Audi Hong Kong gets Race 1 win at Suzuka

Another race in the Blancpain GT Series Asia, another lottery that delivered exciting action all over the place at Suzuka Circuit, with Audi Hong Kong, Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong taking it after a brave fight with the No. 99 CRAFT Bamboo Porsche, which was also in the middle of a tight podium battle.

The No. 99 CRAFT Bamboo Porsche managed to keep the lead from pole for about two laps until a mistake from Darryl O'Young handle it to the No. 5 Audi Hong Kong R8, which then tried to build a gap, with O'Young responding properly. This kept going until the pit window, as well the pursuit of the No. 28 ARN Ferrari to the No. 86 OD Racing Audi for third place.

The No. 99 had a good pitwork and got back in front thanks to it, but around a half of a lap after leaving the pits, the No. 99 was already on target for the No. 5, becoming an instant victim and losing the lead. Li Zhi Cong couldn't expect that the No. 86 OD Racing Audi and the sister No. 88 CRAFT Bamboo Porsche would come to the party with around 20 minutes to go. Mitch Gilbert in the No. 86 was practically waiting for the mistake of Li Zhi Cong to take over 2nd place, but such time in attack mode wasn't well used as the No. 86 saw the No. 88 get the third position.

The No. 5 Audi simply disappeared in front as time passed by and the No. 99 CRAFT Bamboo Porsche continued to lock up its direct opponents behind its pace, but Nick Foster in the No. 88 quickly took of the team matters as backmarkers appeared in the way, which was also the No. 86 OD Racing Audi dealt with it. The top-3 slots were guaranteed for the finish, with the No. 5 cruising nicely to the checkered, but hell broke loose behind the podium, as the No. 99 CRAFT Bamboo Porsche managed to hold 4th place against the No. 38 Spirit of Race Ferrari, the No. 28 ARN Ferrari, the No. 999 GruppeM Mercedes and the No. 66 VSR Lamborghini, a multi-car fight decided at the line.

While things were pretty much settled in the GT3 side, the GT4 class had still a battle for the lead as the No. 98 Taiwan Top Speed Porsche owned it for most of the race, only to see a little mistake with 2 minutes to go handle it to the No. 77 CRAFT Bamboo Porsche. The 98 still found pace to recover from the mistake and take the class win again.

PHOTO: Blancpain GT Series Asia