The 2018 GT Asia Series fires into gear this weekend with the opening round of the new season at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, a venue which has played host to the popular GT category over more than ten years.
19-cars are entered for the opening two rounds, with a combination of outright GT3 cars, and GTC classified cars, with teams from all across the Asian region in a field that combines the best of the Thailand Super Series, against a number of teams and drivers with strong credentials in the GT Asia Series.
Very much an amateur focussed championship in season 2018, GT Asia will mix experience and exuberance, allowing the amateur drivers that in past seasons have been buried in the pack with the huge influx of professional drivers coming into the category, to shine again and be right in fight for a podium in every race.
2016 GT Asia Series Team’s Champions Absolute Racing are fielding a three car Audi entry which will see a mix of experienced drivers campaigning alongside the car owners.
Multiple GT Asia Series race winner Adderly Fong returns to an Audi – in which he was crowned the 2013 Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup champion – to join the Philippines Vincent Floirendo, another driver with Audi Cup experience, in the EN Sport by Absolute R8 LMS GT3.
Chinese motorsport pioneer Franky Cheng will join regular team-mate Sun Jingzu in the #13 entry, the pair having been a powerhouse in past seasons in Asia and expected to again be right in the fight, whilst former GT Asia GTC star Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and team-mate Kantasak Kusiri will form the third prong in the Absolute Racing assault on the 2018 title.
There will be another Kusiri right in the title fight too, with reigning TCR Asia Series champion Kantadhee Kusiri joining Vutthikorn Inthrapuvasak in the mighty twin-turbo V8 powered Bentley Continental. Inthrapuvasak has proven very competitive in the Bentley in recent years having been a former podium finisher in the mighty Prodrive-built machine in GT Asia, and alongside one of Thailand’s best rising talents, will form a formidable partnership.
Multiple GT Asia Series race winner Carlo Van Dam is back in the action, and back behind the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Italia in which he has had so much success, joining Voravud Bhirombhakdi in the #89 Team Thailand Singha Motorsport entry, whilst young Australian star Aidan Read will take to the wheel of a Vattana Motorsport McLaren 650S GT3 alongside Chonsawat Asavahame.
There are a string of Lamborghini’s in the outright fight too, including the Vattana Motorsport Gallardo FL2 GT3s of Wachirarungruang and Akhihiro Asia, and Sirimongkolkasem and rising Thai star Jack Lemvard, they will battle a trio of Lamborghini Super Trofeos including a pair of all-new EVOs for Sarun Sereethoranakul and Afiq Yazid and experienced New Zealand journeyman Jono Lester.
WHO’S COMPETING IN SEPANG?
7. Sam Cheng/Steven Chian (Arrows Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup)#
13. Jingzu Sun/Franky Cheng (Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3)
15. Tanart Sathienthirakul (est Cola PTT Racing Porsche 997 GT3-R)
18. Kantadhee Kurisi/Vutthikorn Inthrapuvasak (est Cola PTT Racing Bentley Continental GT3)
23. Thanavud Bhirombhakdi/Tin Sritrai (Singha Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia Challenge)#
26. Henk Kiks/Daniel Bilski (B-Quik Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra)
28. Chonsawat Asavahame/Aidan Read (Vattana Motorsport McLaren 650S GT3)
29. Thomas Raldorf/Shaun Varney (Unixx-TR Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)#
38. Nattapong Hortongkum/Supong Khamtonwong (Toyota Team Thailand Toyota 86 V8)#
39. Charoensukhawatana/Kawamura Naoki (Toyota Team Thailand Toyota 86 V8)#
55. Vincent Floriando/Adderly Fong (EN Sport by Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3)
59. Bhurit Bhirombhakdi/Kantasak Kusiri (Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing Audi R8 GT3)
72. Alif Hamden (B-Quik Racing Porsche 997 GT3 Cup)#
77. Saravut Sereethoranakul (Racing Spirit PSC Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo)
88. Wachirarungruang/Akihiro Asai (Vattana Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3)
89. Voravud Bhirombhakdi/Carlo Van Dam (Singha Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
90. Pitsanu Sirimongkolkasem/Jack Lemvard (Vattana Motorsport Gallardo FL2 GT3)
155. Sarun Sereethoranakul/Afiq Yazid (Racing Spirit PSC Huracan Super Trofeo EVO)
159. Jono Lester (Vattana Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO)