Double Delight for the Danish Dynamo
By Earl Brown Photos courtesy of Kim Ha and Lungnoum Photo
Unixx – TR-Motorsport Racing Team,Thailand Super Series Rounds 5 & 6 – Chang International Circuit Buriram
“If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.” ― Mario Andretti
Thomas Raldorf and the #29 Porsche 997 followed up their sensational weekend In Bang Saen with another two commanding victories in the hot and humid Buriram, Thailand.The weekend began with Thomas topping the tables in P1 and from then on never looked back, topping the further practice sessions by a considerable margin. During the final practice session, Thomas advised his pit team to make an adjustment to the wheels to try and squeeze out a few more tenths in preparation for qualifying. His decision proved a masterstroke as he recorded a new personal best of 1.44.607 around the 4.5km circuit. As it is currently wet season here in Thailand the rain played its part with qualifying being cancelled resulting in the grids being formed by the fastest and second fastest times in Free Practice putting Thomas firmly in Pole Position for Races 1 & 2.
As the lights went out Thomas made his trademark perfect start leaving the other cars to fight other the minor places, within a few laps a sizable lead had grown due to the ensuing battle behind for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place. This allowed Thomas to pull even further ahead and strolling to the chequered flag with a gap of eight seconds to the chasing pack. Title rival Khun Manat finished 2nd while UNIXX – TR Motorsport Team Mate Khun Pete finished a very respectable 3rd in the Porsche Cayman.
The race started in much the same way as the previous day’s, with Thomas pulling away early, while the other drivers fought amongst themselves for position. Thomas lit up the track and the timing screens with four blistering laps at qualifying pace to further increase his lead. He further controlled his lead right to the end although a threat did come in the shape of the Rotary Mazda driven by young James Runacres who was catching the 997 but eventually run out of laps and finished four seconds behind Thomas. Team mate Khun Pete in the JWD Cayman Porsche enjoyed a see-saw battle with Khun Manat in the Toyota all throughout the race eventually finishing 4th and helping strengthen the grip on the Team Championship Trophy.
The team are now well placed in both championships, the double win from Thomas sees him lead the driver’s championship for the first time this year with a gap of 11 points to Khun Manat. While in the team championship the lead is a very healthy 45 points to Team Toyota.
Due to the ease of both the teams’ victories extra weight has now been added to the Porsche. The car is already carrying the maximum allowed success ballast of 50kg, however, the governing body of the Thailand Super Series has deemed it necessary to add a further 30kg ballast under the regulation ‘Balance of Performance’ although the difference in lap times between Thomas and the other leading drivers is marginal the organisers wish to make the final races a closer battle. The extra 30kg will have a massive effect on the car from acceleration, braking to the overall handling around the circuit. With this in mind, the Team is flying in veteran Race Engineer Peter Jaeger from Denmark AKA Master Yoda. Peter will have to use all of his Jedi Mind Force tricks to try and squeeze out a few more tenths around the Buriram circuit to compensate for the massive weight disadvantage. It promises to be a very intriguing final weekend.
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