Bangsaen and Suzuka in packed weekend of action
Grove Racing and Modena Motorsports to race at CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa
Porsche Sprint Trophy Thailand visits Bangsaen for Round 2 of the season
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia returns to Suzuka for the first time in four years
Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific is preparing for an action-filled weekend of motorsport, with the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa, Porsche Sprint Trophy Thailand and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia all taking place this weekend.
24 Hours of Spa
The world-famous 24 Hours of Spa is one of the biggest GT3 races on the planet and 2023 is no different, with 14 Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992) taking on the legendary Belgian circuit.
Among them is the Earl Bamber Motorsport-run Grove Racing entry, which is tackling the entire 2023 Intercontinental GT Challenge campaign. Father and son duo Stephen and Brenton Grove have already taken on both the Bathurst 12 Hour and Kyalami 9 Hour this year, and will be joined by Anton de Pasquale and 2020 Spa 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber in the #23 entry.
Modena Motorsports will make their comeback to the event for the first time since 2019, with Porsche Carrera Cup Asia racers John Shen and Francis Tjia teaming up with Mathias Beche and Benny Simonsen in the Pro-Am class. The quartet has racing experience at the 7.004-kilometre circuit as recently as last month, when they competed at the Hankook 12H Spa-Francorchamps, finishing in a strong seventh place.
Reigning Porsche Sprint Trophy Thailand champion Tanart Sathienthirakul will make an assault on the race for the second time, following his third place finish in the Pro-Am class in 2020. The Thai driver will compete with Dinamic GT Huber Racing in the Silver category.
Hong Kong-based racer Antares Au will also make a return to Spa for his fourth shot at the event, racing alongside Matteo Cairoli and Jannes Fittje in the #20 Huber Motorsport entry.
Stephen Grove, Grove Racing: “Spa is the world’s ultimate GT endurance race, with the best GT drivers and teams taking on a complex and challenging track. It’s a tough race with over 70 cars and the weather is always bound to bring complications across the 24 hours. It’s great to be joined by Brenton, Anton and Earl, three excellent drivers, and I’m looking forward to working with Earl Bamber Motorsport.”
Brenton Grove, Grove Racing: “It’s a massive event which is bound to bring challenges, but we’re confident in the team and we’ve shown strong pace throughout testing, which is really encouraging. We’ve got a great driver line-up with a lot of experience, so I’m confident we can bring home a positive result.”
Francis Tjia, Modena Motorsports: “I’m very excited to be driving with John, Benny and Mathias at Spa. We were here in 2019 and finally we get to return to experience this amazing event once again. A big thanks to Earl Bamber Motorsport for assisting Modena Motorsports in preparing the car and to Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific for their support. We’re ready to go and aiming for a strong result!”
John Shen, Modena Motorsports: “It’s always been on our bucket list to stand on the podium at the Spa 24 Hours. Our teammate Wayne Shen dreamed of participating in this event, but sadly he passed away in October 2018 before he had the chance. We are here to fulfil Wayne’s dream and our own. Whether we achieve the result we set out to or not, it’s a privilege to participate in this prestigious event.”
Mathias Beche, Modena Motorsports: “Racing at the biggest GT race in the world with Modena is something really special. It’s going to be a big challenge, but we are well-prepared and have a strong time, so I’m confident in our ability to make some great memories this weekend.”
Benny Simonsen, Modena Motorsports: “I’m really looking forward to the race, the biggest GT event in the world and it’s great to be heading there with Modena Motorsports. We’ll push hard and hopefully on Sunday afternoon we’ll be celebrating a great result!”
Porsche Sprint Trophy Thailand
Meanwhile, in Asia, Porsche Sprint Trophy Thailand returns for Round 2 of the 2023 campaign as Thailand Super Series travels to the coastal Bangsaen Street Circuit for the highlight event of the season. Located to the South-East of the capital Bangkok, the 3.7-kilometre track bears similarities to the world-famous Guia Circuit in Macau, thanks to its fast corners, tight walls and hairpin bends.
Six Porsche entries will take on the Bangsaen Grand Prix, with Jakraphan Davee and Phaophong Chanchalia looking to pick up where they left off in Round 1. The Alpha Factory Racing Team by Pulzar pair secured a victory and second place at Chang International Circuit, meaning they tackle this weekend’s action as championship leaders.
Reigning title holders Mongkol Motorsports will aim to improve on their results from Buriram as they target a third championship in a row, making up one of three Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) crews. Kantadhee Kusiri and Nattachak Hanjitkasen will race for AAS Motorsport, while Sye Wai Chan and Wei Fung Thong team up in the Am class for Fire Monkey Motorsport.
Following two second-placed finishes in the GT4 class in Round 1, Iaro Razanakoto and Chanon Asavasangsidhi are targeting the top step as they compete in the #88 B-Quik Racing Porsche Cayman RS Clubsport. Meanwhile, winner in Race 1 of the season, Putera Adam, returns in the GTC class with AAS Motorsport.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia
Finally, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia heads to Suzuka International Racing Course for the third round of the 2023 season, making its first visit to Japan since 2019.
After three wins in four races, TORO Racing’s Luo Kailuo leads the way in the standings, with Florian Latorre close behind after the Frenchman’s maiden win in the series at Korea International Circuit last time out.
Eric Zang makes it two TORO Racing drivers at the top of their respective championship standings, currently sitting four and nine points clear of Bao Jinlong and Zhou Bihuang respectively in the Pro-Am category.
In the Am class, Yang Ruoyu holds a narrow lead over Li Xuanyu, with 2022 champion Eric Kwong looking to get his title defence back on track following a tough round in South Korea.
Alexandre Gibot, Managing Director Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Ltd.: “The action-packed weekends keep coming for Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific and with simultaneous racing in three different countries this weekend, this one is especially exciting. The Spa 24 Hours is always an amazing event and we’re delighted to have two teams from the Asia-Pacific region taking part, with Grove Racing & Modena Motorsports.
“Over in Thailand, the Porsche Sprint Trophy Thailand made an excellent start to its 2023 season back in April. It’s always extra special when the series races at the iconic Bangsaen Street Circuit, a venue Porsche Carrera Cup Asia has visited several times. Porsche has several entries in Bangsaen this weekend, so I’m looking forward to following all the action!
“Finally, having Porsche Carrera Cup Asia returning to Suzuka after four years away is fantastic for the championship. Suzuka is a gem of a circuit and the Championship this year is proving to be very competitive, so I hope everybody enjoys this incredible weekend of racing.”