Jagonya Ayam with Eurasia Motorsport has claimed victory at the Three Hours of Buriram, the third round of the Asian Le Mans Series.
Sean Geleal and Antonio Giovinazzi, driving the Oreca 03R, didn’t have it all their own way. A great start was soon destroyed by a left-rear tyre puncture with Geleal falling dead last after pitting for a replacement. However, it only took him 30 minutes to get back on to terms with the rest of the LMP2 field.
In Geleal’s absence Nick De Bruijn in the second Eurasia Oreca 03R paced the field fighting off challenges from both the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JSP2 and the Race Performance Oreca 03R.
As the race went on the LMP2 class saw a number of leaders shuffle through, with no one taking a decisive grip on the position. It would be Giovinazzi that claimed the eventual win with a 30 second gap over the Algarve Ligier with Race Performance rounding out the podium.
After the race, Sean Geleal said: “It’s been a long time since I’ve done a rolling start; it must have been karting 6 years ago or so. It’s something to get used to again. We were already about 3 or 4 seconds clear when the safety car came out. It cut the gap, and then I got a cut in my rear left tyre which gave us a puncture. So I had to pit and we were almost a lap down, so I just pushed really hard. In the two stints I did, we managed to get back in the lead and also in the lead lap, I was really happy with that.”
It was a lot more clear cut in the LMP3 class as the DC Racing Ligier JSP3 of David Cheng, Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent survived gearbox troubles to cruise to a four lap victory over the Team AAI ADESS 03 of Masataka Yanagida, Sakaguchi Ryohei and Tanart Sathienthirakul.
DC Racing’s win gives them the LMP3 class title in the AsLMS, giving them an automatic entry in to the LMP2 class at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ho-Pin Tung commented after the race: “It was a clean start. A bit of hassle in turn one, the McLaren came next to us, GTs and LMP3s have similar top speed here in Buriram, so I had to defend there to make sure I had a clean run behind the LMP2s. After that everything went quite smooth. Strategy wise it was fine, we refueled under the safety car; about halfway through my stint after that, we started to get Gear Box issues, and lost second gear, so it wasn’t the easiest race for us, but nevertheless very clean race, smooth, and great job from the team at pit stops. Most importantly, we win the championship with it.”
In GT the top four cars finished within 40 seconds of each other with the Nexus Infinity Ferrari 458 GT3 of Joshua Hunt and Dominic Ang claiming their first win in the championship. They were made to work hard for it though as a rapidly recovering Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS closed within eight seconds as they crossed the line, remarkable considering they had fallen to seventh after a poor start.
Rounding out the podium was the Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3 of Ollie Millroy, Junsan Chen and Nobuteru Tanaguchi which claimed its second podium finish of the season.
The GTAm class once again had one entry with the KCMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Paul Ip, Martin Rump and Yuan Bo finishing 12th overall.
There was a CN category in this race but neither car managed to make it to the finish. The Avelon Formula Wolf GB08 crashed out after two hours of racing and the second GB08 of Atlantic Racing Team suffered from numerous mechanical problems leading to it being black flagged with 30 minutes left on the clock.