For the fourth year running CEA Racing spectacularly took the team Championship in the Thailand Pro-Racing Series.
Thomas Raldorf, who we have been avidly following ever since his amazing fairytale victory at the True Visions Bobby Hunter Super One Race, once again led his team to a Championship victory with outstanding driving.
After qualifying in an almost perfect position, CEA Racing started second and third on the grid in race one today. (There were two races)
In race one Thomas, leading his team in indomitable fashion, sped from second through into first position right before the first corner.
A moment of drama then ensued when a mistake saw Thomas drop back to second place. However, in a gutsy come back he managed to regain his first place.
Solid driving saw him stay in that position and he easily won race one. Clocking the fastest lap of the race also secured his pole position for race two. (In the Pro-Racing Series rules fastest lap time gets pole position)
Just as in qualifying, his team mate performed extremely well and ended up finishing just behind Thomas.
Meaning CEA Racing now had both pole and second place on the grid for the very last race of the season.
CEA in Pole Position For Race Two
With their performance in race One Team CEA Racing were also now ahead on points for the overall team championship title.
Being in first and second place on the grid for the very last race of the entire Pro-Racing Series, CEA racing were looking more than good.
Then possible disaster struck. Suddenly there was a problem. The engine in Thomas’s car was overheating.
Rules stipulate that a form must be filled in and permission to open up the engine in between races must be acquired.
There wasn’t enough time to go through this process and fix the problem. Team manager Earl Brown had to make an extremely tough call. Do they pull out or risk having car failure in the next race?
As the final race was only seven laps, the decision was made to take the risk and go all out for the Championship.
Going from the front, Thomas got off to a great start and stayed out ahead of the field for the first couple of laps.
Thomas Just In Front
However fate was to take a turn. A couple of slightly wayward “racing incidents” completely changed the complexity of the race.
Two cars, eager to get in front, forced Thomas off the track on a left hand bend right in front of the cheering crowd.
Thomas slipped right down to fourth. With four laps to go there was still a chance. Valiantly battling back into second place, it looked like CEA racing may just finish with a final flurry.
Once more on a tight bend Thomas was forced out and again dropped back into fourth. This time he couldn’t quite battle his way back.
Fourth was the best Thomas could do in this race. The engine had held out but the intense battle of the finale produced some aggressive driving that had just edged Thomas out of the running.
Fortune was however, on their side. Having driven so well in previous meetings fourth place still meant that the CEA racing team was overall point’s champions.
Thomas and Earl With The Winning Car
Despite the disappointing last race enough points had been won throughout the season to secure the Team Championship title.
Of course it would have been superb to go out in a blaze of glory and win the last race. It wasn’t the dream finish they had hoped for but the much coveted Team Championship Title was still theirs.
Thomas also came second overall in the drivers’ Championship. A great accomplishment for him and CEA.
Thomas On The Podium (Centre) For CEA Team Championship First Prize
Well done CEA Racing. It’s been thrilling watching you over this weekend and we hope to see you back in Buriram at the Chang International Circuit next year.
Many thanks to Earl Brown for allowing us access to the CEA team and keeping us up to speed with all the developments during the weekend.
CEA racing is sponsored by CEA Logistics, a leading provider of project logistics services in the ASEAN region, specializing in industrial cargo. Website here
* Some photos courtesy of Pro-Racing Series