Sepang, Malaysia – Italian Andrea Amici and Artur Janosz of Poland gave FFF Racing Team a dream pole-to-flag victory in the opening round of the 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia season at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit, winning with a margin just shy of half a minute. As the new Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO made its dazzling series debut, the pair were untouchable as they led home the Pro category ahead of the talented Indian pairing of Armaan Ebrahim and series newcomer Anindith Reddy with Top Speed Racing Team. Third in the Pro order was the second FFF Racing Team car of Britons Jack Bartholomew and James Pull.
Gama Racing’s Evan Chen of Chinese Taipei and Japan’s Akihiro Asai drove a superb race to claim the Pro-Am honours and to cross the line third overall, ahead of Takeshi Matsumoto and experienced Super Trofeo driver Toshiyuki Ochiai, who missed out on the win after losing his pole position advantage when challenged by a hard-charging Bartholomew. Taking the final Pro-Am podium place were the Leipert Finnish crew of Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka.
PSC Thai brothers Sarun and Saravut Sereethoranakul continued their strong weekend, converting their class pole position to victory in the Am class, with Indonesia’s Andrew Haryanto, driving solo, crossing the line second after a mid-race spin. FPC Racing’s Ken Urata and Daisuke Matsunaga finished third.
The battle for the opening Lamborghini Cup victory of the season was won by new team, the 852 Challengers. Hong Kong drivers Paul Wong and Clement Li drove superbly to trounce a spirited challenge from GDL Racing Team’s Gabriele Murroni of Italy.
With an afternoon heavy downpour having cleared, the 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo field took to the 5.543km Sepang International Circuit in anger for the first time.
As the lights turned to green for the rolling start of the 50-minute race, Leipert’s Richard Muscat made a superb getaway from the third row of the grid, getting up on the inside to go second. Pull, on the outside line, was elbowed out and dropped down to fifth in the run to turn 3.
Charging off on a mission to build the advantage at the front, though, was Janosz, looking like a man who would not be denied victory. The Pole widened the gap from Muscat as the battles raged on behind.
Chen closed in on and expertly picked his way past Sarun on lap 3, and made his move into contention for third overall.
As Janosz powered ahead at the front, doggedly pursued by Muscat, the Australian suddenly slowed, limped back to the pits and was forced to retire with technical issues.
Towards the pit stop window, Ebrahim had begun dropping away from the leader, and all eyes were on Bartholomew as he crept into contention against the HoJust Racing car up ahead, which had been started so impressively by Matsumoto.
Having blitzed his stint, and continuing his storming run until the end of the pit window, Janosz brought the FFF Racing Team car in and handed over to Amici with a massive lead.
The Italian set off to successfully emulate his team mate’s dominance of the race. Arai, who had taken over from Chen and continued their strong run, passed Ochiai to go third overall and lead the Pro-Am class. Ochiai next came under attack from Bartholomew, who fought his way alongside then dived on the inside under braking at turn 1. Ochiai was forced to give way, and the Briton moved up to fourth.
Reddy, meanwhile, kept his head and the battling pack firmly behind him in what was a confident and impressive Lamborghini Super Trofeo debut.
While Asai and Bartholomew fought all the way to the flag, it was the Japanese who took the Pro-Am win for Gama Racing. But the men of the race were without doubt the FFF Racing Team duo of Janosz and Amici, who put in a wheel-perfect performance to take the opening victory of what promises to be an enthralling Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia season.
The Leipert pair of Muscat and Ben Gersekowski who, due to the car’s early retirement have not raced a lap in Malaysia so far this weekend, are on pole position for Round 2, and will be looking to maximize on their advantage. Alongside are Leipert team mates Eskelinen and Puhakka, Pro-Am pole-sitters. The second row sees the FFF Racing Team of Bartholomew and Pull, with the Aylezo Motorsport Pro-Am pair of Prabakaran Kumar of Malaysia and Monegasque team mate Cedric Sbirrazzuoli, the second fastest man on track in Round 1, alongside.
FPC Racing’s Urata and Matsunaga have the Am pole advantage, while the Hong Kong 852 Challengers start from the sixth row alongside Lamborghini Cup rival Murroni.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo
Round 1 Results
1. #63/PRO/FFF Racing Team/Andrea AMICI(ITA)/Artur JANOSZ(POL)/52:01.176
2. #27/PRO/Top Speed Racing Team/Armaan EBRAHIM(IND)/Anindith REDDY(IND)/+29.626
3. #68/PRO-AM/Gama Racing/Evan CHEN(TPE)/Akihiro ASAI(JPN)/+33.094
4. #19/PRO/FFF Racing Team/Jack BARTHOLOMEW(GBR)/James PULL(GBR)/ +33.825
5. #38/PRO-AM/HoJust Racing/Takeshi MATSUMOTO(JPN)/Toshiyuki OCHIAI(JPN)/+37.571
6. #33/PRO-AM/Leipert/Mikko ESKELINEN(FIN)/Juuso PUHAKKA(FIN)/+48.410
7. #57/AM/PSC/Sarun SEREETHORANAKUL(THA)/Saravut SEREETHORANAKUL(THA)/+1:28.436
8. #18/AM/Top Speed Racing Team/Andrew HARYANTO(INA)/+1:29.565
9. #98/PRO-AM/Aylezo Motorsport/Prabakaran KUMAR(MAS)/Cedric SBIRRAZZUOLI(MCO)/+1 Lap
10. #44/LC/852 Challengers/Paul WONG Po Wah(HKG)/Clement LI(HKG)/+1 Lap
11. #88/LC/GDL Racing Team/Gabriele Murroni(ITA)/+1 Lap
12: #55/AM/FPC Racing/Ken URATA (JPN)/Daisuke MATSUNAGA(JPN)/+1 Lap
13. #69/AM/Top Speed Racing Team/BIAN(CHN)/Huilin HAN(CHIN)/+1 Lap
DNF: #2/Leipert/Ben GERSEKOWSKI(AUS)/Richard MUSCAT(AUS)
PRO/#63/FFF Racing Team/Andrea AMICI/Artur JANOSZ/2:05.163
PRO-AM/#68/Gama Racing/Evan CHEN/Akihiro ASAI/2:05.897
AM/#57/PSC/Sarun & Saravut SEREETHORANAKUL/2:07.164
LC/#44/852 Challengers/Paul WONG/Clement LI/2:10.419