· BBR takes its fourth win of 2022 in Portimão, but loses potential 1-2.
· AC Motorsport recovers from power loss issues for runners-up spot.
· Overall TCE Teams’ champion Wolf-Power Racing back on the podium, despite driveshaft failure.
PORTIMAO (10 July, 2022) – TCR Teams’ championship leader BBR has secured its fourth win in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook in 2022 at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO, and might also have secured its first-ever 1-2 finish had luck gone its way.
The Thai team, which entered its first two-car line-up of the season this weekend in Portimão, was running 1st and 2nd in TCR at two-thirds distance, while metronomic pace and problems for its nearest rivals meant the duo had also pulled 10 laps clear of its nearest rival. Shortly after daybreak though, the BBR CUPRA Leon Competición TCR (#158, Chariya Nuya / Munkong Sathienthirakul / Sandy Stuvik / Grant Supaphongs / Nattanid Leewattanavalagul), which led TCR throughout the opening four hours before losing its alternator belt, later retired altogether following an engine bay fire.
That left the sister CUPRA TCR (#159, Kantadhee Kusiri / Kantasak Kusiri / Anusorn Asiralertsir / Tanart Sathienthirakul / Pasarit Promsombat) to fly the team flag solo, though the newly acquired TCR car went on to complete a trouble-free run and collect BBR’s fourth victory of the season. Tanart Sathienthirakul collected the chequered flag, the TCR winner completing 658 laps of the 4.652km Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in the process.
“This for sure was super hard both on the track and off the track,” Tanart explained to radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “When the morning came, we had a slight problem with overheating, so we just tried our best to survive and that’s what we did. I would like first to thank my team because they were absolute beasts this weekend! Everything was spot on. Also, my teammates, who gave everything in every stint.”
Such was BBR’s pace, the TCR winner finished 7th overall at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO. The win further strengthens the Thai team’s position at the top of the TCR European standings.
It should be noted however that, owing to the mandatory data-memory card not being mounted correctly to the car’s data-logger, as discovered during post-race scrutineering, BBR a five-place grid penalty for next round of the 24H SERIES in Barcelona.
Despite losing power both at one-third distance and within the closing hour, the returning AC Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS (#188, David Lau / Tommy Ku / Shaun Thong / Andy Yan) completed a strong run to 2nd in-class, just ahead of the Wolf-Power Racing Audi RS3 LMS (#116, Jasmin Preisig / Ivars Vallers / Calle Bergman / Charles Dawson). The latter had been in contention for TCR victory at half-distance only to suffer two separate driveshaft failures and a differential issue. The reigning Overall TCE Teams’ champion could at least celebrate its first 24H SERIES podium since the Hankook 12H MUGELLO in March.
The 700 Miles Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR (#106, Thierry Chkondali / Marc Girard / Bruno Derossi / Jordan Mougenot) recovered from an on-track clash during the night to finish 4th, one place ahead of the Lestrup Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR (#110, Mats Olsson / Peter Fahlström / Stefan Nilsson / Patric Olovsson), which fought back from turbocharger failure.
Severe vibrations, and resultant punctures, cost the returning Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR (#165, Douglas Khoo / Dominic Ang / Melvin Moh / Gilbert Ang) significant time during the night, as indeed did a loss of power heading into the final hour. The Malaysian team did manage to collect the chequered flag for 6th on its first showing with CREVENTIC since 2019.
The next round of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook – the Hankook 24H BARCELONA – will take place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 9-10-11 September. Further details regarding the 2022 24H SERIES calendar and championship standings can be found HERE