Erebus Motorsport went within one quarter of a lap to complete a stunning debut in the GT Asia Series when disaster struck Lance David Arnold, the German ace stuck on track with a fuel pressure issue.
Yesterday’s winner Matthew Solomon – who was sharing with Mika Hakkinen – got away at the start only to have a faster Arnold get past him. Following timed pitstops, which saw the Hakkinen/Solomon combination slugged with an extra 15 seconds as a result of yesterday’s win, Arnold had a comfortable lead over Porsche driver Li Zhi Cong.
Hakkinen exited the pits four seconds behind the McLaren of Mok Weng Sun, the Flying Finn charging towards the Clearwater Racing machine for the final podium position.
On the final lap, Arnold’s car expired, then dramatically, Hakkinen went for a huge dive on Mok, only to run off track. At that stage, he didn’t realise he was battling for second position, not third.
Hakkinen bounced out of the final corner to come home fourth, whilst Arnold was left with two DNFs to his credit.
The home crowd supporting Li went wild as he crossed the line taking an unlikely victory for the locally based Asia Racing Team, the Clearwater car was second with Pasin Lathouras coming home third for AF Corse in his Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Kiwi, Earl Bamber was a non-finisher when the Ford GT he shared with Samson Chan expired on lap 14.
Post-race, Hakkinen was full of praise for the Australian squad.
“Erebus is a great team who have a number of great victories under their belts already and you can see everything – pitstops, driver change and preparing the cars after yesterday worked absolutely fantastic, so I am very pleased,” he said.
“The Erebus guys did a good job all weekend, and it was a pleasure to drive with such a professional team.”
The next stop for Erebus Motorsport on their Asian journey will be in Macau for the 60th Macau Grand Prix next month.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS – GT ASIA SERIES ZHUHAI RACE 2: