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GT World Challenge Asia Sprint: Reigning Champion Tan controls Imola

Disclaimer. For the sake of common sense, the Mobileye GT World Challenge Esports Asia Sprint Series is abbreviated as GTWECAS. Good? Good.

SRO Esports nails it with the summer sim racing program. Between the incredibly popular Endurance series that has just started and the variety of regional Sprint series, there is something for everyone, both spectators and participants. With both the European and American Sprint Series underway, it was time for the Asian community to buckle up.

First up is the challenging Imola Circuit. It goes without saying that despite the luxury of following and reporting on this event, we do not forget the floods that devastated the region. We wish all those affected a speedy return to everyday life.

qualifying

Many of Asia’s best and most talented runners from Assetto Corsa Competizione competed. Mercedes-AMG Esports driver Dillan Tan proved to be the best of them all in qualifying, taking pole position ahead of BMW BS+Competition’s Ferris Stanley. Given Tan’s reputation as the reigning champion, this would not have come as a surprise to many.

Sota Muto took third place for Williams Esports ahead of Philippa Boquida, a strong rear gunner for stablemate Stanley. Daffa Boediharjo Ardiansa secured pole position in the Silver class runners, albeit just two places ahead of his closest rivals overall.

race

It was unfortunate that when the traffic light turned green, there were connectivity problems across the network. Boquida was hampered and impacted by Tamburello, which left her two places off her starting position.

Ardiansa could have capitalized on this had it not been for the opportunistic Chris Tsang, although the Indonesian would have secured fourth place before the end of the open round.

It turned out that Boquida’s stumble was the only change in position that could be noticed. After dropping to eighth after 20 minutes, she decided to roll the dice and pit first of everyone on the track. Her gamble was wise; Tsang’s lead was literally a cork in a bottle, as was evident just one lap later. Both Luke Addison and Russel Reyes – two silver starters – passed the Hong Kong native in the first sector.

Addison would pit as the next frontrunner, giving Boquida a chance to see if her decision had paid off. She was just a second ahead of the South African when she exited the pit lane, and just one lap later she managed to overtake with a well-considered pass at Tamburello. This created the domino effect as Reyes managed to overtake Addison through his own pit stop, although balance would be restored within minutes.

Off-screen disaster struck about runaway Silver leader Ardiansa. For some reason, they made their way to the pit lane for the second time, leaving Addison and Reyes in a one-on-one battle for class victory. Complicating the situation even more was Tsang, who meanwhile had found his way back in front of the couple.

At the beginning of the final ten minutes, Tsang’s rather disappointing race pace was once again evident. Addison and Reyes were through in Sector 2 before even Naquib Aslan stormed past Acque Minerali with a sensational second-half attack in his McLaren.

SRO ASIA 2023 Imola

No concern for Dillan Tan, who could have brewed a cup of tea, was his control of affairs. Rounding out the All-Pro podium were Stanley and Muto, both of whom performed equally well.

GTWECAS 2023 Round 1, Pro Classification

  1. Dillan Tan – 1st – 36 rounds
  2. Ferris Stanley – 2nd +3.904
  3. Sota Muto – 3rd +4,972
  4. Philippa Boquida – 4th +14.756
  5. Naquib Azlan – 7th +24.796

GTWECAS 2023 Round 1, Silver classification

  1. Luke Addison – 5th – 36 laps +21.873
  2. Russell Reyes – 6th +22.289
  3. Rialto Ristofani – 10. +31.113
  4. KuiSheng Huang – 11. +31.410
  5. Suning Gong – 13. +32.173

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