2019 China GT Shanghai R6 Race Report
Mercedes dominated the weekend with another victory but this time it was the EWS Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Jeffrey Lee and Alessio Picariello who shared the spoils, after Saturday’s race-winning TORO Racing AMG dropped out of contention during the closing moments of a thrilling GT3 race.
Picariello made a strong start from third on the grid and quickly vaulted the front runners to take the lead. Fellow second-row starter Adam Christodoulou muscled past the pole-sitting Kevin Chen and came hot on the heels of Nick Yelloly. Yelloly managed to hold off his compatriot’s attack for a few laps but had to relinquish second position to the faster Christodoulou on lap 5.
The #88 crew did not repeat Saturday’s pit stop mishap, and Picariello’s co-driver Jeffrey Lee came out in the lead from #63 Eric Zang and #90 Lam Yu. Zang soon put pressure on Lee, and was up against Craft-Bamboo AMG’s bumper after the Safety Car period. However, an over-zealous move saw Zang tagging the rear of the #88. He spun out of T2 and dropped to the back of the GT3 field. He then suffered had another spin while battling the #92 FIST-Team AAI BMW and #7 KINGS Audi on the final lap - a disappointing end on a weekend that had shown much promise.
The misfortune of the #63 promoted the #90 FIST-Team AAI BWM of Lam Yu to second and #66 YC Racing Min Heng and Lin Nan to third - the first overall podium for the all-Am pair of the season.
#92 FIST-Team AAI BWM of Kevin Chen and Ivan Lee finished fourth ahead of the #7 KINGS of Sun Zheng and Jiang Tengyi. The TORO Racing’s #63 AMG entry crossed the line in sixth.
YC Racing’s CJ Huang and Wang Tao claimed the duo’s first victory of the season ahead of teammates Zhou Bihuang and Zheng Wancheng.
CJ Huang in the #75 Lamborghini gained positions after the start by going around the outside the pack. He handed the car over to teammate Wang Tao in the lead after both Xtreme Motorsports Radicals pitted early in the race.
Race control deployed a safety car for a stricken #10 entry out on the track and it bunched the field up. Wang Tao saw the gap he had to Zhou disappear and pushed hard. He managed to hold on to victory and took the chequers with a 10-second lead.
The final podium position was taken by Eagleeyed Racing’s Lawrence Liu and Cui Yue, after the duo had taken a five-spot grid drop from an on-track incident yesterday.
Xtreme Motorsports’ Liu Kai and Lo Sze Ho, and Dominic Ang and Song Bo finished fourth and sixth, having chosen to fit wet tyres for the Sunday afternoon race. They were split by the #666 Racing Team 69 of Yang Ke and Zhang Zhendong.
R5 winner #186 of John Martin and Xiao Min retired on lap 5 after suffering mechanical woes.
One-make Trophy Class
Daniel Lu and Jacky Wu achieved th，oretical pole-to-win for the one-make trophy class, despite suffering a grid penalty at the start of the race for a technical breach on Saturday. YCRT’s Wu Pei and RSR GT Racing’s Jui Yu Chien and Sun Zirui completed the podium.
After a brief downpour on Sunday morning, the track was half wet and half dry at the start of the GT4 race. This left the teams with a dilemma over tyre choice, and a quarter of the grid took a gamble on slicks.
The conditions indeed proved tricky, and the track continued to evolve as the first half of the race progressed. On slicks, Sennan Fielding in the #55 K2C Motorsports was flying. The Briton quickly rose to the front of the field on lap 4 despite briefing stopping on track two laps earlier.
Behind him, Liu Kai’s #87 KTM and Lv Wei’s #6 AMG chose rain tyres and were able to find decent traction on a still very greasy track. Alex Fontana went a different way on tyre strategy from teammate Lv Wei, and he struggled with grip. He would return to the pit in fourth with two position gains after #86 and #49 dropped down.
Everyone that had started on slicks changed for wets during pit stop.
The leading #55 Ginetta had a disastrous pit stop which cost two and a half minutes and their race lead. Liu Kai’s co-driver Wei Tianyi inherited the lead but was subsequently passed by Rainey He a few laps later. He would then come under pressure from a second Phantom Pro AMG driven by team boss Chris Chia. Underpowered, Wei was overtaken on the back-straight on the penultimate lap.
Phantom Pro Racing took another dominant 1-2 finish after Sepang and Wei Tianyi claimed his first ever podium alongside Liu Kai.
Phantom Pro’s Yang Xi and Yan Chuang had a strong first half of the race and finished fourth. Yves Volte and David Pun in the 2019 spec Aston Martin Vantage crossed the line in fifth and took home a Pro/Am podium, the best result to date for the #618 duo.
Completing the points paying positions were: #49 Kenneth Lim and James Cai, Winning Team; #868 Luo Kailuo and Lei Ke, Winning Team; #999 Wang Hao, Team Master Champ; #86 Ling Kang and Lo Sze Ho, Xtreme Motorsports; Oscar Lee and Yao Yuanhao, FIST-Team AAI.