Porsche celebrates victory in 2024 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS opener at Sepang

GT World Challenge Asia
22 Apr. 2024 • 10:42
Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific customers enjoyed a successful start to their 2024 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS campaigns at the Sepang International Circuit, with 2023 Teams’ Champions Origine Motorsport victorious on Sunday.

It was a great weekend for the Origine Motorsport pairing of Lu Wei and debutant Laurin Heinrich in the #4 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992). The duo went third in qualifying for Race 1 before taking pole position for Sunday’s contest. A seventh-place finish in the wet opener was followed by a dominant performance in Race 2, leading from the race from start to finish to take victory.


In the sister #87 Porsche, Yuan Bo and Leo Ye also impressed. Having gone second and fourth in Qualifying 1 and 2 respectively, the pair secured an overall podium in the opener with third. They then finished seventh in Sunday’s contest, despite a five-second success penalty, and took a double Silver-Am class victory.


For the #93 Phantom Global Racing entry, Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and 2023 Porsche Junior Bastian Buus made an incredible fight-back through the field in Race 1. Having qualified down in 21st, the duo climbed 17 places to claim fourth at the finish.


Reigning drivers’ champion Anthony Liu and former Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Selected Driver Alessio Picariello qualified a strong sixth for Race 1 on board the #1 Absolute Racing Porsche. The pair battled just outside the podium places throughout, eventually finishing fifth to make it three Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) cars in the top five on Saturday. A clash while fighting for third in Race 2 saw them receive a time penalty, which dropped them outside the points-paying positions.


Silver entrants Eshan Pieris and Tanart Sathienthirakul qualified just ahead of the sister #1 Absolute Racing car in fifth for Race 1 but when the chequered flag fell they missed out on points. They were in the mix again on Sunday, finishing just outside the top 10 in 13th.


2023 Japan Cup-winning duo, Hiroaki Nagai and Yuta Kamimura, produced a fine performance in the #18 Porsche Center Okazaki, taking a pair of second-place finishes in the Silver-Am category to make it a Porsche 1-2 in class.


The #51 AMAC Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (991.2) of Andrew Macpherson and Ben Porter scored a double Am class podium with third in Race 1, while they battled for victory until the final lap to come home second in Race 2.


The #13 Phantom Global Racing pair of Sun Jing Zu and Joel Eriksson finished 15th in both races, while Han Min-Gwan and Kim Jae-Hyun were 21st and 22nd in the #44 Vollgas Motorsport Porsche.


Meanwhile, the #25 Porsche Center Okazaki car of Kiyoshi Uchiyama and Tsubasa Kondo crossed the line 24th in both races, with Brian Lee and Hideto Yasuoka finishing 30th in Race 2 on board the #14 GTO Racing Team Porsche with limited running through the weekend following an incident in practice.


The victory for the #4 Origine Motorsport squad sees them lead the championship after the opening round, as the teams now look ahead to the next race weekend in Buriram, Thailand (11-12 May).


Lu Wei, Origine Motorsport: “Our performance was very good this weekend. My teammate’s speed was outstanding and I tried to learn as much as possible from him. I was not super happy about my pace in the first race, so I went over the data and I was happy with my improvements to help get the victory.”


Laurin Heinrich, Origine Motorsport: “My debut was altogether a success. With Origine Motorsport we had a really fast car throughout the weekend. On Saturday, we dropped back from third in the wet conditions on the slick tyres, which was unfortunately the wrong choice, but we made a strong comeback to finish seventh. On Sunday, we started from pole and I could extend the gap to 10 seconds, and then my teammate took over and he pulled another four seconds over P2 so we finished with a big advantage. We extracted everything we could and I’m super happy with my first victory in Asia.”


Yuan Bo, Origine Motorsport: “In general, our team achieved a good result in Sepang. Congratulations to Lu Wei and Laurin for their victory today. We ran into some problems at the start, we got squeezed between two cars which compromised our steering. Luckily, Leo and I managed to keep it together. The team did a fantastic job and it all came together for a strong weekend. I hope we can continue this success into the next round in Buriram.”


Leo Ye, Origine Motorsport: “We had a good start to the round and found a good base set-up with the car. In Race 1, we were pretty fast and recovered well. In the second race, I got sandwiched between two cars and we got some damage. We still managed to fight back to finish seventh. I think we’ve got a very strong car and I’m sure there will be more to come this season.”


Anthony Liu, Absolute Racing: “We showed really good pace in both races this weekend. Fifth on Saturday was positive, but we knew we could get more. While fighting for the podium, unfortunately we had contact and received a penalty. The car feels good though and I’m sure we will be battling at the front throughout the season.”


