B-Quik Racing Co. Ltd. TM (“B-Quik Racing”) enjoyed a stunning debut weekend in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia as the team claimed a hard-fought victory.
That win came in Sunday’s Race 2. However, the previous day we retired from Race 1 just after the mid race pitstops while running in P1 through no fault of our own and it was tough pill to swallow. The team got the job done perfectly once again in Race 2, but this time we went straight to the top step of the GT Amateur (AM) class podium.
Our first weekend with the new Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo – as well as our first weekend in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia – this victory was much more than we had expected.
Particularly as we had seen this event as a ‘shakedown’ for our new #26 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo. Daniel sat in the brand-new car for the first time on Thursday while Henk only had his initial acclimatisation on the Friday and it was a very similar story for the engineers.
But we worked hard and made progress session by session, that was the weekend’s objective, but in the end, we really had some special trophies to take home.
Race 1, held late on Saturday afternoon, gave us the best possible start to life with our new machine, which represents a huge step up in ambition for the team. Daniel was in the cockpit for the first stint and it would prove to be a race to remember as light rain started falling as soon as the cars assembled on the grid before turning into a shower as they took the start. It made the track really slippery and caused chaos.
Over the opening laps cars went off everywhere and the Safety Car was deployed multiple times within half an hour – in fact it was on the track when we came in for our mid race stop.
We took maximum advantage of the mayhem to move up the classification with Daniel, who always revels in the wettest conditions, in blistering form, the pitwall calling the race exactly, while at the same time our new Audi was running like clockwork.
Up a thumping fifteen places from our grid slot to P10 overall and into the top spot in the AM class represented astounding progress and the mid race pitstop – where almost the entire field pitted together under the Safety Car and cars were stacked up everywhere – went perfectly as our drivers and crew combined with precision to put Henk back in the race at the front of the class.
However, the Dutchman was then shunted by another car from behind and that bent the Audi’s left-hand front steering rod meaning he had to limp round almost an entire lap to the pits before retiring. A disappointing end to Race 1 for sure, but the pace we showed and the battling spirit on display gave us strong optimism for Race 2.
There’s actually a lot less to say about Race 2 because everything went so smoothly. Henk started the race and he knuckled down and delivered exactly what we needed him to deliver, namely to turn in fast and consistent laps one after another. Without any fuss or fluster he finished his stint, this was his first decent time running time in the new car, as we also played the appearance of the Safety Car well, before he handed over to Daniel with P1 in our sights. The Australian had to dig in and maintain our advantage with the chasing AM pack on his heels.
There are no weak links in the AM field in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia this year, all the ‘gentlemen’ drivers in action in Sepang were fast and experienced, while with an almost completely incident free race we would have to grind out the win on merit. Daniel drove superbly to keep the other cars at bay and at the finishline he had 1.061 seconds in hand over the #21 Porsche 991 GT3-R in AM P2.
A fantastic end, the team was simply overjoyed as #26 came into the pitlane following 1 hour of racing around Sepang Circuit and 27 laps covered.
We depart from Sepang confident we have a robust platform to build on as we immediately turn our attention to our next race here – the opening round of Thailand Super Series (“TSS”) 2019 – which brings us back to Malaysia in two weeks’ time (19-21 April).
Henk and Daniel will again drive our #26 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo during the TSS season opener while we will also enter an Audi R8 Ultra GT3 in Super Car GT3 with Sandy Stuvik as the lead driver.
B-Quik Racing is supported by B-Quik, Michelin, Mobil 1, Bendix, Yuasa, NGK, Liqui Moly, STI and WAC Car Detailing.
Henk Kiks: “It’s been a great weekend, a really fantastic result to achieve on our Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia debut. In Race 1 getting booted out was tough, real tough to swallow. Especially with the lack of time that we have had in the car, to lose most of my stint was costly, but Race 2 went and made up for everything. We weren’t expecting this to be honest, the car worked like a dream in all weather conditions and this weekend now gives us a lot of confidence as we turn our attention to Thailand Super Series in a couple of weeks’ time. But first we need to savour this, Blancpain GT is an amazing series with top teams and drivers, it’s very well organised and it’s really revolutionised ‘GT’ racing in Asia so to walk away with these trophies on our debut is a big reward for all the hard work everyone has put in.”
Daniel Bilski: “It’s been a fantastic weekend in the new car. The learning curve has been incredibly steep not just for us drivers but for the team and the crew. It’s been really, really intense but it’s been fantastic and really worth it. Henk did an awesome stint on our way to the win. Our pitstop was bang on, we had time to spare in the pitstop and just as I was about to be released a car came across front of us and a few seconds was lost there, but the timing and the execution was awesome. Our race pace was great, it was a case of forget the laptime, but mange our position, manage the car, manage the tyres and then give it everything for the last few laps. It worked perfectly.”