A promising start to the new Thailand Super Series (TSS) season for B-Quik Racing with all our drivers making at least one trip to the podium during the course of last weekend, which took place at a very hot and dry Sepang International Circuit.
In Super Car GTM Plus we debuted a new Audi R8 Ultra GT3 shared by Henk J. Kiks and Daniel Bilski as TSS’s headline category moved to a 1-hour format for the first time ever.
The week was all about starting to extract the new Audi’s potential and a solid P6 in the first race was followed up by a trip to the podium in the second race thanks to a P5 finish. An excellent way to start off with our new car.
In Super Car GTM we were pleased to welcome Alif Hamdan to the team, the Malaysian driver returning to GT racing after a hiatus. He turned in two superb performances should have comfortably won both races but a transmission problem in the first resulted in a DNF while his was hit by a stop-go penalty in the second that was no fault of his, however he still salvaged third place and made his first trip to the podium in black and yellow.
In Super Car GTC Ian Geekie is back with us for a second year, upgrading to a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, and he immediately stamped his mark, getting into the thick of the action and making a double trip to the podium, third in the first race and fourth in the second race.
Narin Naeosathon, the winning graduate from our ‘Young Driver’ Honda Brio programme, made his debut in our new Camaro TA2 and his weekend went very well as he started to learn all about this powerful machine.
He enjoyed a trip to the podium after an excellent drive to P4 in the first TA2 Thailand race and then added a solid P6 finish in the second race.
All in all a good weekend for the team and one that we aim to build on as we now focus on the next round of TSS 2018, which takes place at Buriram’s Chang International Circuit on 31 May – 3 June.
But it didn’t quite end there as the Asia Classic Car Challenge season kicked off this weekend, also at Sepang. Henk and Daniel were in action on our Porsche 944 and BMW E30 respectively. In the race they finished 1-2 with the Dutchman claiming P1 and in fact they both won their respective classes to get that campaign off to a perfect start.
Henk J. Kiks: “It’s been good to get the new season underway and to get down to work in the Ultra. The car looks to be a good step over the Cup cars we ran previously and we started getting used to it over the weekend. It’s certainly fun to drive, we made good progress and two points finishes gets us off the mark for the year. We’re looking forward to Buriram where we will also have a second car for GTM Plus. I was pleased with everyone in the team this weekend, all the drivers did well and especially Narin who had a big step to make in the Camaro TA2, his steady progress all week emphasised that our young driver programme can really deliver what we hope it can.”
Daniel Bilski: “All in all, a good weekend. There’s so much to learn from the new car from a driving point of view and from an engineering point of view but I think we made very good progress. There’s a lot to improve and learn, not just for us but for the series, tweaking the BoP a little bit. Henk and I both improved how we are driving the car, we had a lot of help from Will and from Alex Yoong earlier in the week. We know that we’ve got lots to work on but it was a good start.”
Alif Hamdan: In the first race we had to start from the pitlane and instead of starting P3 we started last from the pits. After about nine laps I managed to make it to first place, the Safety Car helped me come up and after that I think a few guys in front had problems. I stayed in the lead all the way until about four laps from the end when the driveshafts went. Race 2 was really good, starting in P3 and then straight away into the lead and I overtook a few GT3 cars. Then, halfway, I came in for the pitstop and I think we were 0.3 seconds too fast for our pitstop and that caused a stop-go penalty. Other than that, the car was so much better than yesterday and so much easier to drive and a much faster racecar than yesterday.”
Ian Geekie: “The car has been really good all week, Idriss and the boys at B-Quik Racing have done a fantastic job. It’s really good to drive, it’s really stable, it gives confidence, I’ve been happy with getting to grips learning the new car for this year, getting used to no ABS and a sequential gearbox, getting back into the groove of driving here but it’s all been good. Race 1 was fantastic, we had a really good race, with third place. The competition is really fierce with the Caymans in the class now, as they’re all really quick, but were fighting. In Race 2 the car was still good and the laptimes were still good, but I didn’t get a particularly good start and then there was a Safety Car. Then at the restart I got tucked in behind the Toyota and he seemed to be quite slow and there was nowhere to go to get round him and then on the Safety Car restart again a couple of cars got past but we fought back and got a fourth place. I’m very happy with the weekend and looking forward to Buriram.”
Narin Naeosathon: “It’s been a very enjoyable season opener. It’s my first time with the Camaro and to race in Sepang. Sepang Circuit has many turns to learn but the team gives me a lot advice so I can improve my lap times. The Camaro has a lot power so I had to try to control and learn about the car as much as possible. Although the car had some problems the team was able to solve problems and give me a good car. I’m very happy with my results. Thank you for all the support.”