Rounds one and two of the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Series took place this weekend (8-9 April, 2017) at the Sepang F1 Circuit in Malaysia, with FFF Racing by ACM fielding a pair of Lamborghini Huracans in the one make championship.
The familiar pairing of Carrie Schreiner and Richard ‘Spike’ Goddard returned to competition after a successful campaign in the Super Trofeo Middle East Championship, as is Jack Bartholomew, who was joined by new teammate Armaan Ebrahim.
Conditions in Sepang were, as usual, extremely hot and changeable with 50-degree track temperature and extreme humidity making the challenge for the drivers and engineers and tougher than usual to find balance with both their driving and the track conditions.
The team however got to grips with the conditions throughout practice to give the young driver line ups the optimum car for the weekend two one-hour races.
Each of the two drivers in each car qualified for the start of one race each before handing driving duties to their partner driver and all four drivers managed reasonable pace with Goddard the best placed in fourth.
Race one was to prove eventful as Sepang duly delivered its unpredictable weather midrace to mix up the field, and with both Ebrahim and Goddard running in the top six, a tricky call was made on the pitstops to decide on dry or wet weather tyres. Goddard opting for slicks and Bartholomew wets.
However, in the confusion, a pit infringement for Ebrahim forced a drive-through penalty and in his first experience of driving the Lamborghini in the wet, he did extremely well to bring the car home in seventh.
Goddard meanwhile pushed as hard as possible in the sister car, but eventually was forced into retirement after a stone lodged in the brakes and pitched him into the gravel trap.
Race two however saw the breakthrough the team had worked so hard for with the Bartholomew/Ebrahim pairing racing hard to earn a podium finish, the latter resisting pressure on the final laps for a well-deserved trophy. Goddard ran strongly and handed his Lamborghini to Schreiner at the midpoint in third position. However, the young German racer pushed on hard in her first races in these conditions to finish sixth.
FFF Racing Sporting Director, Alf Boarer, who has been working with the drivers on their development knew it had been a tough weekend but was delighted with a podium for the team’s hard work.
"We had to really work the team and the drivers hard this weekend to get the podium and everybody in the team played their part in achieving a trophy,” said Boarer. “From where we were earlier in testing to get the cars up with the front runners was a good result and we will continue to push on to get more at the next round in Thailand."
Podium finisher Bartholomew summed up the thoughts of the drivers: "This weekend was very tough, the heat and humidity make for very tough conditions for racing and we all found it hard to find the sweet spot with the cars set up all weekend. So, I am extremely satisfied to finish with a trophy to show for it. Ebrahim was a quality new teammate and his experience helped us to get to where we finished."
The next round of Super Trofeo Asia takes place in Thailand, 19-21 May.