OD Racing went through a trying debut for their McLaren GT650S with some positive signs despite a troubled start in the opening round of the 2016-2017 Asian Le Mans Series at China's Zhuhai Circuit.
Having missed the first practice session on Thursday due to setup issues bogged down by the late arrival of critical parts, the OD Racing trio of Malaysia's Fairuz Fauzy, New Zealand's Jono Lester and Hong Kong's drift star James Tang finished Firday practice fourth in the GT class.
"Unfortunately the qualifying session was under wet conditions and we had very limited data for those conditions as this was our first time racing the McLaren," said Fairuz.
The OD Racing McLaren ended qualifying 9th fastest in the GT class.
Tang kicked off OD Racing's race day on Sunday and was quick to move up to 6th early in his opening stint of the 4-hour race, but was hit by a Ferrari under a double yellow flag after just 25 minutes of the race.
That meant the OD Racing McLaren had to be pitted for repairs for almost an hour as the crew scrambled to fix damages to a broken bumper, headlights and a radiotor.
It was, however, not enough to salvage the team even a classified finish, with the time off meaning the team did not complete the required 70% of the race.
"We managed to continue the race after an hour down and finished it. However, Le Mans required every team to finish at least 70% of the race to be classified," said Fairuz.
The GT class was won by the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 with drivers Nasrat Muzayyin, Rui Aguas and Marco Cioci completing 142 laps, just 1.191 seconds of defending class champions Clearwater Racing of Singapore with drivers Mok Weng Sun, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin on board a similar Ferrari 488 GT3.
VS Racing was the first of the Lamborghini Huracan's in third spot in the GT class with drivers Adrian Zaugg, Corey Lewis and Kei Cozzolino completing 141 laps over the 4-hour duration.
"Nevertheless, our team did a great job in preparing the car before and during the race. We couldn't have finished the race without the team support. We learn a lot from this first race, especially on a wet course," said Fairuz, a former Lotus Racing F1 test driver.
"We are looking forward for the next race in Fuji, Japan in early December. We would like to thank all our supporters who made it there in Zhuhai and also our supporters back home in Malaysia."
The team now shifts focus to Round 2 of the championship at the Fuji Speedway in Japan on December 3 and 4, with Fairuz and Lester set to be partnered by a third driver which will be announced in due course.
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