It wasn’t an easy weekend for Matteo Cairoli at the Okayama International Circuit for the fifth round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia. After making his debut in the series during the previous round at the Mobility Resort Motegi, the driver from Como jumped back at the wheel of Absolute Racing’s Porsche 992 alongside Chinese driver Bao Jinlong; despite a great start to the weekend, which saw Cairoli finishing in the top spots during both free practice sessions, the #992 crew struggled during the two qualifying rounds due to a brake issue, finishing both sessions far from the top-10.
Just like during the previous round, the first race of the weekend was bitter to Bao and Cairoli: the Chinese was involved in a crash at the first turn, damaging his Porsche pretty badly. After losing a lap to its main challengers, the team tried to continue racing, with Cairoli taking the wheel after the first half of the race; however, another problem came up and forced the Italian to retire the car with just a few laps to go. Race-2, on the other hand, saw the Absolute crew racing with a more than positive outcome: the 1996 class driver was able to maintain the eleventh position after the start, handing it to Bao. An amazing pit stop and some twists and turns on track allowed the Chinese driver to gain as many as six positions, finishing fifth under the checkered flag; it was a pretty good result after a tricky weekend for the Absolute crew, who can still smile thanks to the race-2 result.
“The Okayama weekend was a pretty difficult weekend, for sure. The qualifying round wasn’t the best, in race-1 we were super unlucky, and we had to retire the car due to an awful brake problem. Race-2 was definitely better, Bao did an amazing job during the second half of the race and I have to thank both him and Absolute Racing, for giving us a great car and the chance to race also here in Okayama. Now it’s time to come back to Europe and I can’t wait to go back on track.”