Sunday, Apr 7 08:44pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Chris van der Drift wins last lap Lamborghini thriller

Sports car specialist Chris van der Drift has won his second straight Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia race with Evan Chen.


It was a successful race all round for the Kiwi contingent with Brendon Leitch scoring sixth overall and third in the Pro-Am division, his best result of the weekend after being ninth overall and fifth in class at the end of Race 1.


After van der Drift and Chen won the opening night race on Saturday, The Singaporean driver started Race 2 of the weekend from the second row. He looked to make headway in the early stages of the race, but had to hold station in fourth. Meanwhile, Leitch’s co-driver Lim Keong Wee was down the order in 10th for Leipert Motorsport.


Italian ace Edoardo Liberati led the opening stanza of the race with local man Afia Ikhwan Yazid sat second and Richard Muscat of Australia in third.


As the race progressed, Chen began to reel in Muscat. With 15 minutes run Chen dived down the inside of Muscat at Turn 9 and took the final place on the podium. By then Liberati had edged out to a 3.5-second lead over Yazid, while Chen was some 10 seconds in arrears of the lead too.


Chen began to narrow the margin to the lead as the pit stop sequence approached. The pit window opened after 20 minutes and several back markers looked to stop early. Chen came in late and gave van der Drift 20 minutes to try and catch the leaders.


Once the pit stops shook out van der Drift slotted back out in fourth. He made quick work of Yazid’s co-driver Toshiuki Ochai through Turn 11. He immediately stretched his legs and set about catching the leader Alexander Au of Hong Kong who took over driving duties from Liberati.


The final 15 minutes saw van der Drift cut down the six second deficit down to a few car lengths. As the last lap board lit up, van der Drift tucked under the rear wing of Au ahead. He swung left on approach to Turn 1 and Au went right to run shallow. That compromised the line for Au who made a mistake and opened the door up for van der Drift.


The pair banged doors but with the inside line, Au held the position through left handed Turn 2. A good run through Turn 3 allowed van der Drift to mount another challenge, but again Au blocked. This time though van der Drift set the pass up nicely. A perfect launch out of Turn 4 allowed him to get to Au’s outside and completed a pass through the fast left-right Turn 5 and 6 sequence. Au gave him enough room to get the move done and van der Drift took the lead.


He cruised home across the line to take a 1.3 second win with Chen. Au and Liberati were second and the lead Pro-Am entry. Completing the podium was Ochiai and and Yazid.


A strong finish to the race saw Leitch cut down a 20 second deficit and pass Danny Stutterd on the final lap to secure sixth overall and third in Pro-Am.


Round two of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia moves to Japan over June 22-23 at Suzuka Circuit. 


CLICK HERE for Race 1 results


CLICK HERE for Race 2 results