OD Racing Season Capped with Double Win but ONE Point Shy of the Championship

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November 30, 2017

OD Racing Season Capped with Double Win but ONE Point Shy of the Championship

17 October 2017 – It was a tremendous weekend for the OD Racing team at the Blancpain GT Series Asia when Mitch Gilbert and Aditya Patel took home a double at the newly built Zhejiang Circuit in China.

Their exceptional pace and consistent push of the Audi R8 LMS GT3, complete with new livery, gave the team the Series’ first back-to-back win on a wet weekend. The wins followed two very well fought Qualifying sessions where Patel set the second fastest time, to start Round 11 in second, and Gilbert claiming pole for Round 12.

In a race that started behind the Safety Car due to rain, Patel managed to keep his head down and stayed out of trouble up in second. By lap 8, the Indian national was close enough to the race leader and made a move for the lead. Then he opened up enough of a gap allowing Gilbert to take over at the halfway mark and still maintain the lead all the way to the chequered flag.

After that first race of the weekend, Patel said: “we knew it would be a battle starting second so it was important to get past quickly. I found my rhythm and gained the time that allowed Mitch to come out still leading. It keeps our title hopes alive – tomorrow we want to go out there and do the same job”.

The final race too was a wet start and with the additional 10-second success penalty at the pit-stop, it meant that the duo had a catch up race but the challenging weather gave the opportunity for Gilbert and Patel, who love racing in the rain, to claim a successive win.

Said Gilbert of the race, “it was a good weekend – two wins and we came within a point of the championship, so what can you say?

“The weather was terrible and all I wanted after the start was for the stint to end, get out of the car and let Aditya finish the job. The Audi was pretty strong but I couldn’t quite keep pace with Martin [Rump] so I tried to remain within touching distance. Okay, 16 seconds isn’t really touching distance! But we’ve done a good job this weekend and throughout the season. Winning both races is a great way to end the year.”

In the end, what looked like a possible Championship win was not meant to be when the team came up just one point behind the eventual Championship winner.

“At the end of the day, there was nothing disappointing at all about the weekend. It was a perfect outing for Mitch and Aditya and the crew. Not one person set a foot wrong and it showed. It was one of our best outings this season, just the best way to end the year” said Cornelius Ee, Director of OD Racing.

“What a season! Highs, lows and everything in between. The title was such a long shot and we just wanted to do the best we could. Pole and both wins was just that” said Gilbert.

“I still can’t believe that we missed out by ONE point, but I am just happy for the weekend. What a way to end the season.

“Thank you to Datuk Ee, Cornelius, Bernard, Aditya, the whole OD crew and fans for believing in us. Can’t wait for the 2018 season!” ended the Malaysian born.

Patel too echoed his sentiment, “it has been quite a year. We have had our ups and downs but what a way to end the year!

“We definitely went in with the plan to win both races and then see where that takes us. Unfortunately we were just a little short.

“We definitely had a blast all year as a team and grew together in the process. Thank you to the entire OD Racing family, Absolute Racing, Mitch, Cornelius, Audi India, Jubilant Motors for their support through the year. Hopefully we’ll be back at Blancpain next year to fight again” said Patel.

Ee then added, “2017 has been an amazing year for us in OD. Our decision to join the Blancpain Series came about pretty late but right from the start we managed our first podiums with a win and a second place, which changed everything for us. We saw the opportunity and we fought hard to gain it. Despite all the setbacks we had, no one gave up, the crew and the drivers just pushed on right to the last race weekend where we managed 50 points in one weekend.

“It was just one of the best times we had at a circuit this season, too bad we fell short of the Championship but what we showed was that we had it in us to fight with the giants who have had years and years of experience. I feel for the team, we came so close to the Championship but we won’t dwell on it and we have every reason to celebrate. We came to the Series just hoping for a few podiums but to finish it down to the wire like this proved our might.

“We appreciate this whole season, the team of fantastic people who were always there to fight and support us. Mitch and Aditya did a fantastic job this Zhejiang weekend and no one can deny that. We are going to aim bigger next year and fight another battle” ended Ee.

OD Racing would like to thank the families of Gilbert, Patel and all the crew for the support that they have showed the team. We would also like to thank our partners, who not only backed our racing dream but also showed tremendous team spirit by even joining us at the races. To our fans, you cheers and positive support means a lot to us, so we will keep you updated on our plans.

 

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