Porsche takes double victory @ Fuji GT World Challenge Asia

Porsche takes double victory @ Fuji GT World Challenge Asia

Porsche secured both race wins in Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2024 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS campaign, with the #87 Origine Motorsport and #1 Absolute Racing crews taking to the top step at Fuji Speedway.


 
Starting fourth after a strong qualifying session, Yuan Bo put in an excellent first stint in Saturday’s race to pit from second. Teammate Leo Ye’s quick out lap was enough for him to jump the previous leader after their stop, quickly creating a gap to those behind. The 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion brought the car home safely for a comfortable victory, making it two wins on the bounce for Origine Motorsport following Lu Wei and Patrick Pilet’s success at Buriram.


 
Several other solid Porsche performances saw the marque block out positions four to seven, with Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Joel Eriksson fourth overall and third in the Pro-Am category in the #93 Phantom Global Racing machine, just ahead of Anthony Liu and Alessio Picariello for Absolute Racing. Eshan Pieris and Tanart Sathienthirakul clinched Silver victory and sixth in the sister #911 Absolute Racing car, while Tsubasa Kondo and Kiyoshi Uchiyama impressed on home turf, securing their first overall points of the season and second in the Silver-Am category for Porsche Center Okazaki.

 

Race 2 produced a thrilling event, with a wet track and fog making it tough for the drivers. However, three Porsche entries were heavily involved in some excellent racing for the podium positions in the opening exchanges, with Picariello for Absolute Racing, Phantom Global Racing’s Jaxon Evans and Origine Motorsport’s Pilet all putting on a show as they battled hard despite the conditions.


 
Following pit stops which saw the Am drivers head out on track, the Safety Car was called out, with racing resuming for the last 15 minutes. Reigning Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia champion Anthony Liu immediately went on a charge in the #1 Absolute Racing car, working his way quickly up to second, having been sixth at the restart. A few minutes later, Liu was involved in an intense three-way battle for the lead, eventually coming out on top to clinch his and Picariello’s first race win of the season in dramatic style.


 
Wei and Pilet returned to the points in seventh, while a 10-second penalty dropped Sun and Evans down to tenth for Phantom Global Racing, after crossing the line in a strong fourth. Backing up their excellent performance yesterday, Tsubasa Kondo and Kiyoshi Uchiyama again clinched second in the Silver-Am class for Porsche Center Okazaki, while AMAC Motorsport’s Andrew Macpherson and Ben Porter secured their first win of the season in the Am category. Finally, following their victory in Race 1, Eshan Pieris and Tanart Sathienthirakul returned to the Silver podium in third for Absolute Racing.


 
The results see Liu and Picariello vault to the top of the Drivers’ Championship, just two points clear of Bo and Ye in second. Wei sits alone in third, a further eight points back, while Origine Motorsport still hold a comfortable lead in the teams’ standings, ahead of Absolute Racing in second.

 

In the Japan Cup, it was a fantastic weekend for Diaki Fujiwara and Yoshitomo Makino in the #82 Sunrise BLVD Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. Having taken second on Saturday, the duo had a strong Race 2, taking the lead on the final lap to secure their first victory of the season.


 
Makoto Haga performed strongly as the only GTC car in the field, taking a pair of 13th-placed finishes aboard the GAMA 83 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

 

Anthony Liu, Absolute Racing: “I’m delighted with our performance this weekend, we took solid points in Race 1 and deserved the victory today. It’s always a pleasure to drive with Alessio and the Absolute Racing team nailed it with the car. We’ve got a big second half of the season to come, so we’ll look to maintain our momentum at Suzuka.”

 

Alessio Picariello, Absolute Racing: “I’m very happy with the win, we’ve all been working hard as a team to improve and this weekend it paid off, with strong points in Race 1 as well. Anthony did a fantastic job, and now we are leading the championship, so that puts us in a positive frame of mind as well. We need to keep our heads down and work hard as it’s going to be a tight battle during the second half of the season.”


 
Eshan Pieris, Absolute Racing: “The team and I were able to secure another class win at Fuji. It was very tricky with the changing conditions every day but we persevered through the challenges and got a great haul of points for the championship. Thank you to Absolute Racing and Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific for the car this weekend.”


