After a stunning qualifying period which saw one of the closest sessions in GT Asia Series history, there were few people ready to declare their status as favourites for the opening 50-minute race at Shanghai, and as the event unfolded, there was good reason why.
Craft-Bamboo Racing started from pole position, and Richard Lyons did everything he needed to lead into the compulsory pit stop, but not long after all the stops were completed, the landscape changed dramatically after a sequence of events that happened in quick succession. First race leader Frank Yu was turned around in turn two, whilst at the same time, Australian Rod Salmon endured one of the biggest crashes in GT Asia Series history after firing into the Armco on the inside of the main straight on the run to turn one, destroying the front of the FFF Racing McLaren 650S but emerging – thankfully – unscathed.
By the time the safety crew had removed the #15 McLaren there was little time left to make an attack, but that’s exactly what new Craft-Bamboo recruit Daniel Lloyd did, to forge his way from fifth to the front with an impressive display of raw talent, in the process claiming his second win for the team in as many starts and handing Daryl O’Young back the championship points lead.
With just three point-scoring races left in the 2015 GT Asia Series, race two at Shanghai was always going to provide a foundation from which the title challengers could build a championship
advantage heading into relatively unchartered waters in Thailand in four weeks time. As it was, all of the title contenders made the podium, but it was Craft Bamboo Racing who emerged
as the serious contenders for their first GT Asia Series driver’s title thanks in no small part to the abilities of rising young English star Daniel Lloyd.
Starting race two in the fading light at Shanghai due to delays in previous events, Lloyd charged off the line to open an almost 14-second lead ahead of the compulsory stop to negate the additional pit stop penalty that the team incurred from victory in race one, allowing team-mate Darryl O’Young to leave pit lane as the race leader, a position he further cemented by extending the advantage over the closing laps.
Rivals Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo battled the championship points leaders coming into Shanghai – Keita Sawa and Adderly Fong – the two teams going at it wheel-to-wheel through much of the race, before the Ferrari ultimately prevailed to take second position.
Photos GT Asia/afosTV