Absolute Racing won the second Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia race at Sepang on Sunday, with Tanart Sathienthirakul and Philip Hamprecht taking a narrow victory to close off the opening weekend of the new-look championship.
The pair, co-driving Absolute’s No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R, finished just 0.8 seconds clear of Pro-Am winners Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Alex Imperatori in a similar Porsche.
They drove a Panther/AAS Motorsport-entered car, while the podium was completed by Christina Nielsen and Darryl O’Young’s Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Dennis Olsen started from pole but dropped to third behind Imperatori and Mathias Beche on the first lap which was followed by a brief safety car period.
Eventual winner Hamprecht circulated in fourth position but his teammate Sathienthirakul managed to exit the pits in second after the driver change.
This came due to the No. 911 Absolute crew’s decision to pit earlier than the leading three Porsches, bringing its car out behind only Inthraphuvasak.
Sathienthirakul made a successful pass for the lead at the final corner with five minutes remaining, and stayed out front for the rest of the race.
He and Hamprecht have a one-point lead over Race 1 runners-up Gabriele Piana and MG Choi, while Saturday’s winners Alessio Picariello and Jeffrey Lee are third.
O’Young made an impressive drive through the field to secure third for Craft-Bamboo, with Nielsen having pitted from back in 17th position.
B-Quik Racing secured Am Cup honors, meanwhile, with its Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo driven by Daniel Bilski and Henk Kiks.
BMW Team Studie swept the weekend in GT4 with its drivers Sunako Jukuchou and Takayuki Kinoshita beating Craft-Bamboo’s Frank Yu and Jean-Marc Merlin by 16 seconds.
The King of Malaysia, His Majesty The Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah, attended his first ever race at Sepang on Sunday.
His nephew, H.H. Prince Abdul Rahman Ibrahim, competed with Triple Eight Racing and finished 13th overall.
RESULTS: Race 2