GT World Challenge Asia Esports Championship
The season finale of the 2020 TCL GT World Challenge Asia Esports presented by Tarmac Works saw Kevin Tse wrap up the Real-AM Drivers’ title at the virtual Suzuka Circuit with yet another class victory in the real drivers’ race. After putting up a strong fight all season, Melvin Moh ultimately finished 2nd place in the hotly-contested Real-Pro category, missing out on the title by a mere 4 points in the final minutes of the race.
The battle for the top championship honors in Real-PRO was close going into the final race of the season, with Motul driver Melvin Moh trailing championship leader Padayachee by only 7 points. With 25 points to play for, Moh had only one objective in mind starting 2nd on the grid – finish ahead of his rival who started just behind in 3rd. As the race got underway, Moh immediately moved across to hold his position and stayed out of trouble as his rival lost several positions. In the next few laps as Moh chased down the leader, the championship leader struggled and lost even more positions and dropped out of the points. It appeared that the title was coming to the Motul driver despite running in second. As the race went on, Moh continued to apply pressure on the leader whilst his main rival got stuck in traffic forcing him to pit early in P8. However it was not to be, as Padayachee came back through the field to snatch 3rd place in the closing minutes of the race, leaving Moh short of the title by only 4 points.
In the Real-Am category, Kevin Tse had yet another dominating performance. The eventual Real-Am champion went into the season finale with a 13 point advantage, and started on the right foot by qualifying on pole position. Tse took care to avoid any drama at the start, and went on his mission with the championship target at stake. Through his flawless strategy, Tse never lost the class lead and crossed the line to take his third victory of the season, and sealed the Real-Am Drivers’ Title. The win means that Tse has finished on the podium in every race this season, displaying his remarkable performance and ability behind the wheel.
Further back, Matt Solomon in the #36 Vita Juice Mercedes-AMG GT3 had a solid race and was running just behind Moh until the first pit-stops, but lost time battling in traffic and finished just outside the podium in 4th place. Vita VLT driver Darryl O’Young looked to have a strong race starting from 12th, but was unfortunately caught up in a tangle as the car ahead braked early going into the turn 3 amidst the mid-pack frenzy. In a double whammy, O’Young was given a 10 second stop-go penalty, diminishing his chances at a strong result. Alex Liang, at the wheel of the #99 Motul Mercedes-AMG GT3, had a stunning opening few laps despite starting 20th. Liang got his elbows out and by the end of the first 15 minutes, was running in 10th. However after the pit-stops he dropped back down the order, and eventually crossed the line in 13th position.
In the Sim-PRO category, Charles Theseira had a mountain to climb starting 14th. However the Singaporean driver had an excellent start, gaining 7 positions on the opening lap. He then went on to match the pace of the leading few drivers, and as the cars ahead pitted, Theseira took the lead of the race. Theseira left it late to make his mandatory stop, pitting with just 3 minutes to go. However a small mistake in the pit-stop meant that he emerged in 8th place, and crossed the line to take yet another top-10 finish in the competitive Sim Drivers’ Race. Behind him, Mikko Nassi, at the wheel of the #8 TCL Mercedes-AMG GT3 had a tough end to the season. The Singapore-based Finn had his work cut out for him starting from 25th, and was unfortunately given a drive-through penalty after making unavoidable contact with a car on the opening lap. Nassi continued to fight through the pack, and made his way up to 15th place. But his problems were compounded as he was hit off the track and sustained significant damage to his Mercedes-AMG GT3, and was unable to finish the race.
Craft-Bamboo Racing would like to thank all partners, Motul Lubricants, TCL, Vita, Vita Juice and Vita Water for their support and commitment throughout the 2020 GT World Challenge Asia Esports Championship season. The team would also like to thank team partners Evisu, Poad Media, FreeM, LVGEM and Gravity for the continued support in the team’s ventures in esport.
Kevin Tse | Real-AM Drivers’ Champion
Driver #38 Motul Mercedes-AMG GT3
“Really happy that I have won the Real-AM championship! It’s a team effort and I’d like to thank Motul and Craft-Bamboo Racing for the support. Behind the scenes there is a lot more to it with 6 racers in our team, real and sim, and we do a lot of testing in terms of strategy and various aspects of car setup. That has really helped us as a team and this strong team was able to create good bases to fight for the wins. For myself, 3 wins and 2 second place finishes in 5 races is a pleasant surprise and it feels good amidst this interesting year. Big thanks to the SRO for gathering all of us drivers together on this platform and have fun but also take part in some serious racing, and I really enjoyed this season.”
Melvin Moh | Real-PRO Runner-Up
Driver #7 Motul Mercedes-AMG GT3
“Definitely gutted to not be able to win the championship but I guess P2 in the championship is also not too bad after all given what has happened in the championship. Did all I could in the race but Dan was just a little quicker in the race. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed my time over the course of the season given that we could not do real racing this year and I would like to thank the organisers for putting up a great esports championship like this where we could still race and have great coverage for us drivers. I’ll definitely be keen to come back next year and hopefully win the championship. I would also like to thank Craft Bamboo Racing for having me onboard and obviously the goal is to be back with them in the real car next year. Motul has also been a great support not only to me but also to the team and I’m grateful for that. I will definitely need a few days to get over this loss but as they say to be a good winner, you also have to be a good loser.”
Darryl O’Young | Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing
Driver #55 Vita VLT Mercedes-AMG GT3
“It’s the end of our first esports season, and I have to say we really enjoyed this as a team. Its something new and different, but esport has grown globally and it was a great year to invest time into this whilst international racing in Asia has been put on hold with the pandemic. We have learned alot and we are already looking ahead to the 2021 esport season. All our team drivers dedicated themselves to learn and improve through the season, so big thanks to all the drivers for that. Melvin Moh carried on his good form from our 2019 real world season into this year’s esport season. He was outstanding all year, getting quicker and quicker each race, and just missing out on the championship title by a few points at the end. Kevin Tse was driving in the Real-AM class, and his pace and consistency was unstoppable. Anyone that competes in esport knows how hard it is to “survive” each race, but Kevin finished on the podium at each and every race which is quite remarkable, a well-deserved championship season. Lastly, big thanks to our team’s esport partners, Motul Lubricants, TCL, Vita VLT, Vita Juice, and Vita Water.”