B-Quik Racing enjoyed a superb weekend at Korea International Circuit, which played host the second round of the 2015 ‘Audi R8 Cup’ Asia. The team came into the event with sky-high expectations and they were amply delivered on, Daniel Bilski in the #59 B-Quik Audi R8 LMS Cup enjoyed a double trip to the podium, winning Race 1 and following that up with third place in Race 2.
Those high points scoring finishes elevate Daniel to second place in the ‘Audi R8 Cup’ Amateur (AM) Championship standings, where the Australian driver and B-Quik Racing are competing this year; clearly a genuine challenge for the AM Drivers’ title is firmly on. The ‘one make’ championship is reserved for identical-specification Audi R8 LMS Cup machines.
Daniel came into the second round of the year bang on top form having won the latter of the two races that comprised the season opener in Zhuhai, China, back in March, albeit that red flag shortened race didn’t count towards overall championship points as less than 50% distance had been covered. It meant though that team and driver were clearly on the pace straight from the start of the season.
The Australian, who is also driving for B-Quik Racing in Thailand Super Series’ Super Car Class 2-GTM this year, had never been to the new track at Yeongam, South Jeolla Province, before last weekend – and that set him apart from most of his rivals who had raced previously on this state-of-the-art 5.62-km, 18-turn circuit, which is the former, albeit brief, home of South Korea’s F1 Grand Prix. So Daniel was clearly on the backfoot and with plenty of work to do. “Overall it was a great weekend. Race 1 saw an early Safety Car after a big incident on the fast straight caused by Turn 1 contact which we were very lucky to avoid. Holding back going into turn 1 meant I managed to avoid the mêlée, but a super-close call on the back straight got my attention in a big way! I managed to miss the crashed car by mere centimeters as it ricocheted off the wall across the track into my path. After the restart, our race pace was good but the super competitive field meant I had to push for every lap. Crossing the line in P3 was a solid result but due to the first two cars being penalised for contact with other cars, we were promoted to P1 in class. It was a fantastic result for the team as well as a big reward for staying out of trouble and being consistent.”
However team and driver arrived in Yeongam meticulously well prepared and that hard work paid off handsomely as Daniel steered clear of the opening lap carnage in Race 1 and battled his way to the podium. That superb result was made even more perfect as the first and second cars across the finishline were subsequently hit with penalties and so the B-Quik driver assumed P1. It also added up to an impressive P6 overall, putting him right in amongst the ‘pro’ drivers. Even more importantly it delivered Daniel his first maximum points of the year in the hotly contested AM category. B-Quik Racing’s Thai mechanics had delivered a perfect racecar that had allowed Daniel to deliver the win.
Race 2 saw Daniel making yet another trip to the podium – but he was in truth very lucky to reach the checkered flag this time. Hit by another car during the race the #59 Audi sustained plenty of damage, in particular to one of the wheels. He recovered from the resulting spin and immediately set off to chase the race leaders down. Somehow the damaged wheel (which had a lenghty split in the rim) and tyre held together and in fact Daniel picked off the car holding P3 on the very last lap and that allowed him to bag the final step of the podium.
Those results from Race 1 and Race 2, P1 and P3 respectively, handed Daniel 40 championship points and that elevates him to second place in the AM Cup standings. He has collected 46 points so far this year, which is just 9 points adrift of the 55 points bagged so far by championship leader Ashraff Dewel, while it gives the Australian driver some useful breathing space as third placed Jackie Yeung is on 32 points.
It also means Daniel has been up to the AM podium in three of the four races held so far this year. That’s exactly the impressive and consistent form he’s going to need if he’s to make a serious run on the title as well as rich testimony to the skills and expertise of the Thai engineers that are supporting his challenge for silverware.
The next round of the 2015 ‘Audi R8 Cup’ will take place in Taiwan. Round 3 of 6, it means the ‘one make’ series will reach the halfway point – and certainly for Daniel and B-Quik Racing there is everything to play for. “It was a great weekend and I was happy that all the analysis and effort we made to improve after every session that meant I set faster times every time I went out on track. We leave the fantastic Korea Circuit second in the points standings for the championship, which is a great reward for all the hard work the team put into the weekend. I am extremely excited going into the next races in Taiwan as we have shown we are genuine contenders for the title and will spare nothing to push for more wins.”