It will be an Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 at the front for the start of Round 5 after the German driver set the fastest lap during Qualifying 1. He and his teammate, Hong Kong driver Frank Yu, will face a hard fight from the Clearwater Racing pair of Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Mok Weng Sun in the McLaren 12C GT3, who will start the race alongside them.
“It was good, we did two flying laps and after that I had some traffic so I had to come in but it was good. We did a good laptime, we found a really good set-up during the practice session and we are happy to be in front. Its quite hard this time, the McLaren is there and he is a really good driver so it will be a really interesting race,” said Muecke.
“It was pretty good, I went out first but unfortunately my quickest lap was in traffic so that destroyed my lap. I had one good lap with a 1 minute 42.5 seconds and came in because we decided to save the tyres for the race and Weng went out and beat me by two-tenths but that’s racing and we really enjoy it” said Yu.
Hamaguchi and Mok were both happy with the qualifying sessions today saying “luckily the temperature dropped down completely from yesterday and we have the advantage of a turbo charged car. With the rubber from the Formula Nippon cars, the grip was better than it was yesterday, so I had that in mind as I pushed the car a little bit to get the time so its all working better” said Hamaguchi after the sessions.
Mok added “we had a great car today, the team did a fantastic job with the setup. It was the fastest time I ever set here but I still lost to my teammate, Hiroshi by six-tenths, so I have to find a way to get him back at the next round on my home track.”
Alex Yoong set a rapid pace in the Audi R8 LMS Ultra he shares with Francis Hideki Onda to line up on row 2 with the Darryl O’Young and Samson Chan pairing beside them in their Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3. O’Young and Chan had to change from the Ford GT3 to the Aston after suffering from a blown engine during the Free Practice Sessions yesterday.
“After the practice session yesterday we thought we were not going to be able to race today so to have a chance to be here is really good. The boys did the best job this morning when they received the car to prep it but it wasn’t set up properly to do a good qualifying lap but we are just happy to be able to get in some laps and prepare for the race” said O’Young.
Chan shared his sentiments “we are very lucky that we have the car to drive and the team did a fantastic job. They put the car together in a few hours so forget about the set-up at least we have the car to race. Now we have some time to do a little bit of set-up and hope to improve during the race.”
Behind them in row 3 will be the second Audi shared by Marchy Lee and Jeffrey Lee alongside China’s young driver, Li Zhi Cong in the Porsche 997 GT3 R. the pairing of Cheng Cong Fu and Philip Ma takes row four for Audi with Clearwater Racing’s pair Ro Charlz and Tunku Hammam in the Lamborghini LP560 GT3 beside them.
The leading GTM class driver was Wayne Shen in the Porsche 997 Cup 3.8.
“I am very happy with the time. I know the track reasonably well, we were in the process of setting up the car and fortunately our initial set-up is very close to where it should be so the two practices and qualifying went really well,” said W.Shen after the sessions.
Taiyou Iida and Francis Tjia take row seven ahead of Age Age Racing pair, Naoryu and Tohjiro Azuma in the Ferrari 458 Challenge who are on row eight with Macau driver Keith Vong.
John Shen will line with the pairing of Jacky Yeung and Dilantha Malagamuwa in row nine whilst Aoki Takuma and Tsuruta Kazuya row 10 in their shared Corvette Z06R GT alongside Shim Ching.
A.Iida will start Round 6 from pole after setting the fastest lap during Qualifying 2 in the McLaren 12C GT3. He will be flanked by fellow McLaren driver, Mok on the front row.
“I am very happy. This is the first time for our team to be here in GT Asia. The car is new so we had out shakedown only on Wednesday so it isn’t the best set-up but we are getting better. I will try to improve the time but I am just really enjoying myself being here,” said A.Iida.
Yu/Muecke in the Aston and Li in the Porsche will take row 2, ahead of Jeffrey/Marchy in the Audi and Chan/O’Young in the second Aston.
It is an all Audi row 4 with Ma/Cheng and Onda/Yoong ahead of the leading GTM cars of Tjia and W.Shen in row 5 in their Porsche’s.
Tjia who set the fastest time in GTM is happy with his position saying “I’m very happy with the results, we knew we had a quick car for the track here. My teammate Wayne is on pole for the first race and I’m on pole for the second. Its going to be very tight, the difference between all the cars is just a few hundredths of a second between one another, I think, so pole feels good.”
GT3 pair, Hammam/Charlz takes row 6 alongside third fastest GTM car of T.Iida. Naoryu/Azuma in their Ferrari is in row 7 with J.Shen.
Vong, Takuma/Kazuya, Yeung/Malagamua and Ching complete the grid for Round 6.
The GT Asia Series continues with Rounds 5 scheduled at 4pm on Saturday, 13 July 2013 with Round 6 at 4.30pm on Sunday, 14 July 2013.
The GT Asia Series Rounds 5 – 10, held at Fuji, Sepang and Zhuhai will mark the start of the AAMC Macau GT Cup, where drivers will also collect points for the Macau GT Championship.
The 2013 GT Asia Series is supported by Yokohama ADVAN, Graham Timekeepers, KW Automotive, AutoArt, Tunewear and RaceRoom.
The GT Asia Series is jointly organised by Motorsport Asia and Supercar Club Hong Kong.
words & pix: Motorsport Asia