BSEM AMR leave Tianjin on a high with their first race win of the year

Sunday, September 08, 2019

After the massive disappointment of yesterday, Chinese Aston Martin Racing Partner Team BSEM Asia Sonic Racing finished off the China GT Championship's round 10 off today in the only way possible with an emphatic 'near' lights to flag win for drivers David Pun and Ross Gunn.

With the race weekend promising so much Friday evening with a pole position for local man Pun and a P2 front row start for his co-driver Gunn in todays second one hour race of the weekend, yesterdays race had hardly got started before it was brutally ended going into the hairpin for only the second time of the race.

Racing again around the very bespoke 3.7km track to the south east of Beijing, a track that had all the charactiertics of both a true race track and that of a street circuit, incident and accident was always inevitable for the ten Pro-Am and Am class GT4's that made up the field.

With Pun starting race 1, he was soon out-dragged along the start straight to drop (but hold) second going into turn 1 whilst the #22 Mercedes AMG and #868 McLaren argued behind. Contact between these two cars at the tight right handed hairpin spin the Mercedes and left the McLaren with from end damage but all were eventually able to continue.

Next lap around and appearing relatively comfortable going in the hairpin again, the #618 Aston Martin suddenly found the #868 McLaren speeding up the inside to collide heavily with the side (thankfully no divers) side of the car. Spewing out engine coolant, the #868 was out on the spot and whilst Pun managed to get the car back to pit lane the damage was too much to effect any quick repairs with the contact having broken both top and bottom wish bones, steering linkage, door hinges and body panels. That was them done for the day after just four minutes of racing.

Another day - another dollar as they say for the team as it was now the turn of AMR factory driver Gunn to take the start alongside his competitors cars Pro drivers.

Returning the favour in out-dragging the pole setting Mercedes at the start, Gunn swung the #618 car into turn one in the lead - a lead that he soon extended as the third and fourth placed cars argued between themselves. The other car to suffer from the #868 McLarens over exuberance yesterday (the #22 Mercedes of Will Bamber) was also have a better start as he slotted in behind Gunn.

Never able to challenge the AMR Bamber soon dropped to nearly 3 seconds with 3rd and 4th another 6 seconds behind him and left left for a 'leisurely' second phase of the race for Gunn before he handed over to Pun. Leaving pit lane, Pun was a little shaky to start but soon found his rhythm to reaffirm the gap between him and the #22 Mercedes.

By the end of the hour, Pun crossed the line to take the race win by over two seconds to claim his, Gunns and the AMR Vantage GT4's first win of the season in the China GT Championship and went some way in alleviating the pain of yesterdays events.

Next up for the team is a return to Shanghai in a months time for the final round of the season.

Photo credit - China GT / BSEM

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