GT3 Asia Race 1: Hammam takes a stunning Round 3 victory at home

Published on June 20th, 2010

Tunku Hammam Sulong took home a stunning pole to flag win today for Round 3 of the GT3 Asia during the Autobacs Super GT 2010 Series at Sepang International Circuit.

The Arrows racing driver was pressured by Frank Yu, Kevin Tse and Samson Chan into turn one on the opening lap but managed to maintain his position. By the third turn, as the trio behind him were fighting for second, he began to push his Lamborghini LP560 to steadily open up a gap that he maintained to the checkered flag.

“The track was a little bit slippy this afternoon. For the first couple of laps the car was sliding here and there so I was a bit cautious. Then I looked in my mirrors and saw a bit of a gap so I took it a bit easy.”

“Frank gave me a little bit of a scare at the start in the first corner, he was right next to me but I held my line and I managed to keep my lead.

“As the race wore on, I went a little bit faster and I actually set my fastest lap on my last lap. Towards the end, the conditions got a bit better and I got more confident so it was just a matter of trying to get the car to run properly,” said Hammam during the Post Race Press Conference.

The Craft Racing Hong Kong teammates had a very interesting outing, pushing one another and halfway through the race Chan, who started the race in fifth and was in third by turn two on the opening lap, managed to overtake Yu for second and held the position for four laps before Yu retook the position on the inside of turn 14 of lap 7.

“I thought I had a chance with Tunku but obviously not!,” said Yu during the Post Race Press Conference.

“I knew my brakes were not as good as the Lamborghini’s so I just did the gentleman thing and let him through, because he was two and a half seconds a lap faster and the fight was actually behind him.”

“Tunku was long gone so I was just having a ‘stroll in the park’, nursing the car and not over-driving it. The first few laps Samson was a few seconds behind me because he was having some fun with Kevin in the Lamborghini.”

“All of a sudden I saw him behind me so I let him through, for about four laps. Then I saw him slowing down so I caught back up again and I pulled a fast one on him, but under very safe conditions,” said Yu with a laugh.

Crossing the line in third was Chan who was happy with the podium finish. “The car was good, we had problems but we overcame them. There was a lot of work by the team and I must say I’m happy
because just before the race they were still working on the gearbox because I had some problems during the qualifying with shifting.

“Frank and I were having a bit of fun because Tunku was way out in front. So we had a bit of friendly fun, some corners I was a bit quicker than him and I passed him eventually but I had some problems with my shift light and the ABS wasn’t working so I was a bit conservative.”

“Finally Frank came closer, so I thought its my teammate and its better to have both on the podium than crashing into each other, so we had a good race and good fun,” ended Chan.

SPS Racing driver Kevin Tse completed the race in 22:22.073 to claim fourth ahead of Dilantha Malagamuwa of Dilango Racing Sri Lanka in fifth and Siu Yuk Lung of SPS Racing in sixth. Eric Cheung of Craft Racing Hong Kong had a fantastic start to the race, climbing up to fifth on the opening lap of the race before battling it out with Malagamuwa midway through the race and losing sixth to Siu YL right on the last lap.

All drivers completed the race with no incidents apart from an early spin by David Lai in his Lamborghini and Byron Tong, who dropped two places from eleventh on the last lap when he spun his Ferrari F-430 leaving Andrew Luk and David Lai to pass.

For the race tomorrow, Hammam, who will have success ballast added to his car, will be facing a slightly different race. “I will have 70 kilos added in my car tomorrow so that makes it a little bit heavier and I know Frank and Samson will be right there I am sure.

Round 4 of the GT3 Asia will be held at 2.15pm on Sunday, 20 June at Sepang International Circuit.

words: Motorsport Asia  pix: Jerry Ch’ng & Syafril Ismail

Top 5

Pos   No    Name                             Total Tm     Best Tm    Make/Model                 Team

1         1         T. Hammam Sulong      22:04.375     2:10.426      Lamborghini/LP560       Arrows Racing

2        30      Frank Yu                          22:19.104      2:12.087      Ginetta/G50                      Craft Racing Hong Kong

3        5         Samson Chan                  22:19.368     2:12.651       Ginetta/G50                      Craft Racing Hong Kong

4        11        Kevin Tse                         22:22.073     2:12.908     Lamborghini/Gallardo    SPS Motorsport

5        24       Dilantha Malagamuwa  22:31.224      2:13.207     Porsche/997 GT3 Cup M  Dilango Racing Sri Lanka


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