 
Tanart Sathienthirakul, Absolute Racing: “We’re very happy to be leaving Fuji with another class win and some great points for the championship. Looking to repeat this performance at Suzuka!”


 
Yuan Bo, Origine Motorsport: “Race 1 was amazing for us to take the victory, the car felt great and it was incredible to stand on the top step of the podium. Today was unfortunate, there was nothing Leo could’ve done to avoid contact so we will fight again at Suzuka!”


 
Leo Ye, Origine Motorsport: “We’re really happy with the win on Saturday, we showed brilliant speed and in the end it was a comfortable one, so that was great. Today we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, there was nothing I could do to avoid contact. These things can happen in the middle of the pack, so our goal for Suzuka is to qualify better, meaning we can hopefully avoid these types of incidents.”


 
Patrick Pilet, Origine Motorsport: “It was a frustrating weekend for us, with the penalty yesterday putting us out of contention. Today we were expecting the track to dry, but the rain came back. Despite this, the car felt good and Wei was able to bring it home for some points, but we hoped for more. Sometimes this is the way it goes and we’ll be looking to bounce back.”


Jaxon Evans, Phantom Global Racing: “I was really happy to be with Phantom Global Racing this weekend, my first time at Fuji so it was cool to experience it. The car was strong throughout, we had a lot of speed and the team did a great job. Yesterday we didn’t get the result we deserved, JZ was spun around early on but we did well to recover to P13. Starting sixth in the wet was fun today, I had some great battles in the early stages and then JZ did a great job in the second half of the race. It’s the best I’ve seen him drive so that was a big positive, obviously the penalty dropped us back a bit but we can be satisfied with our performance.”
 
Joel Eriksson, Phantom Global Racing: “Overall it was a positive weekend for us, taking the Pro-Am podium yesterday was a great feeling. We lacked a bit of pace in qualifying but recovered well in the race to make up lots of places. Today was unlucky, we had a good start but got hit from behind and spun around. It’s a shame because I think we could’ve had a strong race, so we’ll come back looking for more at Suzuka.”


 
Kiyoshi Uchiyama, Porsche Center Okazaki: “Finishing second in class for both races is a great achievement for us and we’re very happy with our performance. It definitely wasn’t easy, there were a lot of fast cars on track but we battled hard to secure two strong results.”


 
Hiroaki Nagai, Porsche Center Okazaki: “The rain made it tough today, and unfortunately our performance wasn’t good enough this weekend to score points. The next round is at Suzuka, which is my home track and somewhere I love to race, so I’m looking forward to it and hoping for better there.”

 

Brian Lee, GTO Racing Team: “It was challenging with the fog and rain, the tyre strategy was not easy but we did a solid job as a team. We scored points for the Silver-Am championship, so that’s a positive and now our eyes are on the next race!”
 
Hideto Yasuoka, GTO Racing Team: “Qualifying was tough and we gave ourselves a lot to do in both races. On Saturday, we had strong pace and managed to fight for the class podium thanks to a great start from Brian. Today we decided to begin the race on slicks because we expected the track to dry quickly. Unfortunately this didn’t happen, but Brian managed to bring it back at the end to take P6 in class and keep our momentum ahead of Suzuka.”


 
Andrew Macpherson, AMAC Motorsports: “The start of today’s race was wild, very slippery and not a lot of front grip. I fortunately managed to avoid the contact in front, and then once I came in Ben did an awesome job in his stint to bring home the Am win. Our first victory of the year and looking forward to the next one! We love Suzuka, so we’re excited to get out on track again.”


 
Ben Porter, AMAC Motorsports: “An awesome race today, Andrew did a great job in the tricky conditions early on and once I jumped in, we had a lot of pace and I was able to pick cars off one by one to secure 12th overall and the Am class win. I’m really happy with our performance and thanks to the team for their great work.”


 
Alexandre Gibot, Managing Director Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Ltd.: “A great weekend here in Fuji and we’re all delighted with the results. The conditions were extremely challenging in Race 2 especially, but the teams and drivers adapted really well. It’s a huge positive to win both races, and the championship standings look great for Porsche at the moment, but we are only halfway and lots can happen with six rounds left of the season. Overall, we’re very happy with the weekend and we’ve got a quick turnaround before Suzuka, so we’re excited to continue pushing into the second half of the season.”
 


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