Walkinshaw misses out in Thailand

Sean Walkinshaw NNL-170821-154243002
Sean Walkinshaw NNL-170821-154243002

Sean Walkinshaw delivered a superb performance in the penultimate round of the Super GT Championship season at Chang International Circuit in Thailand on Sunday.

The Chipping Norton driver only just missed out on a deserved GT300 podium by a mere 0.2 seconds.

It was disappointing not to get on the podium because we had mega race pace

Sean Walkinshaw

Finishing in fourth position after a tremendous stint in the second part of the race, where he charged through from 12th place following the mandatory driver change pit-stop, Walkinshaw and Autobacs Racing Team Aguri team-mate Shinichi Takagi concluded the weekend an improved fourth in the GT300 title battle.

Walkinshaw said: “Overall the weekend was successful, we managed to get a good haul of points for the championship and moved back up to fourth in the standings. We still have a shot at the championship, but we will need some luck.

“It was disappointing not to get on the podium because we had mega race pace but, unfortunately, just didn’t have the straight line speed to pass the Porsche. I was pretty happy with my pace over the weekend considering I’d never been to the track before, it was fun to drive and suited the BMW.”

Despite blazing sunshine, a very wet track surface greeted the Super GT drivers and championship officials therefore opted to begin the contest behind the Safety Car for two laps before unleashing the pack at racing speed at the beginning of the third tour.

As GT500 leaders started to lap the GT300 cars, Takagi made the pass to move back into the top four. As the race reached one third distance, Takagi pitted for the team’s mandatory stop.

Walkinshaw climbed aboard before settling into the race in 12th position, climbing up to ninth in quick succession. As the encounter neared two thirds race distance, Walkinshaw broke into the top six.

Driving superbly, he took fifth and then fourth, moving to within touching distance into the final third of the race to put huge pressure on the No.33 Porsche.

With ten laps to go, Walkinshaw went for a move on the brakes into the final corner but after running a bit too deep he was shuffled back to fifth as a result.

Undeterred, the recovered into fourth place. Again cutting the advantage held by the Porsche, into the final lap the rivals were nose-to-tail once more but Walkinshaw had to settle for fourth.