Tappy triumphs in Thailand as GT Asia season wraps

Duncan’s debut season in the GT Asia Series ended in style as he and team-mate Benny Simonsen drove their #77 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3 to victory at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.

The pair were quick all weekend, Tappy qualifying on pole for the Saturday race before dominating the opening stint of the 60-minute contest and handing over to Simonsen to complete the win.

Duncan said: “It may not have been exciting to watch but, as a driver, that’s what you want – get your head down, stay out of trouble and open up a gap to make it as easy as possible when you hand it over.

“Ultimately I was surprised it wasn’t closer, because qualifying was so close. I expected the McLarens might put me under pressure for the first five or six laps, but that didn’t happen.”

Simonsen added: “I really just had to go out and maintain the gap. Duncan did an awesome opening stint and that made things a lot easier.”

Behind them in third place came their Absolute Racing colleagues Adderly Fong and Keita Sawa, a result that set up a final-race shoot-out for the drivers’ title on Sunday between their #8 Bentley and Darryl O’Young in the Craft-Bamboo Aston.

The closeness of the contest meant that Tappy and Simonsen put aside hopes of individual glory to support the team effort, slotting in behind the third-placed #8 car as it tried to close the gap on O’Young and Briton Daniel Lloyd.

By the closing stages it was clear that Sawa was not making progress, so the team gave Duncan the all-clear to pass and try to chase down the leaders – but, by then, his tyres were past their best and he chose to drop back behind the other Bentley and finish fourth.

He said: “It was a frustrating race for me really. My pace – as it has been all weekend – was really strong. I qualified on pole, won the first race, it was amazing and it was brilliant, and we carried that pace into race two, but we had to play a bit of a team game and sit behind Sawa.

“Towards the end of the race the team gave me the all clear to go past, but by then it was too late in the day. So ultimately we decided to just stay behind and gain some more valuable points for Absolute Racing.”

The result meant that Tappy finished the season seventh of 59 in the drivers’ standings, while Bentley Team Absolute won the team title.

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