Samson Chan first in GT Open Class, third overall in MSS F1 support race

Date posted on April 13, 2011 · Published by Mark Goddard

Samson Chan finished in third place in his Craft Eurasia Ginetta G50Z GT3 car in a dramatic first round of the Malaysian Super Series which supported the Malaysian F1 GP at Sepang. His team-mate, Frank Yu was eliminated in a start-line accident which saw much of the race run under the safety car.

Despite all of the available 34 starters, amounting to 30 drivers, signing a request on Friday evening that the standing start be changed to a rolling start, due to concerns that modern GT3 cars are now making rolling starts Worldwide and one of them was likely to stall at the start, the organizers chose to go ahead with a standing start. A verbal request to the Clerk of Course and Stewards for a change had also been made at the drivers briefing and agreed to with a unanimous show of hands from the drivers.

Unfortunately the start saw Frank Yu stall in fourth place and he was hit from behind by an Aston Martin that was probably in fourth gear as he had started near the back of the grid. Frank’s Ginetta 50Z was pushed across the track and hit again by Faizal Hassim’s touring car. The track was completely blocked and it took six laps to clear the wreckage with the safety car taking the field down the pit lane. Once racing was underway it was a sprint to the finish and third place qualifier Samson Chan followed home winner Dilantha Malagamuwa and Mok in Lamborghini and Porsche respectively.

Race two saw Samson stall on the grid, as did a car on the row behind, but fortunately this time the field missed the stricken cars. Samson began a great come-back drive and he was up to ninth place by lap six when the car slowed to a halt with a fuel pump failure.

“We were happy to win the Open Class and for Samson to be on the podium in race one but saddened that the organizers refused to listen to the competitors and continued with a standing start. The result was three badly damaged cars and we were lucky that the drivers were not seriously injured. Charlie Whiting informed me after the second race that he would have had no problem with a rolling start had he been asked and he could see no technical reason why it was not possible which made the accident even harder to accept. Hopefully a lesson has been learnt and we can avoid a repeat in the future” reported Craft Eurasia’s Mark Goddard.