Triple Eight satisfied with class podium on Blancpain Asia debut
Triple Eight Race Engineering left Sepang satisfied having banked a class podium on debut in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia series.
Fielding a single Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Jazeman Jaafar, the squad recorded a fourth place in Saturday’s opening race, and second in Pro-Am, to open their season.
Contact with another car during Sunday’s race saw the team drop down the order, recovering to 13th overall and the eighth Pro-Am finisher at the end of the 60-minute race.
“We had a great debut weekend in the Blancpain World Challenge Asia series,” said team boss Roland Dane, who skipped the Symmons Plains Supercars event to be in attendance at Sepang.
“Finishing fourth overall and second in Saturday’s Pro-Am race was a great reward for everyone especially for Prince Jefri Ibrahim in his first international drive.
“Sunday’s race started well with qualifying and being the fastest AMG, but our race was ruined by an amateur driver who failed to see Jazeman and spun him off the track.
“Prince Ibrahim had another excellent stint in the second half of the race and hauled us back to 13th and eight in class at the flag.
“We will bank all the learnings from this weekend and look forward to Buriram next month.”
Jaafar had put the team fastest during the first official practice session of the weekend, with Ibrahim then qualifying the car 12th for Saturday’s race.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race saw the team start fourth courtesy of Jaafar before the spin dropped them out of contention.
“We are very satisfied with the weekend, considering it was all a new learning experience for everyone in the crew, with not only a new car but also new regulations, pit stops and rules,” said team manager Andrew Simpson.
“The Triple Eight drivers and team did a fantastic job on debut. There is always room to improve as we are relatively new to GT, so we need to be sharper and more aggressive in all areas.
“As a team we will always try to push the envelope to maximise the result and can’t wait to get to Thailand for the next round.”
Following the opening round the team now sits fifth in the GT3 team standings, with Ibrahim and Jaafar seventh in the drivers’ competition.
The next round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia is at Buriram, Thailand, on May 10-12, where Shane van Gisbergen is set to take the wheel in the Triple Eight entry.