Blancpain GT Series Asia

Weekend to forget for Patel and Gilbert

The duo scored a podium in the silver class.

Indian GT driver Aditya Patel, who is piloting the Audi R8 LMS GT3 for the OD Racing team at this year’s Inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia, along side teammate Mitch Gilbert, endured a tough weekend at the Fuji International Speedway in Japan.

After two promising practice sessions in wet and damp conditions, the duo proved they had the pace to win. However, once the track dried up for qualifying, they struggled to find the right setup for the car, ending up 9th in their respective qualifying sessions.

Patel, who is backed by Audi India and Jubilant Motorworks, took the start in race 1 and was immediately up to 6th place by turn 2. However, an unfortunate spin dropped him to the back of the field. Patel then climbed up from 34th to 16th before handing the car over to Mitch, who then gained another four places to finish a credible 11th.

In race 2, Gilbert got off to a good start and moved up to 7th before handing the car over to Aditya. However, having used their better tyres in the first race, Patel had to stay on the same rubber and fend for position against drivers who changed to new tyres during the pitstops. In the end, Patel lost a position and dropped to 8th overall and 3rd in the silver class.

“It wasn’t really a weekend to remember. This was actually the first bad weekend we’ve had all year. We did know we would struggle a little at Fuji, owing to the long straight but we definitely didn’t get the results we expected! Anyway, onward and upward. We’ve identified our drawbacks and ready to head to Shanghai for the penultimate round”, said Aditya after the race.