With just a handful of minutes remaining on the clock before midnight on Saturday, the chequered flag was unfurled at the end of the grueling Sepang 12 Hours. After an inch perfect race, a stunning 1-2 overall finish was delivered up for the team in some style as the legendary South East Asian endurance race returned to the calendar for the first time since it last ran in 2016.
The story of the race was all about slick teamwork from the crews, inch perfect strategy from the engineers, a pair of cars that were geared up ready to win and the relentless flat out pace turned in by the six strong driver roster for stint after stint. Keeping it all cool, calm, collected and soaking up huge pressure. It proved to be a combination of ingredients that would deliver a sensational result.
But this was no easy win, or rather 1-2, the race lead fluctuated stint by stint over the eight hours running time as drivers and engineers up and down the length of the pitlane squeezed every last drop out of their cars in an epic fight to the flag.
The Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II however proved to be the class of a highly competitive field. Responsive and never missing a beat, kind on the tyres, a setup that was bang in the sweet spot and always able to squeeze out that extra kilometre. And then some more.
A superb runner up finish for the #26 B-Quik Absolute Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II driven by Henk Kiks, Peter Kox and Christopher Haase set the tone as they recovered from a somewhat tricky start to chew their way through the pack.
Kiks getting the job done, Kox back with the team after six years and like he had never been away and Haase in black and yellow for the first time in his career showing instantly why he carries the ‘enduro superstar’ tag.
Their run to second place backed up an amazing winning drive by Markus Winkelhock, Yu Kuai and Andrew Haryanto in the #18 Absolute Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II.
The highly experienced trio never put a foot wrong during a race that was pretty much incident free but which started more than an hour late due to an incident in the prior session that required lengthy repairs to the barriers at Turn 1.
In fact, without Safety Car periods or even the legendary Malaysian rain to interrupt proceedings, the race was more akin to an eight-hour sprint, flat out from green lights to chequered flag. There wasn’t a moment to stop, pause and take stock for anyone involved.
It was a race for the committed, the focused and the tough. Eight relentless hours, the majority in the dark of the night – and it all ended with an entry into the glittering record books of one of Asia’s most famous races.
Now our attention quickly turns to the Hankook Official Test Day at Chang International Circuit, Buriram, on 29-30 March, as the new Thailand Super Series season looms into view.
Source. FastTrack Media
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