Late puncture costly for Walkinshaw

Sean Walkinshaw and Shinichi Takagi suffered late agony
Sean Walkinshaw and Shinichi Takagi suffered late agony

Sean Walkinshaw and Shinichi Takagi experienced misfortune during round four of the Super GT Championship season at Chang International Circuit in Thailand on Sunday.

A late-race puncture cost a certain GT300 podium for Autobacs Racing Team Aguri team-mates.

It was devastating for the whole team, especially because we lost our lead in the championship, but the next track is Fuji which is extremely strong for our car

Sean Walkinshaw

Running in second position with just a couple of laps to go, Walkinshaw was defending his place from an advancing Toyota when the left-rear tyre popped and sent the No.55 BMW M6 GT3 momentarily off the circuit.

Gathering the car back up and pitting for fresh rubber, the Chipping Norton racer eventually took the chequered flag in 11th position.

Having enjoyed an excellent race to that point at the Buriram track, with Takagi performing well in the opening stint from third on the grid, the ARTA duo were justifiably disappointed with the sheer misfortune which cost them the GT300 points lead.

Walkinshaw said: “Obviously that wasn’t the way we wanted to end the weekend. We had amazing pace in both wet and dry conditions so we were very confident heading into the race, and for most of the race rightly so.

“Two laps from the end, we had a slow puncture and it finally let go.

“It was devastating for the whole team, especially because we lost our lead in the championship, but the next track is Fuji which is extremely strong for our car.”

Before then, Walkinshaw will make a return to the Blancpain Endurance Cup – where he last raced in 2016 – for the category’s blue riband Total 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium.

Set to climb back aboard a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for the first time since he raced in Blancpain, the 24-year-old has been drafted in to the RJN Motorsport team to complete the squad’s Silver Cup entry alongside Struan Moore, Jordan Witt and Ricardo Sanchez.