7th July 2019 – Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, Fuji
Alex Au and Yuki Nemoto scored two podium finishes in this weekend’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia double header at Fuji Speedway. At the half-way point of the Championship Au lies second in the Pro-Am standings, just two points off the leader.
The second Japanese round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Championship was held at Fuji Speedway this weekend. Nemoto threw down the gauntlet to the other Pro drivers on Friday by setting the fastest time in the Free Practice sessions and both he and Au were rapid in qualifying on Saturday despite tricky conditions on a damp but drying track. Nemoto’s best lap was good enough for second in the Pro-Am class and a place on the second row of the grid for race one. Kumar Prabakaran secured a slot on the ninth row and was fourth fastest in the LB Cup class.
At the start of Saturday’s race Nemoto squeezed past Leitch to take second and was soon sandwiched between Van der Drift and Yazid. The threesome, rarely covered by more than one second, quickly pulled away from the rest of the field, establishing a significant gap to Puhakka in fourth. On lap eleven Yazid found a way past Nemoto, pushing him down to 2nd in class, third overall, and one lap later the pit window opened. In LB Cup Prabakaran had been involved in a dice with Mak from the very start of the race and both drivers pitted immediately. Despite a three second handicap for racing alone Prabakaran rejoined ahead of Mak’s team-mate Liu but the pair swapped places again before the chequered flag. On lap fifteen Yazid pitted from the Pro-Am lead and a lap later Van der Drift came in leaving Nemoto to run alone for one more tour. Au took over the VSR car, exiting the pits in third place overall. Two laps later he was passed by Kasai’s Pro car but from then on enjoyed an untroubled stint to take the flag fourth overall, second in Pro-Am. Prabakakaran finished fifteenth overall, fifth in the LB Cup class.
Au was super-fast in his qualifying session and lined up on the front row for Sunday’s race with Prabakaran again fourth in LB Cup. With the grid mixed up due to the damp track in qualifying the Pro drivers started well down the field and the first half of the race saw them surge to the front. When the pit window opened Au was lying sixth overall, third in Pro-Am. Nemoto took over and had a twenty-six second deficit to the leading car of Wiser which was handed over to Kwong just as the pit window closed. Nemoto, after overtaking the Pro car of Puhakka, was soon amongst the fastest drivers on the track and very quickly it became a battle at the front between the three Pro-Am cars of Kwong, Yazid and Nemoto. On lap nineteen Yazid caught and passed Kwong to take the lead and one lap later Nemoto followed him through. He had a six second gap to last year’s Champion Yazid and managed to half it by the time the chequered flag fell, claiming second overall and second in Pro-Am. Prabakaran took the flag in eighteenth place, scoring points in the LB Cup with a fifth place finish in class.
The Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia championship continues at the beginning of next month with a double header race weekend in Korea.