Friday, August 29, 2014

Sepang 12 Hours: B-Quik Racing gets off to strong start in MMER qualifying

B-Quik Racing Press Release

It’s been a long, tough week so far for B-Quik Racing in preparation for Saturday’s grueling MMER Sepang 12 Hours – but everything slotted together very well this afternoon during the three official qualifying sessions and following three strong individual performances from all three of our drivers the #26 B-Quik Racing Audi R8 LMS Cup in will start the race from the front row of the highly competitive GTC grid.

It hadn’t quite looked quite as clear-cut just over 24 hours ago; then a technical issue halved our Thursday night official free practice session running time. However, the remaining time of the two and a half hour session saw the #26 Audi post the fastest time and that confirmed setup direction and positioned us well for today’s qualifying.

The MMER Sepang 12 Hours represents the ‘endurance’ debut for B-Quik Racing, one of Thailand’s leading motorsport teams. B-Quik’s new-for-2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup has been fully rebuilt with a new chassis since entering the previous round of Thailand Super Series, which was held at Bira Circuit last month.

The B-Quik crew has been bedding in the new machine at Sepang this week, ironing out niggles associated with a ground up rebuild and working towards developing an endurance setup that will aim to give the car pace for 12 hours. At the same time the Bangkok-based team, now entering its fifth season in motorsport, has been practicing for its first pitstops for driver changes as well as fuel, tyres and brakes.

For our endurance racing debut regular driver Henk J. Kiks has been joined by Australian Daniel Bilski and Swiss Dario Garcia; the trio will be driving together for the first time. Daniel brings with him experience of the Audi R8 LMS Cup have had two previous outing in this model of car, that’s been a useful to benchmark against, while Dario is making his racing return after five years out of the cockpit – while it gets even harder for him as it is also his first time racing a GT type racecar.

This afternoon’s qualifying sessions went to schedule after days of hard work on car preparation direction came right and all three drivers took a step forward in their laptimes. It started to drizzle during the Q1 session but Daniel still went fastest with a 2:11.730, Henk backed that up by delivering P1 in Q2 with a 2:13.734, while Dario was the fastest of our trio, posting a 2:11.218, which gave him P2 in Q3. That gave the #26 car a 2:12.227 average time and will see us line up second on the grid for tomorrow’s 12-hour race. It was much more than the team had expected and sets us up for a long tough race.

The MMER Sepang 12 Hours gets underway at 1200 noon local time tomorrow (30 Aug), that’s 1100 Thai time, and runs until midnight (2300 Thai time). The #26 B-Quik Racing Audi is entered in the hotly contested GTC class where it will be up against leading teams that include professional drivers on their rosters. The race will provide a valuable learning experience for B-Quik Racing and we will be targeting to reach the finish, aiming to respond to any adversities and to chase the best possible result.

Henk J. Kiks: “I think we’ve had a bit of a difficult week getting the car sorted, but it seemed to work well yesterday afternoon, which was good, but yesterday afternoon the weather didn’t help as we were on a drying track, so it was difficult to judge. Then yesterday evening in the dark, that’s a different game all together, but Dario and Daniel were quick in the dark, astonishingly quick but basically yesterday evening in the dark was my first time in a good car and I was a bit off the pace. Today in qualifying Daniel was P1 with a very quick 2:11 time and me P1 with a bit slower time but with the benchmark of where I need to be, and Dario was a bit quicker than Daniel in his qualifying, but up against a pro so P2. Overall we are where we need to be in our target of what where we think we need to be to be on the podium but it’s 12 hour race, it’s not a qualifying or a sprint race, but we have our ideas and our lines set and we think we can hit the numbers of where we need to be.”

Dario Garcia: “I’m still learning a lot about the car and the track also so I took qualifying more as being a continuous improvement of the week. I’ve been driving quite a lot to learn the car and learn the track, and so I’m

getting faster and faster so I’m really happy, the qualifying session was also a way to see how we can deal with when we have to push but I’m quite happy and obviously I’m very happy with my laptime as it’s my best laptime of the week for me so far but there is still room for improvement but so far I’m happy.”

Daniel Bilski: “My qualifying session really got off with a scare as when I was leaving the pitlane there were a few drops of rain starting to appear so I had to push really hard on the outlap to get one good lap in the dry in case it rained. But the rain didn’t really come it sort of backed off, it was constantly a few drop of rain throughout but I set some reasonable times, got a clear track and set good laps. Then towards the latter end of the session it rained a bit more and the track got greasy and we knew we weren’t going to get any quicker so I parked the car at that point. Over the last few days we’ve had some challenges with the set up and getting comfortable with the car but now were at the point that all three drivers are happy with the car and now it’s a question of optimising it for the race, to preserve the tyres a little bit as obviously were not going to be pushing as hard as we were during qualifying. But the car balance is there; the condidence is there in the car.”

Photo credit: B-Quik Racing