Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS – Rounds 5-6, Suzuka Circuit, Japan
Johor Motorsports Racing Team has achieved its third race podium of the year after a strong second-place performance by His Highness Tunku Abu Bakar Al-Haj Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Tunku Putera of Johor, and his race partner Luca Stolz, at the Suzuka round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia today.
The string of top results has seen Tunku Abu Bakar and Stolz move into a clear second position in the GT World Challenge Asia points standings, at the halfway mark of the championship.
In stifling conditions, Stolz started Sunday’s race from the front row of the grid inside the #88 Mercedes-AMG powered by Triple Eight Race Engineering. A powerful start saw the German endurance-racing specialist try to muscle his way into the lead through the opening corners, but settled into second, keeping the pressure on the leader until the mandatory pit-stop.
Tunku Abu Bakar continued to push hard once he got behind the wheel for his stint, bringing the #88 car home in a rewarding P2 position, and ensuring the pairing stays well in contention for the championship at the halfway mark of the series.
In the same race, His Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-Haj Ibni Sultan Ibrahim and race partner Broc Feeney finished 18th. After spending most of the race embroiled in battles inside the top 10, a late incident saw the #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 spun into the gravel and surrender valuable positions.
The day prior, both of the JMR Team’s driver pairings endured a tough opening race of the weekend, with Tunku Abu Bakar and Stolz finishing 20th, and Tunku Abdul Rahman and Feeney in 22nd.
In the GT3 championship standings, Stolz and Tunku Abu Bakar are placed second, just 10 points off the lead, while the JMR Racing Team is positioned third in the teams’ championship.
Rounds seven and eight of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia will be held at Motegi next weekend, on 21-23 July.
HH Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim: “Luca started today’s race and did very well to build a strong gap between him and the pack behind, then I jumped in and worked to maintain the position and keep it clean. Saturday’s race was cooler, so it was more forgiving on the tyres, whereas today was a bit more difficult to drive, with the kind of heat we experienced.”
Luca Stolz: “Overall it was a decent weekend for us. We still need to try and score points in both races. Race one was a bit unfortunate with Abu avoiding a car and going through the gravel early on. We lost some positions there, but when you look at Sunday, finishing P2 gave us very good points for the championship, and we had a close fight with the leader. The target is to score points in both races and hopefully a podium step at the next round at Motegi.”
Broc Feeney: “Unfortunately, we were involved in incidents in both races and didn’t get the results we were looking for. Luckily, we’re going racing again next weekend and we are looking to bounce back, but certainly it’s been a tough weekend on our side of the garage. The level of competition here is crazy – there are 30 to 40 cars on the grid, the Pros are pretty much all factory drivers and the Ams are very close to the same level. It was a real challenge, but it’s been a great experience and I’ve loved being here.”
HH Tunku Abdul Rahman Ibrahim: “Today’s race was OK. Broc pitted in sixth or seventh position, and I went out in the middle of a tight pack where there were a lot of battles going on. We tried to stay out of trouble as much as we could and be quite cautious to try and not get tangled into it. Unfortunately in the last few laps, when I tried to overtake a lapped car, I got spun on 130R – one of the fastest corners. It was unfortunate, but what’s done today is done and I’m feeling good. Great job to the team and our team-mates in car #88 for the P2 result. I’m really happy for them, but for us, we’ll keep our heads down and move forward to next weekend at Motegi.”
Results – 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia, Suzuka Circuit, Japan
Luca Stolz – P2
Broc Feeney – P7
HH Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim – P14
HH Tunku Jefri Ibrahim – P19
HH Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim /Luca Stolz – P20
HH Tunku Jefri Ibrahim/Broc Feeney – P22
Luca Stolz/ HH Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim – P2
Broc Feeney/HH Tunku Jefri Ibrahim – P18
JMR_Suzuka1 – SRO Motorsports Group
JMR_Suzuka2 – SRO Motorsports Group
JMR_Suzuka3 – Hype Republic
JMR_SuzukaPodium – SRO Motorsports Group