After the sweltering heat and humidity of Sepang in Malaysia, the Pattaya based Unixx TR-Motorsport Team travelled up to the Chang International Circuit in Buriram for Rounds 3 & 4 of the Thailand Super Series over the weekend June 1-3.
Sepang proved a successful weekend with Denmark’s Thomas Raldorf and co-driver Shaun Varney from New Zealand bringing home a good haul of points under difficult conditions.
Rounds 3 & 4 would prove an even bigger challenge however as several new supercars had joined the GTM Class on the starting grid. This event would also mark the start of the season for the lower class cars in the TR-Motorsport team with veteran racer Tony Percy and the Honda Integra DC5 competing in the Super 2000/Touring Car Class and the young Viking from Denmark, Victor Jensen, out to prove his worth in the Super Production Class with the Honda Jazz.
The success of Sepang was soon forgotten as several issues were found to be affecting all three cars and work on the Porsche carried on until well into the next day as the gearbox and gear shifters were overhauled while the door was secured in place. With all the time spent on the repairs no time was left to alter the setup in time for qualifying and this lack of time would prove costly.
Tony Percy and Victor Jensen meanwhile soon got to grips with the Chang international circuit and by the end of the session Tony had qualified first in class. Victor came an impressive second in class, just narrowly missing out on first place. Unfortunately, this success could not be continued in the GTM Class as both Shaun and then Thomas struggled to find the right balance. Shaun battled hard to secure 7th in class for Race 1 while Thomas squeezed every inch out of the Porsche 997 to claim 5th in class for Race 2.
Shaun Varney took the first stint in the 997 in Race 1 on Saturday while Thomas and the rest of the team watched on anxiously to see if the issues had been fixed, but it was soon obvious they hadn’t. Despite the mechanical challenges, as the team made their pit stop Shaun had managed to get the car into a respectable 6th in class. The Danish Dynamo Thomas Raldorf then took over behind the wheel and with the benefit of several safety car periods, allowing for the field to bunch up, he was able to cross the line in 4th position. The celebrations were soon muted however as in the post-race scrutineering it was found that a technical issue had breached regulations resulting in the team being disqualified.
With the improved setup and a 10-second reduction for their mandatory pit stop/driver change, the team were confident of a top 3 position in Sunday’s Race 2. Thomas made a solid start and at the changeover all was looking good for a podium position until disaster struck. The issue with gearbox returned and Shaun was forced to nurse the car home to collect some much-needed points.
Tony Percy had better luck for the team in the Honda Integra DC5 in the Touring Car Class and after taking a comfortable first in class pole position he followed up with a comfortable win in Race 1. His victory was a great achievement as only 24 hours earlier his number one K20 engine had to be replaced with his spare backup engine.
Due to his success in Race 1 additional weight was added to the DC5 for the second race of the weekend but Tony, with his years of racing experience, held off the chasing pack yet again to finish first in class and third overall.
At only 17 years of age Victor Jensen has shown great potential in the Super Production Class but a loose wheel nut on the formation lap led to a disappointing retirement before Race 1 had even started on Saturday. He was keen to make amends second time around and starting from the back of the grid in Race 2, the young Dane charged up the field and by lap four he was up to 5th position, however disaster struck once again and a clutch failure forced him to retire from the race.
The Unixx TR-Motorsport team will be looking to regroup and get back in the hunt for championship points at the Bang Saen Festival of Speed over the weekend 14-15 July.
You can follow the team at website www.tr-motorsport.com or on Facebook.