In a mixed outing, India’s Aditya Patel and Mitch Gilbert of Team OD savoured a podium place finish before suffering a crash in the second race in the third round of the Blancpain GT Series Asia in Suzuka.
After securing a hard-fought third place in the first race, a tyre blowout ruined their chances of victory in the second race at the Suzuka circuit. The first race saw the Patel-Gilbert duo, driving an Audi R8 LMS, start on the front row with Patel taking the start. However, the Indian lost position to Marchy Lee into turn one and had to settle for third until the pitstops.
After serving a five-second success penalty from a previous weekend, Gilbert found himself in 4th place but managed to fight his way back to third with three laps to go.
After a podium finish in race one, Gilbert took the start for the next race and having fought hard to hold position, dived early into the pits from 4th position to hand the car over to Patel in wet conditions.
Patel drove well and seized the lead and began to pull a comfortable gap to the cars behind. With 15 minutes to go, the car driven by Patel and Gilbert suffered a blowout to the rear left tyre which brought and end to their race.
“It’s probably the most unfortunate way to lose out on a sure win. But that’s racing I guess. We had good pace all weekend and even qualified on the front row for both races,” a disappointed Patel said after the race. The next race will be in Fuji in August.