Gamble fails to pay off for Walkinshaw

Sean Walkinshaw
Sean Walkinshaw

Panther ARTO Team Thailand driver Sean Walkinshaw had an ultimately fruitless return to Fuji Speedway in Japan on Saturday.

A tyre gamble during the second round of the Autobacs Super GT Championship season failed to reap any reward for the Chipping Norton driver.

For the second race meeting in succession in Super GT this year, the weather played a determining factor in the outcome with rain just before the start of the 500-kilometre encounter then worsening before a red flag stoppage was declared on lap 15.

Around 30 minutes later, officials re-started the race behind the Safety Car and as the action got back underway the track did begin to dry. Having started near the back of the grid after a tough qualifying, the No.35 Lexus RC-F GT3 had a mountain to climb and with the added complication of an unsuccessful tyre gamble – expecting conditions to improve sooner – 24th place was the end result.

Walkinshaw said: “Starting from the back of the grid we took a gamble with the tyre choice in the wet but, unfortunately, it didn’t pay off.

“There were some positives to take from the weekend. When the track dried out we had pretty good race pace, equal to the top couple of cars, so that was encouraging.”