Davies and Kazama Dominate as Title Fights Will Go The Distance

Rhys Davies and Tomo Kazama combined to lead all sixty laps en route to taking their second win of the season at the 2019 GT Super Series Round of Malaysia at the Sepang International Circuit.

The CWG Team MacMillan pair had smooth sailing for most of the race, and were able to set sail as soon as the green flag flew  as they were easily able to gap the field. Early on Rhys Davies was kept honest by the Carson Speedworks Corvette being driven by Joey Alliot, the American was able to keep within two seconds of the Australian. They would be all on their own with the Tom Douglas Saleen of James Douglas struggling for pace and holding up a majority of the pack behind, before it would become Davies all on his own as the factory Corvette stopped on the inside exiting of Turn 9 with a suspension failure after twenty minutes of racing. While in that time the other Factory entries had found their way past Douglas, a lot of the damage had already been done with the gap between Nathan McKane and Rhys Davies up to twelve seconds.

The gap would continue to grow with Nathan McKane now battling with championship rival and reigning champion Chris Winter for second, with their battle continuing for the remainder of the race.  In the opening stint, Winter would make relatively easy work of the Scottish driver, and would be able create a three second gap to the Aston Martin behind, while stabilizing the gap to Davies ahead at sixteen seconds before the first round of pit stops began. Taking advantage of the undercut, with Winter pitting at the same time as Rhys Davies late in the window, Andrej Kremnicky had caught back up to the Solvalou Lamborghini ahead with the pair now having to deal with lapped traffic from a chaotic opening stint that had multiple accidents forcing pit stops for repairs. This would include the pair going three wide with the Tom Douglas Saleen, now being driven by Joel Melrose, going into Turn 1 with the Slovakian taking second overall at that juncture.

Their battle would take a decisive turn as the race approached half distance after Winter took an opportunistic lunge on Kremnicky at turn 15 for second place. The American would send the Ravenwest driver into a spin when Winter made contact with the left rear corner of the Aston Martin. The collision gave the stewarding team no choice but to give Winter a 15 Second penalty, shifting the battle into the favor of McKane and Kremnicky for the remainder of the race. While the pair would battle for the bulk of the remainder of the race, Morgan Le Fay’s pace near the end would prove too much for a straight on battle with Kremnicky, although she was not able do do enough to nullify the penalty. And even with Le Fay’s teammate in Antonio Fazio putting the pressure on the Ravenwest car, and the amount of lapped cars everyone at the front had to deal with, Kremnicky would only be eleven seconds behind the lead Solvalou car resulting in them taking second overall and an additional two markers out of the championship leaders.

Ahead of them was Rhys Davies and Tomo Kazama, the pair finishing with the second highest margin of victory seen in the series, the largest coming at the 2016 Super GP where Ricardo Llosa and Jordan McKenna won by thirty-six seconds. It continues their second half push, with the pair now seventh in the championship. And with just one race remaining, three driver pairs are left with a mathematical chance at the World Driver’s Championship: Chris Winter and Morgan Le Fay lead the way, with McKane and Kremnicky just four markers behind, and Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson an additional six behind after rallying from eighteenth to sixth during the race. Rossi and Davidson need a miracle to happen if they were to have a real chance at the championship in Suzuka. The third place result for Winter and Le Fay also meant that Racing Team Solvalou locked up the Teams Championship for the second straight season.

The Independent’s Trophy will also go down to Suzuka, even though the gap between the two remaining driver pairs is much more substantial. The pairing of Peter Oliver and David Simmons finished two positions in class ahead of the points leaders Melanie Bourne and Marie Alberta Luisa, after a race long battle that featured the top six Independent class cars all nose to tail after the Factory cars made their way to the front. But winning in class in Sepang was the Best In The World Lamborghini of Koyomi Setou and Redur Jaffer. This is Setou’s second class victory of the season and Jaffer’s first after the Kay Lon run team shuffled their lineups for Sepang; the pair also teamed up for a class victory in Zhuhai last year with Setou joining the team for the latter third of the season. The final stint of the race saw Setou stand tall in the six way battle for the class lead, after passing Nathan Scott in the Aoi Lamborghini and David Simmons in the final twenty minutes of race before sailing into the distance to victory.

Behind Setou it was still all to play for with any change of position resulting in a swing of points in the championship. David Simmons started the final stint in the class lead, while the points leading Marie Alberta Luisa was fifth in class after jumping up two positions in the final round of pit stops. While Luisa would maintain her position to the finish, Simmons’s pace in the final stint was no match for what Setou and Scott could do in similar Lamborghinis. Simmons would drop from the class lead to third after losing the lead to Setou and then getting held up by the lapped car of Ernest Bruno which allowed Scott to easily get by. As a result, the gap between the Oliver Motorsports and Boutsen Ginion pairings is down to eight points, leaving Oliver and Simmons with a mountain to climb if they were to take the Independent’s Trophy for 2019.

Race Results – After 60 Laps

301MWinter/Le FaySolvalou+34.563
427MRestov/Van WalwijkScuderia Italia+51.432
543MOlder Jr./JacobsonMacMillan+1:12.798
715MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+1:26.022
814MRei/WongGerald Pereria+1:27.859
928MJJ.Davies/ConstantiniScuderia Italia+1:31.963
1041ISetou/JafferBest In The World+1:38.046
13555IA+V Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+2:06.629
143IBourne/LuisaBoutsen Ginion+1 Lap
1518ISakai/HuangTsuchigami+1 Lap
1688IWilkinson/ChoLKM+1 Lap
174IDiaz/ShideharaBoutsen Ginion+1 Lap
1832IAxelsen/PedersenRMR+1 Lap
1934IMass/RamirezOran+1 Lap
2030IJenkins/BrunoGlobex Scorpio+2 Laps
2113IYaname/KozarWinton+2 Laps
22007IMagnus/GieszlerFalken Tire+2 Laps
2325MRobishaud/MariPagani+2 Laps
2455IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+2 Laps
25550IMcCracken/KomarekCzechmate+3 Laps
2666IKurosawa/SaitoToshio+3 Laps
2703MPescatore/FazioSolvalou+4 Laps*
2824MAgostini/HorvathPaganiSpun Off

Fastest Lap – Car 01 (Solvalou Lamborghini – Winter/Le Fay) – 1:56.288

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – Redur Jaffer: After not being able to show his worth all season, the shakeup at BITW pays off.

Reject of The Race – Carson Speedworks: Total Party Kill sees Chevy drop to fifth in the Manufacture’s Championship.