Alex Au and GT3 debutant Frederik Schandorff finished their weekend on a high at Sepang finishing second in the Pro-Am category in race two. Racing one of VSR’s Lamborghini GT3 cars the pair also scored points in Saturday’s race.
VSR was proud to be part of the record grid of thirty cars that took part in the opening round of this year’s Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia Championship. The Italian team’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo was entrusted to Frederick Schandorff from Denmark, getting his first taste of GT3 racing, and Hong Kong’s Alex Au. The pair ran in the highly competitive Pro-Am category.
Qualifying took place at midday on Saturday with the track at the hottest it had been since the teams began running on Wednesday. Au went out for the first session and with a lap less than a second off the pole set the ninth fastest time, qualifying third in Pro-Am. Rain started to fall as the cars started the formation lap for race one. Au maintained his position as the start got under way on an increasingly slippery track but the safety car was called out after just one lap. The race went green again on lap five with the field still on slicks and the rain continuing to fall. After one more lap the Safety Car was back on track and several teams, including VSR, opted to switch to wet weather tyres. A wheel nut problem delayed the stop and left the car on slicks but fortunately the rain soon stopped and two laps later the pit window opened allowing Au, running seventh in class, to hand the Lambo over to Schandorff. The stop coincided with another short appearance by the safety car and when the track went green Schandorff was quickly on the pace. One of the fastest drivers on track in the closing stages of the race he bought the car home eighth in class concluding a torrid race which saw the team also forced to serve a one second stop and go penalty for a pit infringement.
Schandorff lined up on the fourth row for Sunday’s race after qualifying sixth in class in a session that was red flagged at the halfway point. The Dane made a great start, muscling his way into fifth place at the first corner. As the leading four Porsches streaked away Schandorff held off Jaafar’s Mercedes until lap five when he was forced to cede the place. Three laps later the safety car joined the track and Schandorff lost the advantage he had built up to the faster cars behind him. When the track went green again the VSR Lamborghini was mobbed by the Craft Bamboo Mercedes’s and slipped down to tenth overall, ninth in Pro-Am. On lap fourteen Schandorff pitted for new rubber and Au took over for the final stint. When the pit window closed Au was running fifth in class, four seconds behind Shen who was holding fourth. It took Au just one lap to catch and pass the Modena Motorsports Porsche and he immediately set his sights on Li in third place, a further two seconds up the road. By lap twenty-one he had closed the gap to less than half a second and next time round he had made the pass. A drive through penalty for Cheng earned the VSR car one more place and Au held off a late charge from Bhirombhakdi to take the flag in seventh place overall, second in Pro-Am.
The next round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia takes place in Thailand on 10-12 May.