Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS – Rounds 7-8, Mobility Resort Motegi, Japan
Johor Motorsports Racing Team has leapt to the top of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia championship standings, after His Highness Tunku Abu Bakar Al-Haj Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Tunku Putera of Johor, and his race partner Luca Stolz charged to a podium result at Motegi today.
After collecting valuable points with a solid P4 result in Saturday’s race, Tunku Abu Bakar and Stolz went one place better in the final race of the weekend; the talented driver pairing finished third in another impressive outing for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 powered by Triple Eight Race Engineering.
In hot, humid conditions, Stolz started Sunday’s race from the third row after setting a fifth-fastest qualifying time. The German endurance-racing ace started strongly with two important passes that saw the #88 car move into third place before the mandatory pit stop and driver change.
Tunku Abu Bakar then put in a hard charge to close the gap on the two front-runners. The young Malaysian prince hounded the drivers in front and kept within striking distance for the remainder of the race, crossing the finish-line in P3 and collecting the team’s fourth race podium of the year.
As a result of the important points-collecting weekend, Tunku Abu Bakar and Stolz have moved to the top of the championship standings with four rounds remaining.
In the same race, His Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-Haj Ibni Sultan Ibrahim and race partner, Supercars Championship star Broc Feeney, finished 13th.
The day prior, the #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver pairing put in one of the performances of the weekend during the opening race, as they surged from 21st place on the starting grid to finish a well-earned P11.
JMR’s solid points’ haul from the weekend sees the team remain in fourth position in the team’s championship.
Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia will be held at Okayama International Circuit on 18-20 August. However, the JMR team will be back in action next weekend at the Sydney Supersprint, as battle resumes at the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia series.
HH Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim: “It feels great to be leading the championship. I do hope we can continue this momentum that we have now and finish the season on top. Hopefully we can get two podiums back-to-back at our home race in Sepang for the final round. We’ve always been strong there and we hope it’s like that again this year.”
Broc Feeney: “It’s been a tough couple of weeks for us in Japan, and not the results we would’ve hoped for. I certainly learned a lot over here. We’ve made some big gains but we’ve still got some gains to make, in order to be where we want to be. Motegi is an enjoyable track, with lots of big braking zones and long straights. I felt like we kept getting better and better through the weekend, but there were certainly some quick guys out there.”
HH Tunku Abdul Rahman Ibrahim: “Motegi is a good circuit; they’ve had some good races in the past, so it was really nice to be racing here. Now we have to get ready for Sydney next weekend which we’re really looking forward to. It’s a short turnaround, but we’ll rest whenever we can, shut off the mind and reset again.”
Results – 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia, Mobility Resort Motegi, Japan
Luca Stolz – P5
Broc Feeney – P11
HH Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim – P9
HH Tunku Jefri Ibrahim – P21
HH Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim /Luca Stolz – P4
HH Tunku Jefri Ibrahim/Broc Feeney – P11
Luca Stolz/ HH Tunku Abu Bakar Ibrahim – P3
Broc Feeney/HH Tunku Jefri Ibrahim – P13