Malagamuwa takes win and GT3 championship crown while Marsden and Williamson take another win for Concord Dynaten

Published on October 18th, 2010

It was an action packed race that greeted the fans at Autopolis Circuit during the combined GT3 Asia and the GT4 Asia Cup race held today. Dilantha Malagamuwa beat the odds and took home the 2010 GT3 Asia Championship win ahead of Tunku Hammam who went to Japan with a 20 point lead.

The GT4 Asia race was also won by the dynamic pairing of Concord Dynaten Motorsports duo, Ryan Marsden and Mark Williamson for Round 8 of the GT4 Asia Cup.

In GT3 Asia, it was the battle of the four LP560’s at the front, with Malagamuwa, Hammam and eventual second and third placed finishers, Michael Choi and David Lai, keeping it a steady stream of Lamborghini’s at the front.

Trouble ensued at the start of lap four, as the front-runners of the GT4 Asia Cup caught up to the GT3 Asia backmarkers. The lead drivers, Simon Waters, Matthew Perry, Marsden, Daniel Bilski, Nigel Farmer and Adrian Henry D’Silva got past cleanly but Singaporean Gerard Yap and Hong Kong driver Keith Chan, touched putting one of them into the gravel and the other onto the grass at turn 1.

The Safety Car was called out and positioned itself in front of the lead GT4 Asia Cup pack right in front of Waters.

As this happened, Hammam without realising the yellow flags were out, thought Malagamuwa was slowing down due to car trouble and took the position from the Sri Lankan. Hammam was given a drive through penalty, which he did not see and was subsequently black flagged from the race ending both his chances for a race win and destroying his Championship challenge. Behind him, the trio of Malagamuwa, Choi and Lai maintained their positions all the way to the chequered flag.

Speaking after the race, Malagamuwa was elated with the win saying “Perfect! Great! I’ve got no words to express myself. I couldn’t do it alone, my team, my sponsors, the media, everyone. My mechanics, they are just three boys but they are the best, I must thank them.”

“When we came here, Hammam had a 20 point lead and the only thing I was looking for this weekend was to win all three races. If the Championship comes then it’s just perfect. I really am so happy.”

“I was leading at the start and I knew Hammam would catch up with me but then the safety car came out and it was a yellow flag when he took me. I thought he might let me go back, but he just kept going. I just took it easy and I knew he didn’t go in to take the penalty. If I pushed I knew could overtake him again but I didn’t need to. We won the race and we won the Championship.”

When asked to sum up the 2010 season, Malagamuwa said, “It was a hard year for us, we started with an old car but I’m always positive, so things happen and it was great. I will be back in GT3 Asia next year and hopefully in FIA GT in 2012 but I will still be back to race in Asia.”

For second placed man, Choi, being a guest driver he was happy with his choice of coming to Autopolis.

“It feels great. I actually didn’t expect to come in third, let alone second! My start was quite exciting because I am not really used to the rolling start so all the cars came together. I was, I guess, brave enough to brake a little bit later to overtake Samson and Eric to stay in third.”

David Lai once again climbed on the podium for Team Clearwater Racing and he was a happy man.

“Two races, a fourth and two thirds, I’ll take it. I am pretty happy. I mean two podiums in a row felt really good. I started in P4 so I thought we had a chance if I overtook one of the other drivers or something happened in front so I thought there is a fair chance.”

Meanwhile in the GT4 Asia Cup, after the safety car period, the drivers took the opportunity of the pit-window to avoid mingling with the GT3 Asia front-runners, to immediately pull in for their pit stops. Waters led the race while Perry, Bilski, Marsden, who passed over driving duties to Williamson, and D’Silva made their stops.

Nigel Farmer was not too lucky as he crossed the demarcation line on the pit exit and was penalised with a drive-through.

On lap 11, whilst trying to give way to a fast charging GT3 Asia car, Bilski got off line and picked up some marbles immediately losing control and hitting the tyre barrier. The race ended there for Bilski.

In the meantime, Williamson claimed the lead for Concord Dynaten Motorsports, followed by Perry, D’Silva, Farmer and Waters making up the top five.

Marsden who took the first stint said, “It was a very eventful first stint. There was traffic everywhere and there was a great battle between the first four places from the first corner. Within half a lap, we had the slower GT3 cars in the mix and literally five to eight laps of really focused racing.”

Williamson took over and further cemented the team’s great performance, claiming the win for the duo at the chequered flag.

“That race was fantastic. We had a strategy for this weekend to keep a brand new set of tyres for the last 40-minute race. We knew the car would be in great shape and we basically had the car in qualifying form, new brakes, new tyres, new everything. We were happy our Concord Energy car was able to hang on for the win. We have had a lot of help this weekend from a fantastic team. Fabien Fior of DTM did a fantastic job for us and the car was sensational.”

Perry who took second place for Track Torque Racing did not have the best of starts and lost his pole position at the start. He then made up positions to claim second at the end of the race.

“It’s great to be here in second place and I think first place was a little too far from us and with the traffic he got away. I was on pole which was nice but I think I fluffed my start, four Astons went by me, so all that went out the window. The first six laps were nine abreast and sideways and we were trying to make up the place. I made one. The Concord boys were out front so it was difficult to reel them in and as the GT3 guys came through they really mixed it up. But great racing,” he concluded.

Third placed man, D’Silva had a very mixed weekend and concluded his weekend citing, “I still have mixed feelings about the weekend. It ended quite nice on the podium, but yesterday’s incident with the penalty leaves a little bit of taint to the whole thing. But I am glad it’s all over.”

The GT3 Asia and the GT4 Asia Cup 2010 season ended with the race today. The two Series will head to the Guia International Circuit for the Macau Grand Prix on the 19th to 21st November 2010 to be part of the Invitational race with the Macau GT Cup.

words: Motorsport Asia  pix: Syafril Ismail


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