After a seven week break Audi’s pan-Asian ‘R8 Cup’ series resumes action at Penbay International Circuit this coming weekend (4-5 July) and for driver Daniel Bilski and the B-Quik team, as well as for the ‘one make’ championship itself, it will mark a first ever visit to the Taiwanese racetrack.
With two rounds and four races of the 2015 season completed, held at Zhuhai, China, in March, and Yeongam, Korea, in May, B-Quik Racing has enjoyed a very promising start to its first ever campaign in the ‘R8 Cup’.
Daniel, racing in the hotly competitive Amateur Cup (AM) already has a win to his name and is handily placed in the championship points’ standings. Current classification leader, Ashraf Dewal, has 55 points, while Daniel is in second place on 46 points. He also has a useful gap over the driver behind him, Jacky Yeung, who has 32 points.
“After the great results we achieved in Korea, I’m really looking forward to the triple-race weekend in Taiwan,” says Daniel. “The pressure is definitely on with the points’ gaps in the championship standings being very tight. It shows how tough this championship is and with the level of talent on the grid, I’m sure the racing will be super-close. It will be very important to score consistent points in all three races in Taiwan and I’m looking forward to pushing my pace up a notch. It will be my first time at the Penbay circuit, so I’ve been spending as much time as I can in the Sideways Driving Club Simulator in Hong Kong to learn the track, which looks very challenging, so it’s going to be tough. It appears to be very tight and overtaking will not be easy but I’m confident the whole B-Quik Racing team will do everything possible to push for maximum points on the weekend.”
The visit to Penbay will mark the halfway point of the ‘R8 Cup’ season so the stakes are starting to climb. The track, located near Donggang in Taiwan’s Pingtung Country on the southern part of the island, only opened for racing in 2011 and is designed to FIA Grade 2 standard. The circuit is 3.527 km long with 16 turns.
This will be the one make series’ first visit to Penbay so that means a lot of the drivers in action this coming weekend will have to get up to speed with the track and that scenario also applies to Daniel. So, just as was the case during the last round of the R8 Cup at Yeongam, it will be a second consecutive new circuit for the Australian to learn from scratch and to prepare himself he’s been spending time in the simulator.
There will be an extra twist in the tale in Taiwan though as this coming weekend will see the only ‘triple header’ of the R8 Cup season. That means the bumper helping of AM Drivers’ championship points on offer are going to be crucial to everyone making a serious challenge for the title. It’s certainly an event that could make or break title hopes, even if it’s still only the halfway stage in the championship.
The ‘extra’ race is being added to the programme to compensate for the second race of the year (in Zhuhai), which had covered less than 50% of the planned distance when red flags were waved. While the race result officially stood, championship points couldn’t be awarded due to the distance covered at that point and this weekend’s additional race is being squeezed in as a substitute.
However Daniel and the B-Quik team are quietly confident that they can continue to maintain the positive momentum they have enjoyed so far this season and are look forward to taking full advantage of the ‘triple header’, keep firmly focused on collecting as many championship points as possible, and continue to mount a serious push for the AM title.
Qualifying and the first race of the weekend, which has a 1615 start time (all times are local), will take place on Saturday 4 July while the second and third races will start at 0945 and 1400, respectively, the following day, Sunday 5 July.