Last lap luck for Hammam

Published on October 21st, 2009

The fat lady certainly held it in till the climax as the GT3 Asia 2009 championship was lost and won on the final lap of the final race of the season in Autopolis.

Singaporean Melvin Choo made it a double as he claimed his second victory of the weekend with nary a hint of trouble as he lead Siu Yuk Lung and Tunku Hammam across the finish line to see the latter snagged the overall title.

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Clean and consistent driving ensured Choo lead from start to finish and the excellent result might have cajoled him into joining the full calendar next year.

“I think I got lucky today. I was in the lead and managed to get clear laps in front of me and clocked some good times to pull a lead, after that I just maintained my pace. I really enjoy driving here and if it fits in my schedule, I will join the season next year, but it will be a very busy year for me” said Choo.

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It was a battle royale behind Choo as Hamman, Francis Tjia, Eddie Yau, Frank Yu, Eric Cheung and Yuk Lung thrashed it out and positions were swapped like partners at a swingers club.

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As the lap count hit the low end, an intense battle for second between the Ginetta of Yu and the Ferrari of Tjia had all the audience on the edge of their seats. Unbeknownst to Tjia during the race, if he had maintained his third spot he would have taken the championship but with the spur of the moment getting the better of him he tried one last move on Yu that had them make contact and spun, allowing Siu, Yau and eventual championship leader Hammam to pass.

Tjia’s eventual tenth spot finish gave him the runner-up tag for the championship.

“I feel a little bit deflated. I think the issue is that there is a military base nearby and we are not allowed to use the pit-to-car radio. So all I knew was that I was ahead of Tunku but I didn’t know how many positions or points,” said a deflated Tjia.

Yu finished fourth followed by Yau and Wayne Shen.

GT3 Asia 2009 champion Hammam’s grin said it all, “I am pleased to get third because it means that I’ve won the GT3 Asia Challenge Championship.”

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“My pace wasn’t there today because I was carrying a lot of ballast and the car was ill-handling, I don’t know what went wrong,” he added modestly.

“I’m definitely joining the Championship next year but I am not sure what car yet but it has to be something very competitive,” Hammam finished, confirming his defence of the title next year.

Shogo Amamoto claimed victory in the GT4 class. It was a good day indeed for the gruff-looking driver as his two fellow countrymen joined him on the podium.

Christian Chia, the GT4 category championship winner did not finish the race with Samson Chan joining him on the list of non-finishers.

Round 12 is the final race of this year’s GT3 Asia Challenge but a number of guest drivers will join the current line-up for an invitational race during the Macau Grand Prix over the 20-22 November weekend in conjunction with the championship presentation dinner.

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: Supercar Club Hong Kong

Comments

  1. Posted by hiu woong sin on December 5th, 2009, 23:19

    Dear Editor,

    Tunku Hammam will be grateful and me too if you could pass my email address to him, tell him I’m his mate from the days of KGV school. TQ

  2. Posted by Traffic Mag on December 6th, 2009, 00:46

    i’ll see wat i can do bro. no promises though.

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