Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik competed in the first round of the Campeonato Italiano Gran Turismo – Endurance (CIGT), this past weekend at the Autodromo di Pergusa, in Sicily, Italy. The Thai driver joined forces with Audi Sport Italia to pilot their Audi R8 GT3 Evo2 alongside 2 Italian drivers, Marco Butti and Luca-Maria Attianese.
Friday played host to the free practice sessions, in which Sandy quickly got to grips with the circuit and was showing strong pace. The circuit remained dry for Friday’s sessions.
On Saturday the weather took a turn for the worse and an immense fog descended over the circuit, making driving too dangerous which caused the qualifying to be delayed to Sunday morning.
On the morning of Sunday all teams and drivers were ready for the first of three scheduled qualifying sessions. However, the fog did not clear and in the end it was decided that there would only be 1 qualifying session. Sandy’s teammate Marco Butti would therefore be the one to qualify, as he was the driver scheduled for the first qualifying. Butti managed to claim 5th position for the race.
The 2-hour endurance race was set to take place at midday on Sunday, although the weather had other ideas. The fog cleared but the rain intensified, leaving the track partially flooded and unsafe to race on. The race was delayed by almost an hour, until conditions were safe. The start of the race took place behind the safety car, with all cars in single file. In the tricky conditions Sandy was held up by a slower driver for a few laps before finding a way past. The Thai driver kept his head down and made consistent laps to try to close the gap to the top 3. As the first of two pit windows opened, Sandy came into the pits to handover to teammate Luca-Maria Attianese, who then passed the car to Marco Butti for the final stint. In the end, the trio finished in 5th place overall, and 3rd in the Pro-Am category. “Definitely a weekend where I expected more in all areas. The weather and all the delays we had to face was very frustrating. The organization could have been better. But focusing on the positives, it was a joy to drive on this historic track, and it was a pleasure to work with Audi Sport Italia for my first GT3 race in Europe. I hope to be back in the future.’ Says Sandy.
Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik is honored to be supported by The Pizza Company, B-Quik, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Jet8 Aviation, Thai Airways, 4F, Dacon Trading, Thaiwings Travel Agency, the Sports Authority of Thailand, and the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand.