B-Quik Racing enjoyed a strong start to the new Thailand Super Series (TSS) season at Chang International Circuit, Buriram, last weekend as we racked up five podium finishes from the two races in the new Super Car GTM Plus category thanks to the superb efforts of our trio of Audi R8 LMS Cup drivers and they were capably backed up by great work from the technical crew.
Super Car GTM Plus is an exciting new headline category that’s been added into the TSS programme for this year and it fuses the more powerful latest-generation ‘Cup’ cars with older FIA GT3 models. It’s a dynamic new platform that offers a lot of potential for the future and we have stepped up to GTM Plus with three cars this season; for the first time ever we are running a triple line up of Audis.
That meant Shaun Varney, who drove one of our Porsches last year, has graduated to join Henk J. Kiks and Daniel Bilski, who continue to drive these German sportscars into the new season. Two of the three R8s were actually new to TSS as Daniel’s #27 car was the machine that we raced to victory in the Sepang 12 Hours last December while Shaun’s #93 example has just been acquired by the team, arriving in Thailand only a week before the opening round kicked off.
The races proved very productive – although currently the Audi R8 LMS Cup isn’t yet quite a level match for the GT3 cars or the latest Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo – and in the first race we enjoyed a triple podium finish with Daniel second, Henk fourth and Shaun fifth, which also gave us the Teams’ trophy. In the second race Daniel came home fourth and Henk fifth as both drivers made it back-to-back podium finishes. Five podiums in total from the two races and we’re off to a flying start in Super Car GTM Plus.
In Super Car GTC Attapot Sriprom (Porsche) had a pretty tough weekend. On course for the podium in the first race he spun on oil dropped by another car although he was able to recover and grab a few points on offer for ninth place. In the second race he suffered a steering issue and had to retire at two thirds distance. In Super Eco both our young drivers, Narin Naeosathon and Sathaporn Veerachue, made the class podiums to get their seasons off to a promising start.
There is now a little under two-months until the next round of TSS 2017 takes place, and it’s quite simply the one everybody wants to win – the Bangsaen Grand Prix. We’re immensely looking forward to it and we will be working hard over the intervening period to ensure we’re ready to challenge for the podiums.
Henk J. Kiks: “We had a great time in Sunday’s race, we got two cars on the podium, Daniel and I, in fourth and fifth, a that’s another good haul of points. In Saturday’s race we got three cars on the podium and the Teams’ trophy, a fantastic result, what more could you ask for, and that all comes after the whole team worked very hard on Thursday and Friday to be ready for the weekend’s races. We cannot wait to go to Bangsaen and do it all over again. We will be fighting hard all season.”
Daniel Bilski: “Overall it’s been a pretty good weekend. We’ve had good pace, we’ve had a lot of positive changes to the cars and some good results and it’s been really good to get the team on the podium in both races with multiple cars. It bodes well for the new GTM Plus class; there is a bit of fine tuning still to do but it’s moving in the right direction and it should be a really exciting season. Bangsaen is next and that’s the big one and we’re all really excited to bring the three Audis and put on a good show and I’m really looking forward to taking it to the GT3 cars and shooting for the top step.”
Shaun Varney: “It was my first time driving the Audi, the car feels really good overall, I really like the car, we had a few slight tweaks to make but overall I’m really happy. On Saturday it was good to get a result, good to get some points, and for the team great to get three podiums, going forward that’s something we can build on. I had a great start after a poor qualifying due to a mechanical issue but struggled to maintain that pace over the race. On Sunday we had a couple of problems with being down on power and we’re on different tyres to the rest of the team and I think that hurt us through the high speed sections. Got a good start but then dropped back and had to focus on trying to finish the race and scoring some points rather than competing and now hopefully onto better things at the next round in Bangsaen.”
Attapot Sriprom: “We found problem with left rear wheel bearing in practice that made the car oversteer when going into the corners. The technicians fixed it and the car ran very well in the qualifying session. But after scrutineering, the car weight was less than the requirements so I had to start at the back of the grid. In Race 1 the car was pretty good but there was an oil leak on the track from another car and I lost control and finished in P9. For Race 2 early in the race I was in P4 but on lap 10, there was a problem with the steering and I had a spin in Turn 4. I had to pit for to have it checked but the car couldn’t continue so I didn’t get a finish. For the next round, Bangsaen, this is my favourite circuit. I expect good results and I’ll do my best to get them.”