Disappointing debut for Clearwater Racing in the Blancpain GT Series Asia
9th April 2017
Rob re-joined Clearwater Racing for the debut of the Blancpain GT Series Asia at the beginning of April, with the first round of the new championship taking place at Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Rob, a highly successful McLaren GT factory driver, won the Asian Le Mans Series with Clearwater Racing in 2015/16 and the team has entered the new Asian Blancpain Series for this season. Driving the McLaren 650S GT3 alongside Singaporean Richard Wee in the ProAm Class, it was a bumper grid of 30 cars, representing eight manufacturers, for the first round.
The two race event started with testing and free practice sessions with the team pacing in the mid-field throughout the sessions. Qualifying saw an improvement for the team’s pace with Rob qualifying the car in 11th place in sessions interrupted by numerous red flag periods.
Rob’s teammate, Richard, took the start for the race but as the lights went green he was caught up in a startline incident, with the McLaren 650S being tipped straight into the wall with heavy impact that finished the race for the team. The car had sustained substantial damage from the accident and the team were forced to withdraw from competing in the second race of the weekend.
Rob said of his trip to Sepang, “Of course it was very disappointing for everyone at Clearwater Racing and I’m just thankful that Richard was okay after his accident, it was a big hit into the wall, so it was a great shame. We had our ups and down in the lead up to the race, with some technical issues early on in the weekend, but the car felt good heading into the race and I thought we had a good chance of a strong showing. It’s great to be involved in a new championship and I’ve enjoyed being reunited with Clearwater Racing for this. Let’s hope we’re a bit luckier next time.”
The next round of the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia runs from 20 – 21st May at Chang International Circuit in Thailand.