GruppeM Racing’s Hunter Abbott and Maxi Buhk claimed victory in Blancpain GT Series Asia’s second race at Buriram, Thailand, on Sunday to top a weekend of highs and lows.
Their No. 999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished 11.1 seconds clear of Phoenix Racing Asia’s Silver Cup class winners Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong.
It capped a weekend of mixed emotions for Buhk and Abbott after the latter’s practice accident resulted in the car being hastily rebuilt with parts taken from the sister No. 888 entry.
Second in yesterday’s opening race then became sixth in the final classification as punishment for making avoidable contact with Mitch Gilbert’s Audi R8 LMS.
Lee and Thong overcame a seven-second pitstop success penalty to lift their second overall runners-up trophy of the weekend, while a spirited late race charge from Gilbert earned him and OD Racing co-driver Aditya Patel third overall.
An opening lap accident not only triggered an early Safety Car period but also removed four potential victory candidates from the 60-minute race.
Alex Yoong, Race 1 winner Rui Aguas, Davide Rizzo and Martin Rump were running inside the top seven as they approached Turn 5 before a racing incident resulted in all four ending their afternoon in the gravel.
The resulting Safety Car period lasted four laps before J-Fly by Absolute Racing’s polesitter Alessio Picariello made the perfect restart to edge clear of Buhk in second.
Never more than three seconds apart, they eventually pitted together just before the ten-minute window ended and handed over to their respective co-drivers, Jeffrey Lee and Abbott.
The race off pit road ended as it had begun, with Lee’s Audi just over two seconds clear of its pursuer.
Abbott was soon up to speed, though, and made short work of reeling in and passing the R8 LMS GT3 before setting off towards a comfortable victory.
In GT4, Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Frank Yu and Jean Marc Merlin made amends for yesterday’s disappointment by running out comfortable winners in the GT4 category.
Yu started fourth but was soon leading the class before handing over to his French co-driver, who pulled clear of the EKS Motorsports entry shared by Byron Tong and Eric Lo over the second half of the race.
RESULTS: Race 2