltrap again got away well, while Cecotto got by Carde and up to P2. As the pit window opened, Lee remained fourth overall and the leading AM driver, chased by SJM Iron Lynx Theodore Racing’s Miki Koyama and with local driver Tony D’Alberto of D1 Racing Team the top PRO-AM contender in sixth overall. Siamgas Corse’s Supachai Weeraborwornpong, meanwhile, led the Lamborghini Cup runners having got by class pole-sitter Haziq Oh.

As the cars roared into the final stint of the weekend, Osborne inherited the race lead from Giltrap with Dan Wells in hot pursuit and Lee up to P3, ahead of Gavin Huang who had taken over from Cecotto. However, Charles Leong had the bit between his teeth, snatching the position moments later and setting off at pace to chase down another overall podium.

Also on the move was André Couto at the wheel of the Madness Racing Team Lamborghini, powering up the order to take the PRO-AM lead and P5 overall. Behind him, Arrows Racing’s Jazeman Jafaar was quickly gaining ground after passing Gavin Huang with just 10 minutes remaining. Hairie Oh, meanwhile, had regained the Lamborghini Cup lead for HZO Fortis Racing Team by Absolute Racing, with Supachai dropping down the order.

As light showers began to fall in the closing minutes, Wells continued his pursuit of Osborne but ultimately ran out of time to get close enough to challenge for the win. Lee took a well-deserved P3 overall finish and the AM win, ahead of third-placed PRO entry Leong and Koyama. Couto and Chen Fangping took the PRO-AM honours from Jaafar and Selim Rafique.

Second in the AM class after another strong weekend were series newcomers Nattanid ‘Kat’ Leewattanavalagul and Dechathorn ‘Phu’ Phuakkarawut of YK Motorsports by Star Performance, with another quick Thai, Suttiluck ‘Bobby’ Buncharoen of TRUE VISIONS MOTORSPORT THAILAND, joining them on the podium in third.

Hairie and Haziq Oh continued their class dominance with another Lamborghini Cup win ahead of JAM Motorsport’s Mark Pearce and JP Drake, and Supachai.


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