Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia roars back into action at legendary Suzuka Circuit
- Iconic Japanese track to host double-header from June 30-July 1
- Epic FFF Racing Team and Leipert title rivalry to resume at season mid-point
- 2017 Pro champions Kei Cozzolino and Afiq Yazid return to Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia
The Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 charges back into action this weekend for the fifth and sixth races of the season, and a battle royal is anticipated as the season reaches its mid-way point. The epic rivalry between Pro championship leaders FFF Racing Team and title rivals Leipert is set to resume at one of the world’s most challenging and unforgiving race tracks, Japan’s legendary Suzuka Circuit.
After a run of bad luck at the season opener in Malaysia, Leipert’s Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat fought back with a pole position and victory in Race 3 at Thailand’s Buriram circuit last month, but the top of the Pro leaderboard remains an FFF Racing Team lockout – for now. Andrew Amici of Italy and Poland’s Artur Janosz have a 12-point advantage over team mates Jack Bartholomew and James Pull, while the Australian Leipert duo have everything to do in Japan to overhaul their rivals in the points.
Joining the championship at Suzuka are last year’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Pro champions, Kei Cozzolino of Japan and Afiq Yazid of Malaysia. In 2017, the pair won 10 of 12 races and will be looking to repeat their winning formula in Japan.
Japan’s Takeshi Matsumoto and Toshiyuki Ochiai were absent from the podium after Race 3, but quickly returned to their winning ways with victory in Race 4 to retain their place at the top of the Pro-Am leaderboard. Another strong weekend for the Gama Racing duo of Evan Chen and Akihiro Asai sees them trail the HoJust pair by a mere five points, with Leipert Finns Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka seven points further back in third.
Joining Malaysia’s Kumar Prabakaran at Aylezo Motorsport for the Suzuka round is a sportscar veteran, the super-quick Italian Massimiliano (Max) Wiser. Kumar is making an impressive Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia debut this season, and currently lies fourth in the Pro-Am classification, ahead of the D1 Racing Team pair of Armaan Ebrahim and Anindith Reddy.
With brothers Saravut and Sarun Sereethoranakul absent in Japan, fellow Thai Bobby Suttiluck will be looking to capitalize on his absence to climb the Am leaderboard. The True Vision Motorsports driver joined the series in Thailand last month, making his championship intentions clear with a podium and victory which put him second in the title chase. An unlucky DNF in Race 4 was a setback for talented Chinese duo Bian and Han Huilin at D1 Racing Team, but the pair will be back on the hunt for championship points in Suzuka.
Returning to the championship after having missed the third and fourth races last month are Japanese drivers Ken Urata and Daisuke Matsunaga of FPC Racing. With a pair of podium finishes in the opening rounds in Malaysia, Urata and Matsunaga are hungry for more.
The Hong Kong 852 Challengers Paul Wong and Clement Li lead the race for the Lamborghini Cup title. Italian Gabriele Murroni’s 2018 campaign was dealt a cruel blow with a DNF in Race 4, while Japan’s Takamichi Matsuda made a strong championship debut with a pair of second place finishes in Thailand.
Built in 1962 as a test track, today Suzuka is regarded as one of the world’s most challenging circuits. The scene of countless great moments in motorsport history, Suzuka continues to win as many hearts as it breaks. The 5.807km track, with its distinctive figure-of-eight configuration, is packed with a multitude of challenges, and all in rapid succession. Elevations, the tight esses, a hairpin, chicane and quick straights combine to make it a circuit which commands bravery, intelligence and razor-sharp focus.
Two hour-long free practice slots on Friday, June 29, will be followed by qualifying sessions for each race on Saturday, with the weekend’s first race beginning at 12:35 local time (GMT+9). The sixth race of the season begins at 13:10 local time on Sunday, July 1. Highlights videos will be available on Lamborghini Squadra Corse social media channels. Live streaming for both races will be available on the Lamborghini Squadra Corse website and Facebook pages.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018
Points Standings after Round 2, Race 2
1. Andrea Amici 56
1. Artur Janosz 56
2. Jack Bartholomew 44
2. James Pull 44
3. Ben Gersekowski 30
3. Richard Muscat 30
4. Armaan Ebrahim 22
4. Anindith Reddy 22
1. Takeshi Matsumoto 51
1. Toshiyuki Ochiai 51
2. Evan Chen 46
2. Akihiro Asai 46
3. Mikko Eskelinen 39
3. Juuso Puhakka 39
4. Prabakaran Kumar 30
4. Cedric Sbirrazzuoli 30
5. Armaan Ebrahim 24
5. Anindith Reddy 24
1. Saravut Sereethoranakul 48
2. Sarun Sereethoranakul 31
3. Suttiluck Buncharoen 27
4. Bian 26
4. Han Huilin 26
5. Andrew Haryanto 24
6. Ken Urata 21
6. Daisuke Matsunaga 21
1. Paul Wong 57
1. Clement Li 57
2. Gabriele Murroni 41
3. Takamichi Matsuda 24