A bizarre finish to the second race in the GT World Challenge Asia has seen New Zealander Reid Harker and teammate Setiawan Santoso finish second at Fuji International Speedway over the weekend.
Post-race penalties for the first 13 finishers ultimately saw Triple Eight Race Engineering’s #88 Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo shared by Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Luca Stolz take the victory, despite being provisionally classified 14th. Harker and Santoso, sharing Earl Bamber Motorsport’s Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), were classified second.
The penalties came as a result of an incident of Jeffrey Lee’s Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG crashing hard into the pit wall on the start-finish straight in the final 15 minutes. With the field under Safety Car conditions, race control ordered drivers to pass through pit lane.
Amazingly, the front runners all failed to interpret this message which resulted in 30-second penalties for all post-race.
D’station Racing were the first car home that had followed the correct procedure, however a 10-second post-race penalty for them for an illegal overtake relegated them to seventh.
The podium was a welcome result for Harker and Santoso, the duo having started the race from 28th. They had also achieved a strong result in Saturday’s opener, finishing 11th overall from 16th on the grid.
New Zealander Richie Stanaway was also in action at the event, driving Triple Eight’s #888 Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo with Prince Jefri Ibrahim.
The duo charged to seventh in Race 1, before losing out in the Race 2 chaos to come home 13th.
The GT World Challenge Asia returns for Round 3 on Suzuka International Circuit on July 14-16.
Header Image: Earl Bamber Motorsport