Late Push Delivers Davies and Kazama First Win of 2020

Rhys Davies and Tomo Kazama scored CWG Team MacMillan their first win of the season at the 2020 Yas Supercar Festival.

After coming up short in the season opener in Interlagos, the lead pairing at Ford would not be denied again after a push in the final stint by Kazama. After initially losing the lead on cold tires to Joey Alliot, the Japanese former AutoReject World Series driver would come back a couple laps later when her tires were up to temperature and make the decisive overtake for the lead under braking for the first chicane section at turn five. Upon retaking the lead, she would put the hammer down and fire off four quick laps and give herself a three second advantage that would not be overcome by the pursuing group of five behind.

She, and Rhys Davies, would control the pace at the front for the majority of the race including driving away from the field in the opening stint with only Nathan McKane, one of the drivers who defied Kazama and Davies of victory in Brazil, being able to keep up with Davies’s rapid initial pace. The pair out front would maintain their advantage at the front of the field through the first round of pit stops, with Andrej Kremnicky taking over for McKane during the pitstop. Kremnicky would lead for a chunk of the middle stint after Davies would struggle dealing with the lapped traffic, with the Slovakian initially taking the lead using the Globex Scorpio Corvette of Sandra Cessler as a pick at turn nineteen. Davies would rally to get back to the lead, then being held by Li Qi after the lead pair had been caught by the Carson Speedworks Corvette among others.

The Qi and Oliver Jones Corvette would struggle with lapped traffic in the final stint and drop to the latter half of the top ten finishers, whilst their teammates in Joey Alliot and Jacques Malenfant would finish in second overall after an inspired run from Alliot using the undercut to move to the fore. The Ravenwest Aston Martin that was in the top two for most of the race would fall to fourth overall in the closing stages in the race with the Solvalou Lamborghini of reigning World Champions Chris Winter and Morgan Le Fay being the benefactors. They would catch the Powersport-Dunbarton Lister of Helena Rademaker heading to pit-in on schedule which caused a mad scramble by the lead group at the last corner, which Kremnicky would get caught out on. The Slovakian ran wide at the final corner which opened the door for Morgan Le Fay to take the final podium position behind the MacMillan Ford and the Carson Corvette.

The group chasing Tomo Kazama at the end of the race would also include their teammate in Markus Jacobson and the Prodrive Aston Martin driven by Matteo Rossi and the debuting Dave Simpson. Rossi would start his factory Aston Martin deep in the field and would be on the outskirts of the top ten by the end of the opening stint. He, then Dave Simpson would pit at the earliest in the pit window possible to try and jump up in the order on fresh tires, with the pair using it to great affect. Simpson would be on the outskirts of the lead group after the final pit stops cycled through, and would join them as they navigated the lapped traffic but would unable to make any moves. They would finish sixth overall, after missing out on the points in Interlagos, with the Darren Older Jr. and Markus Jacobson Ford finishing directly ahead of them in fifth.

Taking their first class win, after not scoring top honors en route to second in the Independent’s Trophy in 2019, was the Oliver Motorsports Lamborghini driven by Peter Oliver and David Simmons. The duo were left in their own world at the front of the Independent field after dramas stuck their early competition. The Ferdinand United Mercedes-AMG that led early in class had to pit for a replacement front bumper and splitter after running into the back of the spinning Solvalou Lamborghini or Emma Pescatore. The class winners from Interlagos in Blokkmonsta Motorsport were the first retirement of the race after the brake pedal went long and wouldn’t re-pressurize for starting driver Lasse Tilkesson.

The Oliver and Simmons pairing would finish more than a minute clear of second in class, with those honors going to the Tom Douglas Racing Saleen and Antonio and Vidal Reyna-Sanchez. They would climb through the mid-field after the field started to spread out after the first stint of the race, and took advantage of the clean air they gained by pitting the latest in the pit windows. Vidal would lead the race outright for two laps before pitting for the final time at the end of lap 46 before merging out fourteenth and directly ahead of last year’s Independent’s Trophy champion Melanie Bourne. Vidal would get promoted to thirteenth after the late retirement of the Anotnio Fazio-driven Solvalou Lamborghini, and Bourne would not have anything for the American having the freshest tires in the field.

This is the third official win for the Davies and Kazama pairing in GT Super Series competition, after their victory at Road Gatineau last season was thrown out after a technical infringement. Their near perfect score through two races thus far has put them on top of the World Driver’s Championship standings, with last year’s championship runner-ups in McKane and Kremnicky keeping pace only four points behind.

Race Results – After 55 Laps

301MWinter/Le FaySolvalou+2.331
543MOlder Jr./JacobsonMacMillan+4.188
66MRossi/SimpsonProdrive AMR+5.109
728MConstantini/MolinaroScuderia Italia+14.369
927MRestov/KozarScuderia Italia+16.345
13555IA+V Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+1:34.496
1415IBourne/LuisaBoutsen Ginion+1:37.612
178ICoelho/HortinBest In The World+1 Lap
1844IBertinelli/CharpantierEuromotor+1 Lap
1942IFabron/BeverlyMinster+1 Lap
2087ICardel/FeldhofferFerdinand United+1 Lap
2182IJenkins/CesslerGlobex Scorpio+1 Lap
2291IGilson-Clarke/NavarroOliver+1 Lap
23550IMcCracken/KomarekCzechmate+1 Lap
2451IMacena-RademackerPowersport-Dunbarton+1 Lap
2511ISetou/MestachBest In The World+1 Lap
2604ITravesen/AxelsenLumenition RMR+2 Laps
2955IMelrose/DouglasTom DouglasEngine

Fastest Lap – Car 6 (Prodrive Aston Martin – M.Rossi/D.Simpson) – 2:06.469

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – Evgeny Restov and Valeri Kozar: Plus 10 positions and a points finish will boost the spirits of the struggling factory Ferrari duo.

Reject of The Race – Blokkmonsta Motorsport: A complete 180 in form after a stunning class win on debut.