Silver Cup podium for Kodric and Stuvik at Fuji
20th August, 2017 – Blancpain GT Series Asia, Fuji Speedway
The fourth round of the Blancpain GT Series Asia took place at Fuji this weekend and saw a record thirty-four car entry for the increasingly popular series. Sandy Stuvik once more shared the wheel of the VSR Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with Martin Kodric. Last time Stuvik was partnered by Nicolas Costa and the pair took Silver Cup victory and finished 2nd overall leaving VSR with a success penalty to discount in the first race at Fuji.
first free practice session was wet and the second, held in quick succession, was run on a damp but drying circuit, a situation that was repeated for Saturday morning’s official practice. Qualifying was dry however and it was Kodric who took the Lamborghini out in Q1. Hampered by traffic on his best lap and a red flag two thirds of the way through he qualified on row three. At the start of the race Kodric was already up amongst the front runners as the cars streamed into the first corner and, brilliantly taking advantage of the drivers around him who ran wide, he emerged in 2nd place. top cars were closely matched and by lap five were still covered by only seven seconds. For most of his stint Kodric fought off the Team EBI Porsche who in turn was battling with Di Folco in the FFF Racing Lamborghini while ahead the locally entered Car Guy Lamborghini gradually pulled away. With a seven second success penalty to discount in the pits the VSR crew were heavily disadvantaged and opted to stop as soon as the pit window opened. Kodric handed the car to Stuvik and when the pit stops finished they had lost only one place to the Craft Bamboo Porsche who, like Car Guy, had no penalty. Stuvik’s chances of another overall podium were soon dampened by the arrival of Buhk in the Gruppe M Mercedes who was flying. He passed Stuvik on lap twenty-nine, five laps before the chequered flag fell. Stuvik took the flag in 4th, 3rd in the Silver Cup, and was just nine seconds behind the winner with a healthy seven second gap to the rest of the field.
Stuvik qualified the car for race two, claiming a place on the 8th row of the grid in the closely fought session in which the top fifteen were covered by just one second. Early in the race an unscheduled pit-stop for a technical issue lost the car two laps and from then on it was all about showing pace. In the second half of the race Kodric was consistently the fastest of the six Lamborghinis on track and often one of the fastest GT3 runners.
Kodric and Stuvik will be back in action next month at the Shanghai circuit in China which hosts the penultimate round of the Championship.