Successful GT World Challenge Asia at Suzuka for the new Porsche 911 GT3 R

Successful GT World Challenge Asia at Suzuka for the new Porsche 911 GT3 R

The brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992) took its first Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS victory in Round 5 of the 2023 campaign at Suzuka International Racing Course.

The AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing #911 entry, piloted by Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Porsche Driver Klaus Bachler, stormed to the win in Race 1 at the figure-of-eight circuit thanks to a great showing on Saturday, with the Austrian making a crucial overtake for the lead in the final minutes.

In the second race of the weekend, R&B Racing’s Lu Wei and Patrick Pilet put in a strong performance to claim the third podium of the season for the #4 car. Two points finishes from Yuan Bo and Leo Ye in the Chinese team’s #87 entry, with seventh and fifth, helped the squad to the top of the GT3 Teams’ Championship. The duo also took victory in the Silver Cup in both races.

For the third season in succession, Porsche Center Okazaki’s Hiroaki Nagai and Yuta Kamimura claimed a podium finish at their home circuit, earning third in Saturday’s event.

In the #992 Absolute Racing special liveried “Year of the Rabbit” car, three-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Pro-Am champion Bao Jinlong and Alexandre Imperatori returned to the points paying positions, with a solid drive to seventh in Round 6.

The HubAuto Racing duo of Morris Chen and Alvaro Parente came close to the top-10 in both races, finishing 11th and 13th on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Meanwhile, the second HubAuto Racing entry of Brian Lee and Hideto Yasuoka claimed 17th and 16th.

Following their second-placed finish at Fuji Speedway last time out, Setiawan Santoso and Reid Harker were unable to return to the points for EBM Giga Racing, encountering issues in both races.

Japanese squad NK Racing, in only their third Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia event, could only manage 21st and 19th across the event, after also facing challenges in both races in the team’s strikingly liveried #25 car.

In the GT3-Am category, defending champions Andrew Macpherson and Ben Porter had a strong weekend at the iconic circuit for AMAC Motorsports, securing second place in Round 5 and claiming victory in Round 6 to close the gap to the championship leaders to just nine points.

Finally, Checkshop Caymania Racing’s Sho Kobayashi and Naohiko Otsuka kept up their push for the GT4 title, taking third and second in the #718 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport.

Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia returns this weekend for the second race of this mid-season double header, when the series will visit Mobility Resort Motegi for Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2023 campaign.

Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Selected Driver Yifei Ye also had a busy weekend. Firstly, he took on the rookie-designed Free Practice 0 at the Rome E-Prix, getting his second taste of the Porsche 99X Formula E car, before visiting the Goodwood Festival of Speed, driving the Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 up the famous hillclimb on Sunday.

Leo Ye, R&B Racing: “As the season progresses we can see that the team is constantly improving and gaining experience. Although we had a few difficulties on Saturday, we bounced back in Race 2 and came away with a good result. A huge thanks to everyone in the team for their dedication and we’ll look to keep pushing at Motegi.”

Yuan Bo, R&B Racing: “The extra weight we had to carry this weekend made the car understeer, but we dealt with it strongly throughout. We had an issue during the pit stop in Race 1, but on Sunday Leo did a great job in the first stint and I was able to clinch fifth at the chequered flag. We’ll now focus on heading straight to Motegi and putting in a positive showing there.”

Lu Wei, R&B Racing: “It’s a great feeling to be back on the podium for the third time this season. Even though I had a spin in the race, I managed to make the move to re-claim third and pick up strong points for the championship. We’ll continue to work hard and look for more at Motegi!”

Patrick Pilet, R&B Racing: “We had a chance for a podium on Saturday, so to make it count on Sunday was brilliant. It was a bit of a rollercoaster weekend, we had to fight hard and Wei did a great job to earn back the positions he lost during the spin and to take the podium. P3 and P5 is a strong result for the team, they did really well all weekend so a big thanks to them.”

Alexandre Imperatori, Absolute Racing: “It was another complicated weekend for us. We need to find a way to extract more from the car in qualifying, to set us up for better race results. We finished the event with some points which is positive, but it’s not our target. The whole team is working hard to improve and give us the chance to fight at the front. Hopefully we can make a step forward next week at Motegi.”
Bao Jinlong, Absolute Racing: “Our run of incidents finally came to an end this weekend, so we were able to get some good time on track and score points. I still believe we have some more adjustments and improvements to make, and I’m confident we can achieve strong results. We know what we need to do for the upcoming Motegi meeting, so I hope to fight for a podium finish.”

Andrew Macpherson, AMAC Motorsports: “Race 1 was chaotic, but on Sunday we picked up an excellent result with GT3-Am class victory. Ben drove exceptionally throughout the weekend, and to secure second and first in the two races is a great achievement. We’ll look to back this performance up at Motegi, it’s our first time at this track so we’re looking forward to getting out there.”

Alexandre Gibot, Managing Director Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Ltd.: “It was another fantastic Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia weekend for Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, with the Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992) taking its first victory in the series thanks to AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing. We’re very pleased with how our customers have adapted quickly to the new car and that they have been picking up strong results. At the halfway point in the season, it was really great to see Porsche represented on both the GT3 and GT4 podiums, and with customers in the top-three in all categories.  Our focus now turns to the coming weekend, where we’ll go again at Motegi and hope for another great weekend in Japan.

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