Well on their way to the season finale set for November 10-11 at the Shanghai F1 International Circuit, supercar manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini and Swiss luxury watchmaker Blancpain landed in Shanghai this weekend for the 5th and penultimate racing weekend of the 2012 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series.
Coming to Shanghai as a supporting race to the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series itself represents a colossal challenge of endurance for the race cars and drivers alike, with each racing weekend featuring 50mn of free practice, a 35mn qualifying round and two 50mn official races. Throughout the five racing weekends held to date across Asia in Sepang, Fuji, Ordos, Guangzhou and Shanghai, all the participating teams have time and again shown outstanding stamina under widely different climates, and showcased the excellent durability and superior quality of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race car.
As an F1 standard racing circuit, the Shanghai International Circuit is ideal for endurance racing and offers numerous highlights for spectators, including successive hair-pin turns requiring fast and controlled braking. The racetrack extends over 5.45km, with 14 turns and a long straight of 1,175 meters allowing the race cars to reach an average speed of 205km/h. For drivers of any level, the circuit’s high standards provided two of the most challenging races in the Series.
“We are incredibly proud to see how much the Gentlemen drivers have improved since the beginning of the Series in May, and we have had several surprise winners, which has made for an exciting first season so far” said Lamborghini Blanpcain Super Trofeo Asia Series Coordinator Cristiano Inverni. “This 5th and penultimate racing weekend was a great opportunity for all the teams to get familiar with the Shanghai F1 track, which will also be host to our 2012 Series’ Grand Finale.”
“Close to the end of this first season of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo in Asia, we have witnessed great enthusiasm from the Chinese market. This championship brings Haute Horlogerie and super car aficionados together into a unique environment, where they can share their passion for precision, excellence and reliability” said Alain Delamuraz, Blancpain Vice President and Head of Marketing. “We are also proud to be back on the Shanghai F1 track and show to the public the new Blancpain masterpiece equipped with a traditional Chinese calendar.”
Seventeen teams took to the track on a humid Saturday for the morning and afternoon official races. Both races saw Super Trofeo Asia Series board-leaders and pro-am teams Rizzo (#37) from China, Charlz (#99) from Singapore and Ramli (#9) from Malaysia battling out for the first position, with Charlz (#99) beating Ramli (#9) to the finish line by a gripping 0.002 seconds margin in the first race. In the afternoon race, Ramli (#99) overtook pole position starter Rizzo (#38) in the second lap and maintained his lead all the way to secure his fourth victory overall in the 2012 Series. In the pure amateur ranking, Hong Kong team Chan/Tse (#88) strengthened their overall position by topping the podium in the first race, while race 2 saw amateur board-leader Chen (#3) break his streak of second positions and finish first for the first time in the Series. All eyes are now on the Super Trofeo Asia Series Finale, due to take place at the Shanghai international circuit on November 10-11.