Sandy Stuvik on the podium in Suzuka

Sandy Stuvik, the Thai-Norwegian race driver, took 2nd place at the Blancpain GT Series Asia which took place at the legendary Suzuka Circuit in Japan in the weekend of 24 – 25 June 2017.

“It is such a great feeling to finally stand on a podium in GTs,” says Sandy Stuvik.

“It has been a long time coming and to do it here in Suzuka is even more special. Especially as we were looking so strong in Buriram [in May], it’s nice to have it confirmed.”

“Now we are preparing fully for the next race in Fuji [19-20 Aug], really looking forward to it!,” Sandy adds.

Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik raced with a new teammate this weekend, Nicolas Costa, a Brazilian racing driver and last year’s Italian Super GT Champion.

During Friday’s free practice sessions, Sandy and his teammate familiarized themselves with the famous Suzuka circuit. It would also be VS Racing’s first time at the circuit, so the challenge for Sandy would be to set the car up without any previous experience of the Suzuka circuit, and no reference data to rely on.

The VSR Lamborghini Huracan GT3 proved to be a difficult beast to tame in the dry, as the pace seemed to be quite far off the front-runners. Qualifying took place on Saturday morning and the overnight changes made to the car had a drastically beneficial effect, as Sandy in Qualifying 1 managed to get 4th position for Race 1. Sandy’s teammate Costa qualified in 14th position for Race 2.

Race 1 took place on Saturday afternoon and Sandy got off to a decent start, he managed to maintain his position. A few laps into the race, the Thai driver made a mistake on the exit of the infamous Spoon corner, and lost a position to the Mercedes AMG GT3 following close behind. The Thai driver handed over to his Brazilian teammate during the pit window, and the pair would finish the race in 8th position overall, 5th in Silver class.

Race 2 on Sunday morning took place with a light drizzle from the clouds above. The VSR duo would start from 14th on the grid, and the opening stint by Costa saw him making up valuable positions in the slippery and difficult conditions, eventually handing the car over to Sandy in 7th position. Sandy stormed out the pits, eager to make the best of the difficult conditions. The Thai driver quickly gained positions, feeling confident on the wet with his Lamborghini. The Thai driver fought his way up the 2nd position overall, and leading the Silver class. It would stay that way until the finish flag came out, meaning the Thai driver would claim his first podium in GTs.

Sandy is supported by The Pizza Company, Singha Corporation, Thai Airways, Thaiwings Travel Agency, Dacon Inspection Services, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Sports Authority of Thailand, and the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand.

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