Danish driver Thomas Raldorf of the Pattaya based UNIXX-TR Motorsport team followed up his sensational success at the Bang Saen Speed Festival with another two commanding Thailand Super Series victories in hot and humid Buriram last month.
The weekend races, held August 19-20, began with the Danish speedster topping the tables in P1 and from then on he never looked back, topping the further practice sessions by a considerable margin. During the final practice session, Raldorf advised his pit team to make an adjustment to the wheels on his Porshe 997 to try and squeeze out a few more tenths in preparation for qualifying. The decision proved a masterstroke as Raldorf recorded a new personal best of 1.44.607 around the 4.5km circuit.
It is currently wet season here in Thailand and the rain played its part, with qualifying being cancelled and resulting in the grids being formed by the fastest and second fastest times in Free Practice, putting the Pattaya driver firmly in pole position for Races 1 & 2.
As the lights went out for Race 1, Raldorf made his trademark perfect start, leaving the other cars to fight over the minor places. Within a few laps a sizable lead had grown due to the ensuing battle behind for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place and this allowed the Dane to pull even further ahead and stroll to the chequered flag with a gap of eight seconds to his nearest challenger. Title rival Manat finished second while TR Motorsport teammate Pete finished a very respectable third in the Porsche Cayman.
Sunday’s Race 2 started much the same as the previous day, with Raldorf pulling away early on while the others battled amongst themselves for position. The TR Motorsport’s Porsche lit up the track and the timing screens with four blistering laps at qualifying pace to increase the lead.
Raldorf was able to control the race to the end, however, a threat did come in the shape of the Rotary Mazda driven by young James Runacres who was catching the 997 but eventually ran out of laps and finished four seconds behind. Teammate Pete had a seesaw battle with Manat in the Toyota throughout the race and eventually finished fourth, helping to strengthen the grip on the team championship trophy.
The UNIXX–TR Motorsport team is now well placed in both championships. The double win from Raldorf sees him lead the driver’s championship for the first time this year with a gap of 11 points to Manat, while in the team championship the lead is a very healthy 45 points to Team Toyota. The final races of the season are just a few weeks away and will be held once again at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram on the weekend of 23-24 September.
(Photos courtesy Thailand Super Series)