2010 GT3 Asia and GT4 Asia Cup Season Underway with Joint Test in Sepang This past weekend of 10th-11thApril, marked the beginning of the GT3 Asia and the GT4 Asia Cup 2010 season, when drivers and teams from the two series turned up at the...
2010 GT3 Asia and GT4 Asia Cup Season Underway with Joint Test in Sepang
This past weekend of 10th-11thApril, marked the beginning of the GT3 Asia and the GT4 Asia Cup 2010 season, when drivers and teams from the two series turned up at the Sepang International Circuit for a joint preliminary test session.
Twenty-six drivers took part in the two-day event, flying in from Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Australia. The Event began on a wet Saturday morning with a brief greeting by Motorsport Asia CEO, David Sonenscher, who welcomed the return of some familiar faces and a few new ones.
"This test session is for the drivers who are new to the series or are joining us this season with new cars. The session mainly acts as a shakedown before the start of the season. It also gives everyone a chance to catch up with one another after a long break in between seasons" said Sonenscher.
Drivers were eager to start the day and the damp conditions did not deter them from going all out, including the 2009 GT3 Asia Champion, a 'rusty' Tunku Hammam. He was a little apprehensive about his fitness level, coming back after such a long break, but seemed excited at being back behind the wheel of his Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S.
Hammam cited that his car was a little slower due to some engine problems that they are facing and said that they will be sending the car to be checked after the weekend.
Another driver making a return to the series is Singaporean Mok Weng Sun. The Team PCS Racing driver will be competing in both the GT3 Asia series and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. Mok set the second fastest time of the weekend in his 997 GT3 Cup S, with an unofficial time of 2:07.812, just four hundredths of a second behind Hong Kong's Michael Choi.
Choi, who is making a return to the GT3 Asia series, drove the sensational new Lamborghini LP 560 GT3 for Team SPS Racing, setting the fastest time of the weekend on his last run during the second session.
SPS Racing invited Japanese driver and former Porsche Carrera Cup Asia competitor, Keita Sawa, as their private driver coach for the Team. SPS once again made their appearance as the biggest group at the circuit with five Lamborghinis driven by brothers Siu Tit Lung and Siu Yuk Lung, Sasha Chu, Billy Fung and Choi.
Making a comeback to the series is Team IMSS after a two year absence. The team was at the circuit testing their Ferrari F-430's with a trio of Hong Kong drivers, Byron Tong, Oliver Lee and Andrew Luk. Luk claimed the fastest time on a damp track when he clocked 2:17.221 in the first session of the weekend.
Team Craf was at the test with one brand new Ginetta G50 GT3, an Aston Martin DBRS9 and a Fiat Abarth 500. The team, is working in a partnership with Eurasia Motorsport and will be joining the series this year with three Ginettas, driven by Frank Yu, Eric Cheung and Samson Chan.
For this weekend, Team Craf only had one of the three Ginetta G50 GT3s as the other two, for Yu and Cheung, are still at the factory being rebuilt after a full season in 2009. The remaining cars are due back in early May in time for the next test session and the first event.
Yu brought along the Aston Martin to shakedown the car in preparation for the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race, while the Abarth was brought along 'just for some fun'. "Everyone wanted to test the Abarth on the track and they did. It was really fun to drive." said Yu.
Three drivers from the VW Scirocco Cup China also took to the track to get themselves familiar with the Sepang circuit. The trio, brothers Gerard and Gilbert Yap, and Hu Chen Wei, are set to join the GT4 Asia Cup with their Aston Martin N24's.
Team Road & Track, will be represented this year by Australian driver and GT and Classic Car race regular, Daniel Bilski. The 39 year old will be taking part in the GT4 Asia Cup in the Aston Martin N24 and set some consistent times throughout the weekend.
A few other drivers were present at the test without their cars and 'shared' cars with their competitors including Mark Williamson who will be competing in the GT4 Asia Cup with three other drivers for Concorde Energy.
The GT3 Asia and GT4 Asia Cup will be visiting a combined total of seven different circuits this year including three circuits in Japan and the Macau street circuit for an invitational race at the end of the season. The season will kick off on the 14-16 May 2010 during the Asian Festival Of Speed at Sepang International Circuit and will return as part of the support event for the Super GT in Sepang in June.