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May 12, 2024
TOUGH RACE FOR VSR IN THAILAND Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia by AWS, Round 2 – Buriram, Thailand

Tough weekend for VSR at Buriram

The Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Championship continued at Buriram in Thailand this weekend and VSR entered an unchanged drive line-up for their three Lamborghinis. Bian and Liberati drove the 6 Pro-Am car, Zhou and Mapelli the 63 Pro-Am car and Mizutani and Nemoto the ANR with VSR entered 563 Silver-Am car. 

The teams enjoyed two sessions of uninterrupted testing on Thursday before the official practice sessions started on Friday. The first session ran without incident but heavy rain affected the final quarter of the second session. The VSR cars nevertheless showed good pace with both the 6 and 63 cars finishing in the top five. The track was wet but drying for the final session of Friday, dedicated to the Bronze drivers, and it was Bian who topped the times with Zhou fourth fastest.   

Qualifying on Saturday morning took place in cooler than normal conditions after overnight rain. In the first session Bian qualified sixth in Pro-Am with Zhou just behind him, ninth fastest in class whilst Mizutani was the ninth quickest Silver-Am car. The drivers held their positions at the start until lap eight when Bian was forced to pit to replace a tyre with a slow puncture. His race would be further compromised by a drive through penalty for track limits infringements which Liberati served during his stint. Zhou was running sixth in Pro-Am when he pitted for Mapelli but an error saw the Italian leave his pit box too early. The result was a drive through which put the 63 out of contention. Mizutani and Nemoto enjoyed a trouble-free run to seventh in Silver-Am.

For Sunday’s race Mapelli lined up on row five after losing his best lap to a track limits infringement. Liberati started two rows further back and Nemoto was the fifth fastest in Silver-Am. A great start from Mapelli saw him up to fourth before Pilet pushed him out half way round the first lap and he slipped back to ninth. Further back Liberati was hit from behind and forced into the side of the Harmony Racing Ferrari. The Lamborghini continued but with radiator damage which would eventually force it to retire. Mapelli fought his way up to sixth place before the pit window opened and Zhou, one of the fastest Am’s on track during the second half of the race, gained a further two spots to run third in Pro-Am. A drive through penalty for track limits abuse then lost the car time and Zhou took the flag sixth in class. Nemoto and Mizutani scored another points finish, taking the chequered flag in ninth place in Silver-Am.

The GT World Challenge Asia Championship moves to Japan for round three at Fuji in just over one month’s time but ANR with VSR will first take part in the opening Japan Cup race at Sugo.