Aidan Read and Alberto Di Folco claimed theirs and FFF Racing Team by ACM’s maiden series podium with second.
Unfortunate cold and rain hit Zhejiang province this weekend. While just a week ago, some of the drivers could enjoy sunshine during the final round of Audi R8 LMS cup, but this weekend seems no chance for a dry track.
Mitch Gilbert, starting from Pole 2 expressed that he is worried for the start. “With this wet condition everything can happen, we hope we can manage it clean without any incident, but Aditya my partner needs to drive first and then i will do my best to collect points”
At least the crowd during the grid walk stayed dry, while the track still was soaked from the rain 1 hour ago. While the rolling start boosted 22 GT3 and GT4 cars over the starting line, light drizzle hit the track and after 2 laps safety car, the race finally started.
Unfortunate the green flag did not even complete a full lap, as the only Ferrari #39 with Max Wieser and Jiang Xin kissed the barrier at the last corner. Another 4 laps safety car gave the drivers the chance to get used to the wet track. Then the battle was on.
The leading car from Pole position – Lamborghini #66 with Dreyspring and Stuvik kept the lead for 15 minutes, until the Aditya with OD Racing #86 took his chance and overtook the leading Lambo. Stuvik was forced to take a wider line and brake not to end in the barrier, which opened the gap also for 3nd position car – another Lamborghini #1 with Aidan Read, who settled in second place.
For the front row – that was basically the decision until third positioned Lamborghini #66 was taken by the strong pro Driver Maximilian Buhk, who bring their MAG Mercedes # with Hunter Abbott to podium on third place.
After Aditya hand over to his colleague Mitch Gilbert, the Audi team kept pushing and there was no stopping Gilbert who extended his initial slender lead to 5.6s by the chequered flag. The result sees he and Patel reduce their championship deficit to 15 points, while Lee and Thong now lead Abbott by just one ahead of tomorrow’s season finale.
Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong could not catch Abbots car and finished 4th with important points.
So all will come down to the finale – Audi or Mercedes will be crown the podium. With this podium they took Pro/Am honours and helped secure the GT3 Teams’ win for GruppeM Racing and Mercedes-AMG.
“We knew it would be a battle starting second, but Dreyspring didn’t have the sort of pace we were expecting. Aidan [Read] was also right there behind me so it was important to get past quickly. I managed to drive around the outside, but that also helped Aidan who then hassled me for a few laps before I found my rhythm and gained the time that allowed Mitch to come out still leading. It keeps our title hopes alive – tomorrow we want to go out there and do the same job. Okay, we’ve got the five-second penalty that comes with winning, but you never know what can happen.”
“It was the best result of this season, while we had a really difficult start along the season. But i learned a lot and today with the difficult circumstances on the wet track we are very happy with the result. I was basically waiting for Aditya to see how is going to overtake the Lamborghini and when he did, i could see the gap and took it and ended up 2nd, which i kept until the end of the race. ”