Piti “Todd” Bhirombhakdi, driver and manager of the TP12 Racing Team is banking on building on success as the team launches into the 2016 GT Asia Series racing season to begin in May.
Todd draws on a background of business management at Singha Corp., Thailand’s leading beverage maker, and a passion for motorsport as he takes the wheel of TP12 Team’s Ferrari 458 into its second full racing season in Asia’s premier GT car championship.
“I am not here for fun, I am here to win,” Todd says. “What started as a passion is now a serious ambition to become the leading professional Thai racing team — something the country can be proud of,” he said in a recent interview.
Todd is the fourth generation of the family that over 80 years ago established Thailand’s first brewery under the Singha brand. He is managing director of the group’s beer business, which controls a 70% share of the Thai market.
The 2016 GT Asia series will get underway at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam from May 9 before racing in Thailand in June at the Buriram circuit.
July takes the racing teams to Japan; first at Okayama International Circuit on July 1 and then on July 15 to the Fuji International Speedway, where the TP12 team had its maiden victory last year.
Todd, 37, and co-driver, 29 year old Dutchman Carlo Van Dam, who has past race experience in Japan after moving from Europe, hope to build on last year’s successes in Japan when they return.
“Undoubtedly the highlight of 2015 was finishing first in the Japanese race in Fuji, as well as a second in Osaka,” Todd said, adding, “building on these podium places is vital.”
The team was formed in 2013, and experience gained from these races adds to its background which is based on a combined long racing history from both Todd and Van Dam. After starting with a Porsche, the team last year adopted a Ferrari 458. Todd has built on his car racing dreams from go-kart racing skills as a boy.
2015 marked the TP12 Racing Team’s first full GT Asia season with hopes of taking the team to new heights in 2016.
Teams competing in the series include private teams as well as factory teams from big sports car brands.
Another highlight in 2015 was the Team’s competition in its first endurance race, the grueling Sepang 12 Hours in Malaysia. TP12 Team qualified third overall, and finished third in their class and eighth overall.
The final races of the GT Asia Series will be in China — in Shanghai on September 2 and in October at the Zhejiang Circuit from October 21.