The mood in the FFF Racing Team by ACM garage following the conclusion of the Blancpain GT Series Asia Suzuka Race today (25 June 2017) was buoyant following a great second race in which the young pairing of Alberto Di Folco and Aidan Read shone in difficult conditions to a charging fifth overall and third in the Silver class.
This was ably backed up by another Amateur class podium for the sister car of Junhan Zhu and Yue Lin to complete a satisfying day for the team.
After qualifying delivered less than expected results for the lead pairing, a consequence of some lost track time from free practice, the Di Folco/ Read duo had much to do.
Race one initially promised much with Australian Read propelling his Lamborghini Huracan from ninth on the grid to sixth on the track at the handover to Italian Di Folco, only for progress to be halted by a pit time infringement and a resulting drive through penalty for a stop 0.5 second under the permitted minimum time; a tough break for the team that left P12 as the final finishing position.
Undeterred and starting in P15 for the weekend’s second race the drivers, who are both part of the Squadra Corse Lamborghini GT3 Academy, were positive that they would deliver a good result.
Di Folco was not fazed by the damp conditions and light rain that greeted the cars on the grid. Starting on dry weather slick tyres he soon was on terms with the conditions and made good progress on an increasingly slippery track to hand the car to Read in eighth overall.
By now the rain was falling steadily and the team opted for full wet tyres as the conditions deteriorated. Read would be having his first experience of racing the Lamborghini in the wet but it was hard to know it as he got progressively quicker, running up to three seconds quicker than the leaders at times and battling the car through the field and consistently running as the fastest car on track to an eventual fifth overall and third in the Silver class.
Read was pleased with the result but knew he had the pace for possibly better on the day.
“Obviously am pleased to have shown well in the wet in race two and I really enjoyed the battles on track, at first, and with no experience on these wet tyres. I was maybe overly circumspect but the team were telling me on the radio that I could push harder and I soon got on the pace. The car was great in the wet and the team gave me the confidence to push as hard as I did. So far I am hitting my goals with FFF and the Lamborghini and the next step is to be on the podium which I hope won’t be too far away now.”
Alberto Di Folco said: “After the disappointment of the race one penalty that pushed us back, I was pleased to be able to show some skill in very difficult conditions, my teammate did a brilliant job today and we are coming together to make a really strong partnership on the track. I am sure we will get to the front very soon.”
FFF Racing Team Owner Sean Fu Songyang was very pleased with the efforts of the team and drivers over the weekend: “A lot of challenges were thrown at us this weekend but the team rose to the challenge and delivered a good performance. Our young professional drivers are coming on well and our Amateur racers are getting results to which is pleasing for the team.”
The fourth round of the championship takes place on 19-20 August, again in Japan this time at the Mount Fuji circuit where FFF Racing by ACM will be looking for the next step up onto the overall podium.