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GT World Challenge Asia

Panther/AAS Leads Porsche Podium Sweep in Race 2

Title battle still very much alive heading into GT World Challenge Asia finale at Shanghai…

Photo: SRO

Panther/AAS Motorsport won Sunday’s second Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia round at Yeongam, leading a 1-2-3 sweep for Porsche and keeping Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak’s title hopes alive.

It was Inthraphuvasak and Alexandre Imperatori’s second win of the season, leading similar Porsche 911 GT3 Rs from JRM and Absolute Racing. 

The Panther/AAS car took the lead with ten minutes remaining when Inthraphuvasak passed Prince Jefri Ibrahim, whose Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3 had led the whole race until that point.

Co-drive Shane van Gisbergen started from pole and built up a 14-second lead by the time he pitted to hand over to the Johor prince, who came back out in the lead but slower than his Thai rival.

Inthraphuvasak made his was past into the lead, while Anthony Liu soon followed in the JRM car. By the checkered flag, the Triple Eight car had dropped to fifth.

In the closing stages, Ibrahim also found himself locked up in a battle between title protagonists MG Choi and Yuya Sakamoto.

Choi, who won Race 1 with Manuel Metzger, took fourth from Ibrahim on the penultimate lap, increasing his points lead over Sakamoto at the last minute.

Liu and Chris van der Drift finished second in the JRM Porsche, just 1.2 seconds off the lead, while Yuan Bo and Leo Ye Hongli took the best-placed Absolute car to third.

Fifty points are still up for grabs in the final two races of the season at Shanghai International Circuit next month.

Solite Indigo Racing’s Choi heads to China as title favorite, holding a 12-point lead over Absolute’s Philip Hamprecht and Tanart Sathienthirakul, while Sakamoto and Inthraphuvasak, in different cars, are tied for third, a further seven points back.

In the GT4 ranks, BMW Team Studie’s Takayuki Kinoshita and Sunako Jukuchou wrapped up their class title early, picking up their sixth victory of the season on Sunday.

The pair only had to finish ahead of Setiawan Santoso and Ringo Chong to prevent the Team iRace.Win duo from challenging in Shanghai.

That Mercedes-AMG GT4 did start from pole but soon slipped behind Kinoshita’s BMW M4 GT4.

Second place eventually went to another iRace.Win Mercedes driven by Keo Chang and Joe Chi, while GTO Racing with TTR’s Brian Lee and Tony Fong completed the podium.


Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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