It was something of a long and tough week for B-Quik Racing during last weekend’s penultimate round of Thailand Super Series 2017, held at Buriram’s Chang International Circuit, that netted us few rewards, the highlight being a double podium for Daniel Bilski in Super Car GTM Plus while in Super Car GTC Attapot Sriprom also wrapped up the weekend with a trip to the podium.
That long week in Buriram started on Wednesday with the team in action for private testing. We were pleased that Audi factory driver Pierre Kaffer was able to join us to assist in set-up of our two Audi R8 LMS Cup racecars and coach Henk and Daniel. The German pro driver flew in from Utah to join us so thank you Pierre for making such a long trip and offing plenty of valuable input.
We were also pleased to welcome technicians from NGK to the garage for the first time, the start in a relationship that will seem them supporting the team at races going forward.
The extensive technical programme on the two practice days, Wednesday and Thursday, dropped a bit behind schedule, partly due to bad weather on the first day and transmission niggles on the #27 Audi and that left us somewhat on the back foot as we implemented changes to our GTM Plus cars, notably a brand new rear diffuser arrangement, and raced against time to find the optimal setup direction.
In Friday’s Official Free Practice session, we were still working through our programme and that would prove costly as rain soaked the circuit in the afternoon and after a long delay qualifying was cancelled as the light faded rapidly.
It meant that for Super Car GTM Plus’s Race 1 of the weekend, Daniel was on Row 2 thanks to his P3 time in Free Practice while Henk would start from the row behind as he posted the P5 time. In Super Car GTC, meanwhile, Ian Geekie, on his track debut in Buriram, edged out Attapot Sriprom by half a second in Practice and those times would also carry over to the grid so they would start from P8 and P9.
In Super Car GTM Plus’s Race 1 on Saturday Daniel did very well to hold onto the tail of the faster GT3 cars in front and finish fourth while Henk added additional points by bringing his Audi home in sixth, the team satisfied to secure a double helping of championship points after a demanding few days.
In Sunday’s Race 2 Daniel – after a race of relentlessly fighting for position – successfully repeated his fourth place of the day before to make it a double trip to the podium from the weekend for the Australian and he was really snapping hard at the heels of the quicker Lamborghinis ahead towards the end of the race which clearly showed that there is more potential to be extracted from the upgrades.
Henk though had very little to take away from the second race, after a good start and promising early pace a technical issue with the car tipped him into a high speed spin and out of the race, the #26 Audi suffering plenty of damage that is going to require a lot of work to repair in time for the final round which comes up next month. The team is currently examining what caused this problem.
In Super Car GTC Attapot and Ian also had a tough weekend. In the first race Attapot had a spin that dropped him down the running order, but he recovered well to finish ninth, one place behind Ian, which mean both drivers were in the championship points. In the second race Ian, who was getting quicker and quicker with every lap on what was his debut here, suffered a technical problem at the start that dropped him to the back of the field but the Australian fought back strongly to make it into the points for a second consecutive day, this time in ninth place. Attapot meanwhile put in a great drive to battle his way up to fifth place and grab the final podium step.
In Super Eco Narin Naeosathon and Sathaporn Veerachue had a good first race to finish fifth and six in class, the former making a trip to the podium to grab one of the new TSS trophies. In the second race Narin however had a major accident on lap 3 and was out on the spot. That incident necessitated a hospital visit but we’re very pleased to report that he’s okay and we wish him a very speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back with the team. You simply can’t keep a B-Quik driver down whatever life throws at us and Narin is proudly displaying his Race 1 trophy bedside in the hospital!
Henk J. Kiks: “Well that wasn’t the weekend we were expecting, that’s for sure! We took some steps forward with the Audis and while clearly we could see this is the way to go we need more track time to extract the max from this package. The first race I was stuck in traffic for much of the time put pleased with the result although weekend didn’t end well for me with a big incident in the second race, the team are still looking into this, and my apologies to Bank who was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I think there are plenty of positives we can take away from the weekend, we have a direction we can go with the Audi to get it closer to the GT3 cars but we have a lot of work to do now in the short period before the next races.”
Daniel Bilski: “Bit of a tough Race 1, we probably should have come away with a few more points. We manged P4 which was probably where we were at compared to the faster GT3 cars. The start was a little bit messy which cost us time in the traffic and a little bit of contact at the end of the race didn’t help. The upgrades we made seem to have made a nice difference and I was quite happy to make a pass on one of the Lamborghinis on the last lap to take P4. Sunday’s race was reasonably strong. I had a very good shot at getting P3 as I was consistently faster than the Lamborghini ahead, however, I made a mistake a couple of laps from the end pushing a little too hard into the Turn 3 braking zone. I ran wide which cost a few seconds, but I kept fighting and caught back up with the #55 Lamborghini. In the end, I just couldn’t quite get him before the line, so we crossed the line nose-to-tail. A little frustrating as P3 was a definite possibility today with my race pace. In the end, I was quite happy with our race pace this weekend. The changes we made worked well. A big thank you to the B-Quik team and to Pierre Kaffer for his advice and support. We’ve got to regroup now, learn the lessons from this weekend and push on for the final races of the season in September.”
Attapot Sriprom: “We had some problems with the transmission that’s why I didn’t have much time in Free Practice and unfortunately, the qualifying was cancelled due to heavy rain so I’ve started from P9 in Race 1. I tried to push my car to the front but spun at Turn 2 on lap 9 and finished in P8. On Sunday, I started from P9 again and in this race I ran without any problems, the car was very good and I got on the podium in P5. I’m pretty happy with the results but I want to do better in next round.”
Ian Geekie: “This isn’t the first time I’ve been to Buriram circuit but it’s the first time I’ve driven on the track and it’s been a steep learning curve and we’ve been getting better every session. I’ve really enjoyed the track, it’s really challenging, there are some fast corners, some technical stuff and overall I’ve had a lot of fun this week, lots of learning and some good racing. The results weren’t what I hoped in the second race but we had some technical problems but it’s always great to be back with B-Quik Racing.”
Source. Edd Ellison