Alessio Piccariello, Absolute Racing: “We had two strong races, which could have been a pair of top fives, but sadly the post-race penalty dropped us outside the points in Race 2. In the end, it was a tough weekend but I believe the Porsche is very quick and I think we can bounce back in the next round.”


Eshan Pieris, Absolute Racing: “It was my first weekend with Porsche in this championship and we made some good steps. We were hoping for a better result, but I’m sure Buriram will be a much stronger round for us. Really looking forward to that and another great year with Porsche.”


Tanart Sathienthirakul, Absolute Racing: “The weekend overall was not so bad, but we lacked a little bit of pace. I’m sure we will be able to come back in the next one though so looking forward to that.”


Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, Phantom Global Racing: "It was my first weekend with Phantom Global Racing, the team worked hard throughout to give us the best car possible. Race 1 was really good, to finish P4 and just off the podium was a great way to start the season. Unfortunately, Race 2 didn’t go our way, but we’re already looking forward to Buriram. Thanks to the team, Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific and Bastian for the support!"


Bastian Buus, Phantom Global Racing: “It hasn’t been the strongest performance this weekend, but we’ve learned a lot so we’re in a good position for the upcoming rounds. We didn’t maximise qualifying, but in the first race we had a great strategy to finish fourth overall. A strong performance from everybody in the team. We struggled in Race 2 a bit but I’m sure we will be back on the pace going forwards, there’s only a few small details we need to work on.”


Sun Jing Zu, Phantom Global Racing: “We had a lot to learn in our first weekend in this championship with Porsche. Qualifying was difficult for us as a team, but we were able to be much more competitive in the races. I’m sure the crew will work hard until the next round to improve our performance.”


Joel Eriksson, Phantom Global Racing: “Overall, quite a good second race with a big step forward compared to yesterday. We worked really hard with the team and Porsche to have a better car for Sunday. It was a nice step in the right direction. We climbed into the top 10, but then we had an unfortunate spin that dropped us back a bit. Overall, the Porsche looks very strong at the moment and we just need to make some small changes to be right up there at the front.”


Hiroaki Nagai, Porsche Center Okazaki: “I was happy to stand up on the Silver-Am podium in both races, especially in the tricky wet conditions on Saturday. Now we’re focused on a good performance in Thailand for the next round.”


Yuta Kamimura, Porsche Center Okazaki: “We had difficult conditions in Race 1, but pushed very hard until the finish and it’s great to have clinched second in class. I had a bad start in Race 2 but thankfully we were able to recover. I’m hopeful we can continue our strong showing at the next round.”


Kiyoshi Uchiyama, Porsche Center Okazaki: “It was difficult to adapt to the wet conditions on Saturday. We had some issues and an incident during Race 2, but we will make sure to push hard for the races in Thailand.”


Tsubasa Kondo, Porsche Center Okazaki: “I didn’t have great pace from the beginning, but we learned a lot and hope to improve for the Buriram round.”


Hideto Yasuoka, GTO Racing Team: “We didn’t take part in any pre-season testing, so we started this weekend knowing we would need to make improvements throughout the sessions. We were pretty much on the pace immediately, but we had an incident in practice, which meant we had to rebuild the for Sunday. We tried to salvage our weekend on Sunday, we had some great fights, but I got hit pretty hard from behind and had quite a bit of damage. We did our best and got some good data. It was looking positive on Thursday, so we just need to carry that spirit going forward. The car is better than last year for us so we’re hopeful for the rest of the season.”


Brain Lee, GTO Racing Team: ““First of all, I want to thank Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific and the GTO Racing Team for preparing the car for Sunday after our accident. I am also glad to have walked away unharmed. I’m grateful for all the help from the other mechanics in the paddock. It was a tough weekend for us, but we learn and grow together as a team. We will come back stronger.”


Ben Porter, AMAC Motorsport: “Awesome weekend to wrap up in Sepang with third and second in class. We were so close to the victory in Race 2, but just lost out on the final lap. Still, I’m happy with the performance.”


Alexandre Gibot, Managing Director Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Ltd.: “It was a great weekend overall for Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific. It was also a very special day for us on 21st April, because seven years ago today the PMAP project was born. We had 11 cars entered and it was a very competitive weekend. We are of course delighted with the Race 2 win and the pole position. We are leading the championship after the first weekend, but it’s very close and the field is extremely competitive, not to mention that we have the whole season ahead of us. Congratulations to Origine Motorsport, a great success for them. Thank you to everyone involved in the first weekend of the season.”


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