Chris van der Drift secured the honours for Carrera Cup Asia after a thrilling finale in the professional class combined Carrera Cup Asia/Australia race at Sepang.
The former Carrera Cup Asia champion from New Zealand produced an impressive drive to hold off Carrera Cup Australia series leader David Wall throughout the 13 lap encounter.
Austrian Carrera Cup Asia driver Philip Hamprecht overcame Andre Heimgartner to claim the final spot on the podium.
“It was my first time racing the Aussies and I was watching their pace all weekend and they were just the same as us,” said van der Drift.
“It was bit of a battle in the early laps but we came through it.
“It was a really cool experience to race against the Australians.”
“Chris took the cream off the cake,” said Wall.
“We did everything we could. We used our best tyres in the championship races. I did my best to try and get him.”
Polesitter Wall initially held the lead at the start but he immediately came under pressure from van der Drift.
Van der Drift drafted Wall on the start/finish straight before diving underneath the Australian to take the lead at Turn 1.
Heimgartner emerged as a watching brief in third but was unable to relax with Hamprecht in his mirrors during the early laps.
All eyes soon turned to the battle for fifth when Kiwi Will Bamber completed an impressive high-speed pass on Martin Ragginger at Turn 5.
At the front, van der Drift opened up a 0.3s lead over Wall as he looked to edge away.
Wall’s hopes suffered a blow when he ran wide at the final corner on lap 7.
However, worse was to befall Heimgartner as he followed Wall wide, and as result lost third to Hamprecht.
Wall managed to close up on van der Drift in the final laps but he was unable to deny the Kiwi from taking the win.
Hamprecht managed to hold off Heimgartner for the final spot on the podium.
Bomber came through to finish fifth ahead of Ragginger, Dylan O’Keeffe and Alex Davison.
The top 10 was completed by Evans and Andrew Tang.
Cameron McConville failed to make the start of the race after suffering a clutch pedal failure on the warm-up lap.
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