Pattaya Pro Racing Series, Rd 5, Bira Circuit, Chonburi - Pro Pick-Up views from the paddock

The pick-up runners seemed to be mostly ones I had seen in action on the equivalent bill of the Super Car series this year and the same plumes of black diesel smoke enveloped the track whenever these hulking machines ventured out of the pitlane. The pick-ups ranks, split over three classes, were made up of workhorses from the Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford, Isuzu and Mitsubishi stables. The light was starting to fade now as the 13 pick-ups swiftly assembled on the grid for a scheduled 5 oclock green flag. These beasts again provided plenty of attention, especially with some of the chosen lines that appeared to defy racing convention not to mention the laws of physics, with the top-three competitors locked in a battle for supremacy during the opening laps. The battle raged right over the 12 laps to the chequered flag with honours eventually going by just 0.313 of a second to the gloriously-named Worrapoj Boonchouylhoue in the #14 Izuzu and he crossed the finish line in a cloud of diesel smoke after 15 minutes and 48.091 seconds of tooth-and-nail fought racing. He also posted the fastest lap in 1 minute 17.44 seconds, an average speed of 111.564 km/h, and collected the Class A/B honours. Pitoon Thamasirikul (#27 Mitsubishi) claimed second place, while the last podium position went to Jaras Jangkamolkunchai (#5 Chevrolet) who faded off the lead battle by the flag, but was still less than two-and-a-half seconds off the runner-up spot. As these runners wreathed the rolling Pattaya countryside in thick black smoke as if it was in the clammy grip of a grim industrial plant, it was hard to tell how dusky it is getting. Twenty seconds off the winner and fifth overall, arrived the Class C winner: Maram Sukkato (#51 Mitsubishi). Eventually eleven pick-ups many sporting contact damage took the flag, ten of them are un-lapped.

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Super Car Thailand 2009, Rd 5 & 6, Bira Circuit, Pattaya, Chonburi - Super Commonrail Pickup race
The best action of the day came in the support categories, the pick-ups providing a never ending stream of clashes, bumps, off track excursions, door closing manoeuvres (maybe that should be tailgate-closing?) and bodywork shedding moments, all to a haze of thick black plumes of Exhaust smoke that wouldnt be sanctioned anywhere else. These cars boast rear spoilers perched at the back seemingly in defiance of aerodynamic principles and at least one of these appendages was detached with a bang in the chicane, while one reached the line at full tilt, but with a heavily reshaped three-quarter panel that will give a bodyshop somewhere in Thailand a very busy few days before final round in Bangsaen looms into view. A curious choice of driving lines was clearly in evidence throughout the race and they certainly kept the crowd thoroughly entertained. For the record Nana (Mitsubishi Triton) won the race 6.732 seconds ahead of Jarat (Chevrolet Colorado) with Yut in another Triton taking the last step on the podium.