It was the catastrophic downpour at the start of the race that cost the #13 LMP3 dearly. With a delay of one hour and 40 minutes the race started behind the safety car. But not for the #13 which started from pole. Humidity in the powerbox made driving the car impossible and Hippe, who started the race, had to wait for the safety car to come in, before he could get the problem fixed. It was quick but still costs three laps. The result of the race, after some great driving of both Nigel Moore and Hippe, was a third place. The #13 is leading the championship again (by three points).
Nigel Moore: “We had a pretty good race. We had a problem at the beginning of the race which didn’t help us but we made a very good comeback from three laps down. The car was pretty good, still have to do some work on it, but happy with some more championship points.”
Martin Hippe: “What a race. It began dramatic before the start with the monsoon rain when I was already sitting in the car. It was the right decision of the race director to delay the start. Then we went into the race, I felt there was something wrong with the car. And because you are not allowed to pit I had to stop and reset the car many times. Then I could come in and the team did a great job finding the problem which was humidity in the powerbox. Once I was back out and on slick tyres I could really push. Nigel did a great job bringing the car home on another podium.”
The #18 LMP3 piloted by Dan Wells and Philip Kadoorie, started from seventh and finished sixth. It was a race with some hiccups for rookie Kadoorie and some solid times set by Wells. Both drivers were happy with the final result.
Philip Kadoorie: “My first time in Sepang, in an LMP3 and in the rain, definitely made it into a tricky race. I think I found my stride in my second stint and look forward in doing it again in Buriram. My first ever race was a year and a half ago in a Sirocco. Now I am in the Asian Le Mans in an LMP3 and with all the coaching from Dan (Wells) I have been able to enjoying every step of the way. I am raising myself to the challenge”.
Dan Wells: “I had a little bit of everything. Full credit to Philip for starting under such interesting conditions and the delay. A bit crazy. I was not so happy with my first stint, the heat was getting to me. But was happy with my second stint. Now onto Buriram to continue”.
In the #33 LMP2 young Singaporian driver Danial Frost was the new team mate for John Corbett and Nathan Kumar. He is on his way to Indy Lights but here at Sepang he showed that he was also very quick in an LMP2, eventhough it was his first time not racing in a single seater. #33 was leading LMP2 on one occasion but in the end they had to be happy with sixth, after they got a penalty for causing a collision.
Danial Frost: “It was my first time in a LMP2 and actually the first race not in a single seater. Even with the little time we had in car, we made it work. We came from last to first and I am happy with the pace we had. It could have gone better, but then things happen and that is racing. It’s nice to have team mates ,and good to help each other. Next stop Buriram, let’s see what we can do there.”
The #34 LMP2 had a dramatic race. The speed was great, and were on the top of the leaderboard in the early stages of the race. However it was the right hand side panel showing no light that caused that the car had to come in three times to get it fixed. A disappointing result for the whole crew.
Kuba Smiechowski: “The beginning of the race with the heavy rain coming down and with 100 minutes delay, it was crazy. We changed to slicks during the first FCY and though tough in the first couple of laps, the strategy worked. But we had problems with the lighted side panel which ruined our race. But still a good job from James (Winslow) and Mathias (Beche).”
Michael Keese (Team Director): “We made the podium again with the LMP3. Incredible, as with the problems we had and against such the great competitors, we never thought we would. But my LMP3 dream team always makes the impossible possible. I am proud of them.”