Thunderhead Carlin Racing have continued their winning streak in Thailand taking their second victory on the bounce in the Asian Le Mans Series, this time at the Chang International Circuit. In a tense championship showdown, Jack Manchester started the four-hour race from pole position and produced two simply stunning stints behind the wheel of the Dallara P217 putting him in the best possible position to eventually win the race alongside his Thunderhead Carlin Racing teammates Harry Tincknell and Ben Barnicoat. The victory became the second in a row and left them just one-point shy of the overall championship title.
Having set an incredible lap during qualifying on Saturday, Barnicoat had ensured that the team once again started from pole position for Sunday’s 4 Hours of Buriram. Manchester took the start of the race and pulled out a perfect lead over his rivals. However, some traffic within the GT class held him up somewhat and allowed Shaun Thong to close the gap.
Traffic would be a factor over the next few laps as he continued to push hard before handing the reigns over to Tincknell who continued the charge – pulling out a 12-second gap during his stint, it wasn’t long before Manchester was back on board to complete his second and final run.
This was when Manchester really came in to his own, driving incredibly well he extended his leading advantage to 20 seconds. However, his efforts were hampered when a badly timed full course yellow neutralised racing action and allowed the G-Drive car to pit. Manchester, who had not quite reached his minimum driving time, was unable to take advantage of this and was forced to stay out for a little while longer before eventually handing back over to Tincknell.
A final double stint from Barnicoat saw the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team continue their domination of the racing action. A final tense and hard-fought battle, after the penultimate pit stop, saw Barnicoat run wheel to wheel with Roman Rusinov and brilliantly reclaim the lead and the ultimate race win.
Despite the race victory, and dominating the entire weekend, the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team missed out on the championship title by an agonising one point. However, the back to back race wins for the team once again proved the incredible pace, teamwork and reliability they have enjoyed during the 2019/2020 Asian Le Mans Series.