Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo claimed the second Blancpain GT Series Asia race win of the season at Sepang on Sunday, with a successful pit stop strategy from the BBT team.
Rizzo pitted the No. 37 Ferrari 488 GT3 from sixth place having started from the same position, but after the driver change which happened early in the ten-minute pit window, Liu had a 13-second lead.
This came after Rui Aguas and Alex Yoong had shared the lead during the first half.
Aguas had started fourth in the No. 38 Spirit of Race Ferrari but a strong start saw him jump up to second off the line, before passing Yoong in the No. 6 Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS soon after.
Nevertheless, Yoong managed to take the lead back 20 minutes into the race. He went on to increase his lead to three seconds by the pit stops.
Franky Cheng and Will Stevens were running third and fourth before the driver changes, in the Milestone Racing and Team WRT Asia Audis.
Jeffrey Lee assumed second place in the WRT car after the pit stops, while Marchy Lee and Race 1 winner Mitch Gilbert were third and fourth in the No. 5 Phoenix and No. 86 OD Racing Team-run Audis.
However, mistakes from Jeffrey Lee in the WRT Audi soon dropped him to fourth, allowing Marchy Lee and Gilbert to provisionally take the remaining podium positions.
With an insurmountable 26-second lead, Liu took the BBT Ferrari home to win the second round of the season, while Gilbert managed to get past Marchy Lee with three minutes remaining to secure second for the OD Racing crew.
“We tried a different strategy: originally we were going to run long with the tires like everyone else but then saw we might be at an advantage to stop earlier,” said Rizzo.
“I got caught up with an Audi at the start but managed to avoid the spinning Lamborghini. Then there was no chance to overtake the guys ahead so I just hung in there before the stops and let Anthony do the rest!”
Gilbert and co-driver Aditya Patel appeared to be another team to benefit from pit stop strategy, having started eighth and only coming into play in the second half of the race.
Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong held on to third in the Audi Hong Kong-backed Phoenix Racing Asia entry, while Hunter Abbott and Raffaele Marciello managed fourth for GruppeM.
EKS Motorsports’ Byron Tong overcame a brake issue to lead Jean-Marc Merlin to the line for the GT4 class win by half-a-second.
Eric Lo, driving the EKS Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in the first stint, passed Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Frank Yu at the start, leaving the EKS team in the lead for the remainder of the race.
Yu and Merlin came second in the Craft-Bamboo Porsche, having won Saturday’s Race 1.
RESULTS: Race 2