Raldorf battles back in Buriram

0
1507

Pattaya based TR-Motorsport and driver Thomas Raldorf once again overcame adversity to steal the show during Rounds 3 & 4 of the Thailand Super Series, held July 7-10 at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram,

Danish driver Thomas Raldorf (center) of team TR-Motorsport poses with his two second place trophies at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, July 10.
Danish driver Thomas Raldorf (center) of team TR-Motorsport poses with his two second place trophies at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, July 10.

As the team headed into the weekend all was looking good and the mechanics back at the garage had got the Honda City purring like a kitten and ready for battle once more.  However, as qualifying began the engine, which had been running perfectly all week back in the garage, started to lose power which got worse as the laps went by.  Driver Raldorf managed to qualify in 9th place, 1.6 seconds behind pole position, which was a great effort considering the engine was well underpowered.

After qualifying it was decided that the engine issue would only get worse and it was too risky to try and repair it for the races, the better option was to try and salvage what parts they could and fit an entirely new engine.

Raldorf (left) steers his Honda City through a corner during Race 1.
Raldorf (left) steers his Honda City through a corner during Race 1.

With the engine replacement however came a grid penalty of 10 places, meaning the team would now start 19th, way down the grid and with lots of cars to pass in front of them.  Raldorf, in his usual Danish manner, was unfazed by the challenge and he stormed through the field as early as lap one, passing cars on the straight before the first corner.  With 3 laps to go he was in 4th place but the two cars immediately in front had a coming together and Raldorf seized the opportunity to overtake and secure the second step on the podium.  The Dane also recorded the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2.02:39.

With the top five finishers from Race 1 being reversed on the grid for Race 2, Raldorf started in 4th, however, due to a penalty to another driver he was promoted to 3rd.  As the five lights went out Raldorf made a slow getaway initially but quickly recovered the lost ground and overtook the third and second placed cars to then put pressure on the race and championship leader, Hideahru Kuroki.

With 6 laps to go Raldorf began to close the gap to the leader however the 3rd place car driven by Yutsarun was quickly closing in and putting pressure on the Dane.  Raldorf opted to let the leader go and concentrate on defending his position for the last few laps, which he successfully accomplished much to the delight of the whole team watching from the pit wall.

Two races, two-second places was a great result in Buriram, considering how the weekend began.  The team are now in second place in both the drivers’ championship and the team championship with 4 more races to go.  The next action on the track will be 29-31 July for the RAAT 6 Hour Endurance Championship Race again in Buriram.  For more information on TR Motorsport visit www.tr-motorsport.com and follow their Facebook page www.facebook.com/TRMotor sportThailand.