Super Car Class 2-GTM is set to see the entry list growing and the competitive bar being raised yet further this year – and now there is another new name to Thai racing preparing to line up on the grid for the Thailand Super Series (TSS) season opener in Buriram in just over ten weeks time: Daniel Bilski.
The highly experienced Australian has been drafted in by B-Quik Racing to drive the team’s venerable Porsche 997 GT3 Cup; that’s the car that only recently won both races in Bangsaen, so it’s still got a winning pedigree.
The Australian, meanwhile, also has a winning pedigree and his career has taken in all types of GT3 and ‘Cup’ cars while he knows the 997 inside out. He can comfortably be handed the ‘fast gentleman’ tag, so expect him to capably support B-Quik Racing’s push for the Super Car Class 2-GTM Teams’ title.
B-Quik Racing is filling in the final blanks of its 2015 TSS season. Henk J. Kiks will continue to race the #26 Audi R8 LMS Cup in Super Car Class 2-GTM and the team has also firmed up two new ‘rookie’ drivers to race its Honda Brio entries in Super Eco, the pair selected from within the company after it has held a rigorous ‘Search for a Star’ contest – but now the final key piece comes into play as the pilot for its Porsche 997 GT3 Cup has been announced.
The Porsche was raced in Super Car during the 2012-2013 seasons by Henk and after a relatively quiet 2014, last December at Bangsaen it was driven by Darryl O’Young to a double pole and then double victory in Super Car Class 2-GTM. So clearly the car still has the capability to perform at a very high level.
This year the 997 will be entered again in Super Car Class 2-GTM, but this time the driver is experienced Australian racer Daniel Bilski and Henk believes that this should turn out to be a highly competitive driver-car combination. “Daniel, who’s active in various forms of motorsport, is going to take the opportunity to explore the racing scene in Thailand,” the Dutchman says. “He will use the 997 and will complement the team. The car proved to be fully up to speed in Bangsaen last year and the BoP as proposed in TSS for this year will bring everything closer together, so there is a lot of potential there.”
Henk reckons that it’s the right time to bring in a new overseas driver to fill the seat for the season as the profile of TSS continues to expand outside Thailand. “The series attracts more and more international interest, partly because of the development of the series itself and partly because of the new addition of Buriram to the calendar.”
Daniel became a logical choice as the two drivers have enjoyed a growing connection in recent years. That relationship took a big step closer when the Australian joined B-Quik Racing for last year’s MMER Sepang 12 Hours. “I’ve known Henk for a few years now after meeting him at Sepang on a race weekend,” says Khun Daniel. “Henk and I raced against each other in the Asia Classic Car Challenge, and then last year Henk invited me to race with himself and Dario Garcia in the Malaysia Merdeka 12-Hour Endurance Race in the B-Quik Audi R8. We secured second place in GTC and it was a wonderful experience to be part of the team and achieve such a great result with them.”
From the Sepang 12 Hours, which was also B-Quik Racing’s first race outside Thailand, the pieces began to drop together quite quickly. “Henk and I have been in regular contact since Merdeka,” says Khun Daniel. “B-Quik is a great team and I really like the way the team operates. It’s a passionate team and everyone involved has such pride in being a part of it. I’m very excited to drive with BQR again and would like to thank Henk for making it possible.”
Henk notes that the Australian has an interesting and unique background to bring to TSS. “Daniel is chairman of the racing section of the Hong Kong Classic Car Club and as such organises the ACCC [Asia Classic Car Championship] in which he participates with his Porsche nicknamed ‘Pink Panther’. He has raced in the Craft Bamboo Aston Martin in GT Asia last year, contested Audi R8 LMS Cup races, was our team mate in the Merdeka race last year and also took part in the Bathurst 12 Hours a few weeks ago. He’s a serious gentleman racer.”
The growing international profile of TSS as well as the strength of the competition made Daniel take notice. “TSS is growing fast and is a tough series, there are tremendous cars and teams competing. I have no doubt that it will be an extremely tough season, and that’s part of the appeal. I have been very fortunate to drive in a number of series recently, including GT Asia, Audi R8 LMS Cup, PCCA, Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia and Asia Classic Car Challenge. To have the opportunity to compete a full-season with B-Quik Racing in a tough series is very exciting.”
The Porsche 997 GT3 Cup was regarded by many as being a highly successful racecar that was seeing its days as a winner in Super Car Class 2-GTM starting to come to an end – but instead it signed off last year by winning the final three races consecutively. Aekarat Discharoen won the second race in Buriram and Darryl O’Young claimed both races in Bangsaen. So it looks like there is still life in the 997 yet.
Daniel won’t need to spend too much time getting up to speed with this unique racecar, as he explains. “I’ve driven the 997 quite a few times,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to drive in a number of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia races in Shanghai, Zhuhai, Sepang and Macau. I also drove a 997 for a European-based team in the 2013 Malaysia Merdeka 12-Hour Endurance Race, where we finished third in GTC. I like it a lot. It’s a very physical, but rewarding, car to drive. It’s a proper racecar.
With Henk’s Audi R8 LMS Cup being one of the paciest cars in Super Car Class 2-GTM during the closing stages of last season and the Dutchman clearly returning to front-running form, Khun Daniel’s arrival as his teammate looks to have very capably sealed a strong lineup for B-Quik Racing to mount a serious attack on the Teams’ title this season.
The new driver is pretty upbeat too about his chances this year. “My objectives for the season are clear,” he says. “I want to help B-Quik Racing win the Teams’ Championship, as well as win the Class Championship,” concludes Daniel.