A Phenomenal Start Gives Tjia the Round 3 Win Francis Tjia claimed a phenomenal win in an action packed GT3 Asia Round 3 race at the Shanghai International Circuit today. After some fantastic manoeuvres at the start, Tjia climbed up from eighth...
A Phenomenal Start Gives Tjia the Round 3 Win
Francis Tjia claimed a phenomenal win in an action packed GT3 Asia Round 3 race at the Shanghai International Circuit today. After some fantastic manoeuvres at the start, Tjia climbed up from eighth to third by the end of the opening lap.
Tjia then fought hard with Siu Yuk Lung of LKM racing before the younger of the Siu brothers was called in for a drive through penalty for a false start. From there, Tjia caught up to the battle between Siu Tit Lung and race leader, Wayne Shen. Tjia then made his move and managed to get past the elder Siu with ease on lap 3 before putting the pressure on his Modenas Motorsports teammate. Shen, who opted for a combined tyre set-up in anticipation of the rain, was fast losing grip and lost the position to Tjia on lap 4.
"It was a fun race. We were warned early on that Sam Yau has a gearbox problem so he may have trouble getting away but we thought that's good because it creates an uncertainty, but after that it was just a race.
"The first lap had a lot of things going on, I managed to make my way through and at the end of the first lap I was already in third and then the battle really started.
"After that, I was right behind Wayne and since he is my teammate, I knew that he had a kind of compromised set-up, a half rain and half dry while I went for all dry. I took a gamble starting so low. So I knew that my car was probably faster than his and I made my move as quickly as I could" said Tjia during the post race press conference.
The gamble paid off as the tyre degradation on Shen's car was more than expected and Tjia made his move with ease, leaving Shen to defend his position from the fast approaching Siu Tit Lung. Both drivers changed positions a couple of times as they both made mistakes at Turn 15 in the last few laps of the race. In the end, Shen made a mistake at the turn on Lap 7, leaving Siu to take the position all the way to the chequered flag.
After the race, Siu T.L. was given a 30-second penalty for overtaking under the yellow flag and was relegated to sixth, leaving Wayne Shen to claim second while his elder brother, John Shen moved up to third.
"I had opted for a softer set-up for the rain, unfortunately that was not the right choice. So, even on the out lap, I knew that my car was not handling well and to make matters even worse, we were expecting less traction, so we put in less pressure in the tyres. Basically, the tyre degradation was quite obvious and I knew it was going to be a tough task to hold Francis back.
"As for the next race, I am going to keep this set-up but if it looks more or less like this or very light rain then I will probably stiffen my car up a bit more" said Wayne Shen during the post race press conference.
For first time podium finisher, John Shen, it was a case of playing it safe that got him the podium finish. "It was interesting, it's my first time on the podium so its very exciting and I may not be as fast but I tried to be very safe and this time luck was on my side and I'm third" said a very happy John Shen at the post race press conference.
The GT4 category was won by Hong Kong driver, Eric Cheung in his Ferrari 360 Challenge. Adrian Fu in his Porsche 997 GT3 Cup crossed the line second and David Lai of Singapore in his Ferrari F360 Challenge completed the GT4 category podium in third.
Pole sitter, Sam Yau's hope of claiming a pole to flag win was dashed when he was faced with a transmission problem at the start of the warm up lap and was unable to get his car off the line.
-credit: asia gt3