– photos by afos.com / Jerry Ch’ng
Combined Races to Mark Season Finale for GT3 Asia and GT4 Asia Cup
It will be an action packed season finale this weekend with the GT3 Asia and the GT4 Asia Cup held at the panoramic Autopolis International Circuit. It will be the first time race fans will be able to witness the two Series running together as a combined race, giving bigger grids and adding to the excitement.
It will also be the first time the newly introduced series, GT4 Asia Cup, pays a visit to Autopolis, and after the devastating typhoon that caused the event at Fuji circuit to be cancelled, it will also be the first Japanese race for the GT4 Asia Cup Series.
Malaysian Tunku Hammam Sulong (GT3) and Hong Kong’s Daniel Bilski (GT4), will both head to Japan in the lead on the points table in their respective Series. Hammam claimed the GT3 Asia lead in Sepang during the Super GT festival in June and have maintained his position despite the best efforts of Mok Weng Sun, who claimed two wins at the same track during the July Malaysian Super Series rounds.
There are still 54 points up for grabs in the GT3 Asia Series, leaving the title chase still wide open with the top eight drivers all having a chance to take the Title for the 2010 Season. Apart from Mok, Hong Kong driver Siu Yuk Lung and Sri Lankan Dilantha Malagamuwa, who are only separated by four points, are still very strong competitors for the chase. Both come with vast experience and have made appearances on the podium during the season.
Siu Yuk Lung, the younger of the two competing Siu brothers, have been consistently in the points and after stepping on the podium in third three times, he is sure to want to capture the elusive win. For Malagamuwa, receiving his LP560 slightly later than the other competitors gave him a disadvantage, but he has quickly adjusted to the new Lamborghini and is sure to be aiming at a podium finish.
Not far behind them are the trio of Frank Yu, Samson Chan and Eric Cheung from Craft Racing Hong Kong, with Yu leading the pack of Ginetta G50 GT3’s. Just out of reach of the Championship win are Billy Fung and David Lai. Missing the rounds at Sepang in July has cost Fung dearly, leaving him out of contention by just one point. Singaporean driver Lai was faced with mechanical problems from the Super GT event and looks good to try and change his luck at the Autopolis outing.
Joining the foray in Japan are Hong Kong drivers Sasha Chu, Eddie Yau, Michael Choi, Andrew Luk, Kenny Chun and Keith Chan while Direction Racing will be marking their return to the Series with the trio of Japanese GT drivers, You Yokomaku, Gen Emoto and Akira Mizutani.
Meanwhile in GT4 Asia Cup, Bilski has kept a comfortable lead from the first race weekend held at Sepang Circuit during the Asian Festival Of Speed in May. The 39 year old won three out of the four races held so far, looks strong enough to maintain his streak all the way to the last Round in Autopolis.
Ten points behind Bilski is Concord Dynaten Motorsports driver Ryan Marsden, who has climbed on the podium twice in second and will be looking to claim his first win. Marsden, along with his teammates Simon Waters and Mark Williamson, have been sharing driver duties throughout the season and the trio have put up an impressive performance so far. Waters lies in fourth in the points table, while Williamson is in a shared fifth with Frank Yee.
Chasing the title in third on the leaderboard is Malaysian driver, Adrian Henry D’Silva. He made GT4 Asia Cup history when he, and former driver partner Dilantha Malagamuwa, claimed the first ever race win for the newly introduced Series. Since then, he has not been having the best of luck, but his consistent points collection has allowed him to remain at the forefront of the points table.
Hong Kong driver Frank Yee is also in the chase with 19 points collected so far, but the S&D/Conca Maca driver will have to pick up the pace to catch up to the front runners. His consistent pace on the circuit has helped him to collect points at every round and given him one second placed finish in Round 2.
Matthew Perry proved that he may be one of the title fighters, when at the last outing in Sepang, he managed to overcome the issues he had at the start of the season to climb onto the podium twice in third.
A total of three rounds will be held as a combined race at the Autopolis Circuit from 15-17 October 2010 with the GT4 Asia Cup holding one extra Round on Sunday to make up for the cancelled rounds during the Fuji event.