Stefan Johansson brings Craft Eurasia Ford GT3 home in 6th place
Date posted on September 19, 2011 · Published by Mark Goddard
Former Ferrari and McLaren F1 star, Stefan Johansson, brought home the Craft Eurasia Ford GT3 car in 6th place at the MME 12 Hour race held at the Sepang F1 Circuit in Malaysia. After an eventful race with no less than four collisions resulting in pit stops to repair damage, Johansson, driving alongside Frank Yu and Alain Li, crossed the line in 6th place in a battered and bruised car.
Regarded as South East Asia’s most prestigious endurance event, the MME 12 Hours featured a strong GT entry with works supported cars from several manufacturers. Stefan Johansson started the race in Frank Yu’s GT Asia car and the team were hopeful of a good showing considering the Ford GT3’s ability to look after its tyres and its extremely good fuel consumption. However in the second hour the leading works supported Audi tapped Frank Yu into a spin. The Audi was given a drive through penalty and Yu continued until the end of the stint when a holed radiator had to be replaced due to stone damage. This dropped the car to 28th place but two fast stints from Alain Li and Johansson saw the car climb back into the top ten. However Frank Yu was again unlucky to be hit by an errant back marker resulting in other unscheduled stop to repair damage. Once again good stints from Yu and Johansson saw the team claw their way back into the top ten before another back marker side swiped Alain Li forcing yet another stop to make repairs.
Another climb back through the field, now in darkness, the race starting at midday and ending at midnight, saw the team back into the top ten before a back marker forced Frank Yu off the road in the fast turn six corner. The trip through the scenery ripped off the front splitter and all of the front under body. Grass and debris caused a brief fire in the pit stop but once under way Alain Li put in a great drive with no front aero grip back up to 6th place before handing over to Johansson to bring the crippled car home.
“It was an event to remember, drivers and team did a fantastic job to drag the car to the finish and in the circumstances a 6th place finish felt like a win” reported Craft Eurasia’s Mark Goddard. “As expected Stefan was fast, very professional and did a fantastic job for us. Alain Li once again demonstrated he is one of the best ‘gentleman’ drivers in GT racing and Frank Yu also drove extremely well in every stint albeit very unlucky with the back markers.”
Next GT event for the team will be at Macau in November.