Having shown great pace throughout the pre-season and practice sessions at Sepang International Circuit, FFF Racing by ACM converted the speed into a sensational double podium position as the Blancpain GT Series Asia championship got underway in Malaysia (14-15 April).
Martin Kodric and Dennis Lind paired up in the #19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in an all-silver line-up, while the Pro-Am #63 entry saw Marco Mapelli and Hiroshi Hamaguchi team up for the first time.
With high expectations, the Chinese-based team showed sensational form in the first round of qualifying with Lind securing pole position for the first race of the season with Hamaguchi lining up fourth in class, tenth overall.
Lind made a perfect start as the lights went green to lead from the #999 entry. The Dane quickly established a margin at the head of the field while some frantic battled took place behind. The pitstop window opened with 35 minutes remaining of the one-hour race and Lind duly pitted with a six second advantage over his nearest rival.
A late full course yellow however didn’t help Kodric and once the racing resumed he found himself under pressure from Patric Neiderhauser in the #999 car, which significantly took fresh rear tyres in the pitstop. Great wheel to wheel battling followed before an audacious pass around the outside at turn seven saw Kodric lose position and settle for second position.
Hamaguchi meanwhile lost ground at the start but fought back before handing over to Mapelli who brought the Lamborghini home in a solid seventh position overall, third in the Pro-Am category.
The second day of racing saw a reversal of fortune for the two entries. Mapelli lined up ninth in the #63 Lamborghini and made a good start as did Kodric in the seventh on the grid. Mapelli continued to gain ground before handing over to Hamaguchi in third position. The Japanese racer endured relentless pressure from behind but held his position to secure a fine third overall. Lind meanwhile took over from Kodric in 11th position and put in a strong drive to take the chequered flag in sixth position.
“It’s a good start to the season,” said team owner Sean Fu Songyang. “The performance is there but we still have to fine tune some aspects. We have some new team members this year so we are all working together well and looking to make everything as perfect as a team.
“We are working more closely now with Lamborghini as an official team,” he continued. “So, everything is getting better – almost by the hour – and to get podiums, overall, in the first races of the season is proof of the good work and the preparation, so we’re satisfied.”
The next round of the championship takes place at Chang International Circuit, Thailand on 12-13 May.