Just a few days to go before the world’s best supercars meet for the start of the GT Asia Series 2012 Season in Malaysia. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Audi and Ford will be represented for the two rounds race weekend at Sepang International Circuit this 25-27 May 2012.
Once again it will be a battle of the Ferrari vs. Lamborghini with reigning Champion, Mok Weng Sun returning to the Series to defend his title from his long-time on-track foe and 2010 Driver Champion, Dilantha Malagamuwa.
Mok has achieved great racing success in this past eight years, having claimed the Merdeka 12-hour Endurance Race win, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia class Championship and is a two time Malaysian Super Series Supercar Category Champion. Last year, after a tough year of close racing with Dilango Racing’s Malagamuwa, Asia Racing Team’s Eddie Yau and Arrows Racing’s Tunku Hammam Sulong, Mok claimed the honours with a stunning year end race in Macau.
This year, Mok will once again have David Lai as his teammate and they will be joined by last year’s Fuji race winner Hiroshi Hamaguchi, making it a stunning trio of Ferrari F458 GT3 that is set to storm the circuit for Team Clearwater Racing.
All will not be easy as there are no less than four Lamborghini’s ready to bring on the challenge, two LP600 GT3’s, one LP560 GT3 and a Gallardo GT. Malagamuwa is the biggest threat, as he set his sights on reclaiming Championship once again. Despite a hard end of the year fight, with a car that was not 100%, Malagamuwa still managed to bring the fight to the front of the field at every round, even bringing his LP560 GT3 to the win at the penultimate race in Autopolis.
Asia Racing Team has found a suitable replacement in 18-year old Li Zhi Cong, to take over driving duties for their Porsche 997 GT3 R. Last year’s second runner up, Eddie Yau, made the difficult decision to retire from racing after the massive shunt he experienced in Macau.
A second Porsche 997 GT3 R will be featured at the race this weekend, driven by Japanese Hisao Shigeta for Direction Racing. The team has been a regular fixture in the GT Asia Series since 2010 and is looking for their first win away from home.
Craft Eurasia Racing will once again be bringing their Ford GT3’s, driven by Hong Kong teammates and good friends, Frank Yu and Samson Chan. Yu will be kept busy at a few races doing double duties in at least two race venues when he competes in both GT Asia Series and Super GT’s, GT300 category.
Meanwhile, Audi has gotten one of Hong Kong’s top drivers to compete on their behalf. Marchy Lee will share driving duties with Taiwanese driver, Jeffrey Lee, throughout the Season in the brand new Audi R8 LMS Ultra. A car that most at the paddock is keen to see perform.
The GT Asia Series 2012 Season is set to be one of the most thrilling with many new drivers and some exciting new partnerships, including new official partners Yokohama ADVAN and Stand21.
The 2012 Season will see four races held in Malaysia with Rounds 1 & 2 at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia on 25-27 May 2012. The Series will then remain in Malaysia for Rounds 3 & 4 as part of the Super GT event from 8-10 June before heading to three Japanese weekends starting with Fuji International Circuit on 13-15 July, Suzuka International Racing Course on 17-19 August and Autopolis International Circuit on 28-30 September.
The Season Finale will be held as part of the Macau GP at the Guia International Circuit on 16-18 November.
The 2012 GT Asia Series is supported by, Yokohama ADVAN, Graham Timekeepers, AutoArt, Stand21, Endless and Cody Enterprises.
The GT Asia Series is jointly organised by Motorsport Asia and Supercar Club Hong Kong.
words & pix: Motorsport Asia