Australian Aidan Read of Eurasia Motorsport stood atop the podium once again after a second pole-to-flag victory in Race 8. Later in the afternoon, Hamprecht took victory in Race 9 after an eventful meeting, wrapping up the weekend with a strong lead in the championship.
Sean Zheng Shangguan of Absolute Racing consolidated his runner-up finishes in both Race 8 and 9, his points haul elevating him to third on the Drivers Classification leaderboard. Kim Jeong Tae of Cebu Pacific Air by PRT Racing fought hard to take the final podium place after Race 8, but in the final race of the weekend, he was not able to overhaul Read, who started from 3rd on the grid and held his position to the flag.
After the mid-season weekend in Thailand, Read’s two podium finishes narrows the gap to Hamprecht to 17 points, while Zheng’s impressive performance – taking a trio of second places – earned him enough points to overtake Kim and into the top three on the Drivers Classification. Zheng also has a strong lead in the Chinese Driver standings, 31 points ahead of Jeffrey Ye.
Absolute Racing extends its advantage at the top of the Team standings to an impressive 64 points ahead of Cebu Pacific Air by PRT Racing, with Eurasia Motorsport in third.
With the track temperate rising to over 40 degrees under the scorching Thai sun, the heat didn’t trouble Aidan and Zheng as the 7-lap race got under way. The pair made a clean getaway from the front of the grid, and set about pulling away from the chasing pack. Behind them, Kim got by Hamprecht, who later made contact with Thomas Swift, dropping to 6th but finishing the race.
The battle for fourth between Super License team mates James Yu and Stephen Hong intensified as the race went on, with Yu getting by on lap four.
Hamprecht proved unbeatable in the 12-lap race with a perfect pole-to-flag masterclass. Behind the German, Zheng secured second, the points earned making him the first Chinese driver to make the top three in the Driver Classification in the four-year history of FMCS.
Starting from third in the grid, Read had a tough battle defending from Kim, and skillfully managed to keep control of the car after losing the front wing as a result of contact with Zheng. His efforts paid off. Kim had to settle for fourth ahead of James Yu.
It was also a perfect weekend for FMCS alumni, who shone in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. Reigning FMCS champion Martin Rump won Race 4, and was joined on the podium by runner-up Alessio Picariello, 4th overall in FMCS last year. This is a further proof that FMCS is the ideal platform for talented drivers, and paves the way for a successful career in professional motorsport.
After the Thailand weekend, FMCS will next visit Sepang International Circuit in three weeks’ time. The second half of the season will provide plenty of opportunities to earn championship points as the battles for the 2016 titles intensify.
Philip Hamprecht/Absolute Racing/1st Race 9:
“The incident this morning was quite small. I saw it coming. Thomas spun and hit me. There was nothing I could do and it didn’t affect me. I just stayed calm and finished the race. It’s a long championship and I have to take points at every round.”