After a challenging weekend in Sonoma, there is optimism heading into the second round of the Toyota GR Cup schedule. OpenRoad Racing looks to fight closer to the front of the pack in what will be a tightly contested series all season long. The talent among the series’ drivers on display in Sonoma showed that strong results will not come easy.
Coming into the weekend with a brand-new race car that had never turned a lap comes with some risk. Despite the incredible work of the Toyota Racing Development team, some gremlins hampered progress throughout the weekend, resulting in qualifying results of 21st and 19th positions for the two races, respectively. The weekend’s first race was full of action with several safety car periods and little time under green flag conditions. A clean race allowed OpenRoad Racing driver Adam Isman to climb the order from 24th position on the opening lap up to 14th at the chequered flag. Sunday’s race two went the full distance without a safety car, and after a strong start, Isman was able to cross the line with a 15th-place result.
Adam Isman said, “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone from OpenRoad Racing and Nitro Motorsports for all their hard work to get us these hard-earned results. Sonoma was a challenging weekend, but we can take a lot of positives away. The racing was even harder than expected. However, we leave with one of the cleanest cars in the field which is great. I had never been [to Sonoma] before, and this was my first professional race in almost six years, so I know we will get stronger as the season goes on. I am really looking forward to the next event in Austin, at a circuit where I have had some success in the past”
With the inaugural weekend of The Toyota GR Cup North America series now in the rear-view mirror, OpenRoad Racing’s attention now turns to its next pair of events at two renowned international racing centres.
This coming weekend, the 2023 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season kicks off with a pair of races in Malaysia at the famed Sepang International Circuit, while the GR Cup series will shift to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas in just over three weeks’ time.
OpenRoad Auto Group CEO Christian Chia returns to Porsche Carrera Cup Asia for its 20th-anniversary season with a brand-new Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, while Francis Tjia will be looking to get his season off to a strong start in search of his first championship in the series, where he has been runner-up on no fewer than five separate occasions. Both drivers come into the event with recent success at the circuit after a strong showing in the Sepang 12-Hour Race earlier this spring, where they took home a podium finish with long-time friend and co-driver John Shen in a 991.2 GT3 R.
Christian Chia adds, “We are keen to get the 2023 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season underway in Malaysia this weekend. Our new 992 GT3 Cup car performed very well in testing and our recent experience at Sepang in the 12-Hour Race gives us a great confidence boost entering the event.”