GruppeM Racing won the second Blancpain GT Series Asia race of the weekend on Sunday, with its No. 999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Hunter Abbott and Maxi Goetz prevailing in wet conditions at Suzuka.
Abbott came out of the pit lane ahead of J-Fly by Absolute Racing’s Jeffrey Lee whose teammate Alessio Picariello had started from pole position in his Audi R8 LMS.
The GruppeM driver only had Aditya Patel to pass in during his stint but a tire blowout from the lead brought a premature end to OD Racing Team’s race.
This allowed Abbott to assume the lead, eventually crossing the line seven seconds ahead of Sandy Stuvik, who had an impressive drive to pass Lee, Tim Sugden and Darryl O’Young, among others.
The Thai driver held onto the position, finishing second in the Vincenzo Sospiri Racing-run Lamborghini Huracan GT3 he shares with GT3 debutant Nicolas Costa. Lee and Picariello completed the podium.
GruppeM’s success on Sunday morning comes after last-lap contact in Saturday’s Race 1, which dropped the car from a potential podium finish to seventh.
Most teams opted to run slick tires at the start of the race but increasingly wet conditions led to crashes from Martin Rump’s KCMG Audi and Massimiliano Wiser’s Spirit of Race Ferrari, bringing out the Full Course Yellow and Safety Car in the early stages.
With conditions worsening, many cars swapped to wet tires for the second half, resulting in fewer incidents.
Taiwan Top Speed Racing took the GT4 win after missing out in Saturday’s race to Craft-Bamboo Racing.
A success penalty and subsequent drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane dropped Craft-Bamboo drivers Frank Yu and Jean-Marc Merlin from the lead to fourth.
HubAuto Racing then took the class lead but a similar drive-through penalty ended its chances, allowing George Chou and Keo Chang to put the Taiwan Top Speed Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR out front.
RESULTS: Race 2