It was an exciting weekend in Japan for Absolute Racing as they took home their first win of the season. For Bentley, it was their second win of the weekend including the Dyson Racing win in the Pirelli World Challenge.
The Asia GT Series was in Japan for rounds 3 & 4. The racing series runs a sprint format with two drivers per car. Each driver runs a qualifying session with one driver’s time counting for the first round of the weekend and the other driver’s time counting for the second and final round of the weekend.
The field qualified very tightly with only hundredths of a second between qualfying times. Absolute Racing’s teams all qualified well and Bentley would be in the first row for the start. As the cars came in to pit for the driver change in Round 3, Bentley was in first and second place. Unfortunately victory eluded them and the combo of Andy Soucek and Jeffrey Lee would have the best finishing position for Bentley Team Absolute, coming in fifth.
Round 4 also saw Bentley with good starting positions. After a red flag on the start caused by a collision, Adderly Fong gained the lead on the restart. Along with a couple competitors, the lead pack broke away from the rest of the field.
While Fong was defending his lead, Jeffrey Lee would spin after dropping two wheels off the tarmac into the grass. Unfortunately, a competitor was unable to avoid Lee’s Bentley and he and Soucek would be forced to retire their damaged car.
As Fong turned his Bentley over to his co-driver Sawa, the VLT Aston Martin would steal the lead. Sawa fought hard as the race reached its conclusion and was able to overtake the Aston to give Bentley Team Absolute their first win of the year.
“By the last lap I wasn’t sure I could win, because Richard (in the Aston) was coming very fast and I was pushing hard,” said Sawa. “We also didn’t change tires during the stop, so my tires weren’t at their peak, but we were able to do it. It’s a very important moment for me, because I started my career here back in 1998, and won the Formula 4 title here, so I was very emotional as I came across the line, especially being in front of so many of my fans, my sponsors and the many Bentley guests that have come here this weekend.”
Fong echoed his teammates comments on how special the win was. “This was a very special experience. It was my first time in Okayama, so I was glad to be able to be on the pace from qualifying onwards and help Sawa win at his home race.”
This win puts Fong & Sawa in second place for the driver points championship.
The Asia GT Series now has a three week break before returning to Japan for rounds 5 & 6 at the Fuji International Speedway July 17,18, and 19th, 2015. Both of last weekend’s races will be available to view on YouTube and Facebook in the coming weeks once they have been broadcast through regional and international networks.
Driver Points Standings:
- Anthony Liu/Davide Rizzo (57-points)
- Adderly Fong/Keita Sawa (45)
- Darryl O’Young/Jonathan Venter (42)
- Richard Lyons/Frank Yu (37)
- Piti Bhirom Bhakdi (34)
- Hiroshi Hamaguchi/Vitantonio Liuzzi (28)
- Richard Wee (27)
- Jeffrey Lee (25)
- Carlo Van Dam (24)
- Jacky Yeung/Duncan Tappy (21)
- Matt Griffin, Zen Low/Fairuz Fauzy (18)
- Sean Fu/Andrea Caldarelli (17)
- Mok Weng Sun/James Calado, Jean-Karl Vernay (16)
- Jiang Xin/Max Wiser (14)
- Naoki Yokomizo (10)
- Craig Baird, Andy Soucek (9)
- Hisashi Kunie (8)
- Jerry Wang (5)
- Keiichi Mori, Dylan Derdaele (4)