Martin Kodric and Dennis Lind extended their Blancpain GT Series Asia championship lead by claiming their first victory aboard the FFF Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in Suzuka’s second race earlier this morning.
The duo took advantage of a bizarre incident involving HubAuto’s Leo Ye Hongli who pitted from the lead by mistake at the third and final Safety Car restart. Edoardo Liberati and Florian Strauss came through from 15th to 2nd in their KCMG Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, which finished ahead of Markus Pommer and Patric Niederhauser’s GruppeM Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“We knew it would be a tough race starting from P5. I did everything I could; I made an excellent start and was alongside my team-mate Marco [Mapelli], but obviously, we didn’t want to do anything silly, so I backed off and focused on maintaining the pace”, said Kodric.
“We were well positioned at the pitstops but knew the penalty would cost us time, so Dennis [Lind] did a great job to move up the order. Then, when the Ferrari pitted again, I couldn’t believe it! Dennis was catching him anyway, but it’s tough to overtake here. We’ve come close to winning a few times so we’ll definitely take it!”
The final Safety Car period also impacted on the GT4 class, which was won by GruppeM Racing’s #666 Mercedes-AMG GT4 shared by Reinhold Renger and Ryuichirou Ohtsuka after the final caution effectively cancelled their 10-second pitstop success penalty.
Ohtsuka had this to say about his team’s performance during the incident-packed race, “Yesterday, we started from pole, and after some contacts and accidents I dropped to fifth and climbed back up. Today we started from fifth, and after serving a success penalty, we won the race. It was not an easy weekend, but all the drivers were fair, and we had a good fight. I am delighted to have taken pole position yesterday and win the race today. So yes, it was a great weekend for me!”
Ringo Chong and Gilles Vannelet’s Team iRace.Win Mercedes-AMG finished second, with Craft-Bamboo’s Frank Yu and Jean-Marc Merlin completing the podium.