First podium of the year In China GT for BSEM Asia Sonic Racing (Updated)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

A bizarre set of circumstances befell the BSEM Asia Sonic Racing team at the Shanghai International Circuit as they competed in the third round of the China GT Championship this weekend.

Again entering a pair of Aston Marin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's - old and new specification -
Qualifying on Friday didn't exactly go to plan as the newer #618 car of David Pun and Yves Volte only just finished ahead of the normally aspirated 2016 #619 car of Zhang Fangxuan and Stanley Yang with P7/P8 and P9/P10 starting slots respectively for the two - one hour races over both Saturday and Sunday.

Featuring a lower car count than previous years, just 17 cars started race 1 under light drizzle as the cars formed on the grid. Starting and running on slick tyres, all appeared well at first until just after the pit stop window had closed when the heavens suddenly opened, drenching the circuit and leaving the struggling competitors to aquaplane all around the circuit. Indeed, such was the 'devastation' on track that the race was red flagged with still over 15 minutes left on the clock - the race wouldn't be restarted.

For the older #619 car, the early termination of the race would see them finish a very credible P4 whilst the newer #619 car has struggled throughout the race with transmission problems - forcing the crew to pit multiple times before a wild spin in the rain saw them ultimately classified as the final finisher in Race 1, down in P12.

For Sundays second race of the meeting, the rain at least arrived and fell before the scheduled start but then gave all the dilemma of tyre selection with half the track remaining wet for the start. That however, didn't effect the way Aston Martin Racing Academy driver Yves Volte ran his race as he would ultimately hand the #618 car over to gentleman driver David Pun from P3 although that would drop to P5 by the close of the race.

Importantly though, this P5 finish would firstly be their highest finish of the season so far but also marked another milestone for the new AMR Vantage GT4 in claiming its first Asian theatre podium with a P3 Pro-Am finish for the pairing.

The sister #619 car didn't appear to run in race 2 and at first we didn't know why until video footage was released of a nasty incident involving the car at the point immediately before the race was red flagged. Approaching a sharp left hand corner, the clip shows the #619 aquaplaning into the corner, spinning around before slamming into the front of another car that had already spun - sadly for the driver (Yang) that impact resulted in sizeable damage to the car and a (?) broken leg for himself.

The Championship now has six weeks off before round 4 from Shougang GT Circuit, Ginhuangdao in mid August.

Hopefully, the tide of misfortune has now turned for these guys and we wish Stanley Yang a speedy recovery.

Photo credit - China GT 

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