B-Quik Racing is currently busy working towards the 2016 racing year, which comes off the back of its most rewarding season so far, one that included the team contesting its first ever international racing ‘full season’, that coming in the pan-Asian ‘Audi R8 Cup’.
It was a highly successful debut too as Daniel Bilski won the hard fought R8 Cup Amateur Cup (AM) title in the #59 B-Quik Racing Audi R8 LMS Cup.
But more than just winning the prestigious title at our first attempt we also broke more records, as we became the first ‘independent’ team ever to take part in the ‘R8 Cup’.
So far, the ‘R8 Cup’ has been run entirely ‘in house’ by leading Asian race team Absolute Racing, which has been tasked with preparing all the cars. However in a strategy that will bring the ‘R8 Cup’ into line with other regional one make racing series, such as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA), Audi is planning to permit individual teams to prepare cars – and during the 2015 season B-Quik Racing was in effect the ‘guinea pig’.
“To be the first independent team in the Audi R8 LMS Cup was a great privilege,” says Daniel, who reckoned it was the logical step forward for B-Quik Racing to make. “With the team having had some experience already running the Audi for Henk [Kiks] in Thailand Super Series and the Sepang 12 Hours, it was a great opportunity to take the team’s exposure and experience with Audi to the next level.”
Absolute Racing Team Owner Ingo Matter explains that they needed a particular type of team to become involved. “Originally when we decided to open for teams it’s always important that you choose the right teams when there is the chance to do something new,” he says. “As [B-Quik Racing Team Owner] Henk [Kiks] runs the B-Quik team in Thailand quite successfully and his boys are good so it was an obvious choice and also with Daniel having done a couple of races [in the R8 Cup previously] and the tie up with B-Quik and Daniel it became more or less the clear choice to ask Henk if he was interested, which thankfully he was.”
Ingo reckoned that inserting B-Quik Racing’s mechanics into the highly professional technical setup of the ‘R8 Cup’ for a full season would also expose them to all the available expertise on the Audi R8 LMS Cup and thus work as a two way street as they gained addition product knowledge and training.
“I think it’s a good system for him also to let his mechanics come over and integrate into the whole team,” says Ingo – whose Absolute Racing concern also runs private teams inside PCCA as well as the Bentley factory supported GT3 cars in Asia. “They learn more about the car and have all the people involved with the car very easily accessible because everyone is there, it helps everyone get up to speed together.”
Daniel believes that the operational structure of the Audi R8 Cup championship removed any hurdles to successful implementation. “The diverse backgrounds of the technical service professionals in Absolute Racing’s portfolio was a huge plus as there were a number of Thai-speaking members of the team on hand to help us throughout the year,” says the Australian driver. “The B-Quik technical service crew had tremendous support throughout the season and to see how quickly they integrated into the series, despite being an independent team, was an absolute credit to the crews from Absolute Racing, Audi China & Hong Kong, and Audi Customer Sport. To have constant, unlimited, access to world-class professionals was an invaluable part of the experience and growth for B-Quik Racing.”
Ingo was also very pleased with how the new ‘team’ bedded into the ‘R8 Cup’ so smoothly and quickly. “It was quite interesting in the beginning to see them out of their comfort zone coming to Zhuhai more or less by themselves but I think after just the first day they were fully integrated and enjoyed the experience,” Ingo adds.
Everyone quickly rallied round on the ground, says Daniel. “To see how the B-Quik technical team were welcomed, supported and treated as a part of the series was fantastic, and a real credit to the series,” he says. “If we ever needed extra hands, for example after our qualifying dramas in Japan, there were plenty of Absolute Racing and Audi personnel jumping in to help, without a second’s thought. It was a fantastic sporting environment, with a genuine sense of camaraderie, all run at a top-class professional level.”
“And it wasn’t just the technical assistance,” Daniel adds. “For example, being Thai and not having travelled to Japan before, the boys weren’t really prepared for the cold weather in Japan, yet within minutes of our arrival at Fuji Speedway, they had more Audi Cup jackets, hats and jumpers than I did, courtesy of the management and teams.”
B-Quik Racing draws all its personnel from B-Quik Co. Ltd., Thailand’s leading automotive aftermarket servicing chain which now numbers 126 stores domestically and has started rolling out into other ASEAN countries. The exacting technical standards and rigorous training that apply to all of B-Quik’s thousands of skilled employees forms a highly robust platform for the team to build on.
Henk was also delighted with how the year of many ‘firsts’ had shaken out. “I’m very proud of how my boys did in the Audi Cup,” he says. “They have all come straight into motorsport from a background of working in the B-Quik stores, as have all the staff on the team, and most of them go back after the races to their store positions apart from a small core that remains with the team, so they have all had to learn about motorsport together from scratch.
“The Audi Cup put our mechanics, who have so far only been used to racing in Thailand, apart from a couple of forays to Merdeka, straight into a very well organised and professional environment with all the best international standards,” he continues. “That they were able to prepare the car to run with complete reliability all season and win the championship really says a huge amount about the solid structure we have put in place at B-Quik Racing over the last few years. It also demonstrates that the high standards that we demand off our technician at every point in the B-Quik chain provides a great platform that staff can then use to go onto working in such a competitive and pressurised environment as international motorsport.”
Last word to Daniel. “To win the AM Cup Driver’s title in B-Quik’s first venture into the Audi Cup was a glowing testament to the team’s ability to adapt to a new environment and the speed with which everybody learned,” he says. “It was also a fantastic endorsement for the series, which didn’t hold back with opportunities for the team to learn and grow.
“I am extremely proud to have won the title last year, and equally proud to have done it with the first-ever independent team,” Daniel concludes. “The Audi R8 Cup is an exceptional series, with fantastic management and participants, and I am sure it will continue to get bigger and better each year.”