Double podiums for Stuvik & Thong in Sepang

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Thai racer Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik (right) and teammate Shaun Thong from Hong Kong celebrate their success at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, Sunday, April 21.
Thai racer Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik (right) and teammate Shaun Thong from Hong Kong celebrate their success at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, Sunday, April 21.

The first round of the Thailand Super Series took place on April 19-21 at the famous Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

Thai racer Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik has teamed up this season with Hong Kong driver Shaun Thong in the Audi R8 GT3 Ultra by B-Quik Racing and the duo quickly got up to speed and challenged for the top spots on the timesheets in the Friday practices.

Qualifying took place on Saturday, which saw the Thai driver take pole position for Race 1 which would take place later that day. Stuvik’s teammate Thong drove in the following qualifying session where he secured 2nd place, just behind former F1 driver Tomas Enge.

On Saturday afternoon the red lights went out to signal the start of Race 1 and Stuvik had a brilliant start, maintaining his lead position into the first corner. The Thai driver then proceeded to pull away from the field at a rapid rate, however a slow puncture on his rear right tire forced him to limp back to the pits where he could change tires and hand the R8 Ultra over to his teammate. From there, Thong drove an excellent stint, but the gap to the leading Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo was too large to make up. The pair finished in 2nd place, with the other B-Quik Racing Audi R8 GT3 Evo finishing just behind in 3rd place.

In Race 2 on Sunday, Thong took the start and after some first lap jostling settled into 2nd position, trying to chase down the leading Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. A safety car stint closed the gap to the leading Lamborghini further but the mandatory pit-stop worked against the B-Quik team. Both Stuvik and Thong are FIA Silver ranked drivers and their mandated pit-stop time is longer than their competitors.

When Stuvik took over behind the wheel of the Audi R8 GT3 Ultra, the Thai driver got up to speed quickly and began to close the gap on the leaders. He kept hacking away but the pit-stop time (with Saturday’s added success penalty of 10 seconds) made the gap too large to close. Stuvik finished under a second behind the 2nd placed Lamborghini and a few seconds adrift of the race winning B-Quik Audi R8 GT3 Evo driven by Henk Kiks and Daniel Bilski.

“It’s been a great weekend for the B-Quik team and our beautiful Audis. We have accumulated good points and more knowledge of the car as we now look towards the next round in Buriram. The cars have been fantastically prepared by the B-Quik engineers and mechanics, along with the technical support of Absolute Racing. I’m more excited than ever to get the next race underway, it can’t come soon enough! Thank you to all my sponsors for this opportunity,” Stuvik said after the race.

The next race (round 2) will take place at Chang International Circuit, Buriram from 7-9 June 2019.