GT3 / 06 May 2024

NSX GT3 Evo 22 scores first win of year in Thai thriller

The NSX GT3 Evo 22 scored its first win of 2024 with an opportunistic victory by Singha Motorsport Team Thailand at the opening round of the Thailand Super Series at Buriram.

With podium results scored in Europe as well, it was the most successful weekend of the year for JAS Motorsport customer racing teams.


Thailand Supercar Series GT3

Piti Bhirombhakdi and Kantasak Kusiri’s first win with the NSX also came in their debut race with the car. Piti, who had started seventh overall, was running fifth when he was spun a quarter of the way through the 50-minute opener on Saturday.

While his assailant was given a time penalty for the offence, Piti resumed in ninth and appeared out of contention when he pitted for the mandatory driver change as as the pit window opened.

Seconds later came the moment that changed the race as another car crashed, bringing out the safety car and immediately closing the pits.

While Kusiri – now aboard – rejoined the track a lap behind the outright leaders, he was within 10 seconds of the front once they had pitted following the removal of the safety car.

He chased them down, took the lead with seven minutes left and survived a charge from two rivals behind to win by two seconds.

Voravud Bhirombhakdi spun the sister NSX just one lap after Piti’s contact but was one of the cars trapped on track when the pits closed. He and Carlo van Dam came home fifth in Pro.

Piti and Kantasak were fifth in Pro in Race Two, one place ahead of Voravud and van Dam; the latter having qualified second.


Italian GT Sprint Championship

Touring car convert Felice Jelmini and new co-driver Filippo Berto scored a strong Pro-Am podium finish as the new season began at Misano.

Jelmini started Sunday’s second race from second in class and ran third throughout his stint; Berto then emerging fourth after the mandatory driver changes. Berto quickly closed on his nearest rival and made it past to take third spot for Nova Race.

The #55 entry had been on course for a similar result on Saturday when a braking issue led to Jelmini crashing on his out-lap.

The sister Pro-Am entry, driven by teenagers Vincenzo Scarpetta and Mattia Simonini, was ninth and eighth.

Team owner Luca Magnoni and new co-driver Massimo Ciglia ran strongly all weekend. They both qualified inside the top three in the Am class for the two races and recorded a pair of second-place finishes.


GT World Challenge America

Racers Edge Motorsports continued their season at the bumpy Sebring circuit in Florida; Luca Mars qualifying second in the Pro-Am category aboard the team’s NSX GT3 Evo 22.

He ran third through most of the opening stint, but a delay with a seat insert at the mandatory driver change relegated he and co-driver Zach Veach to fourth in class. The pair were again fourth on Sunday.


Super GT

Aiming to bounce back from their last-lap puncture at Okayama, Team UPGARAGE drivers Takashi Kobayashi and Syun Koide were joined by Yusuke Mitsui for Fuji’s annual ‘Golden Week’ event.

The trio qualified a season’s-best 11th and made solid progress during the three-hour race. Employing a strategy of running as long as possible in each of the three stints to take advantage of a low fuel load wherever possible.

This allowed Mitsui to emerge eighth at the start of the final stint and he picked off one more rival to finish a season’s-best seventh.

All the mentioned cars were competing as part of the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Programme; a global collaborative project with JAS Motorsport responsible for assembly of all cars.

Honda Performance Development (HPD) and M-TEC handle sales and technical support in North America and Japan respectively, with JAS responsible for these areas across the rest of the world.