The grid was decided by the second-fastest lap time of each car in Qualifying the previous day (Saturday 11thFeb). The #23 ORECA 07 of Shahin, Patterson and Jarvis started strong on the second row in P3 while the #22 ORECA 07 of McGuire, Hanson and Di Resta had more work to do, taking P9 in class / P20 overall.
When the flag dropped at 15:00 local-time, the track came alive - Garnet Patterson (#23) storming to the lead on the first lap, and Phil Hanson (#22) surging from P20 to P2 in the first 30 minutes.
We had purple times (OIly Jarvis put down the second fastest lap in the final hour), precision pit stops and blistering charges through the field - however, near-misses with Safety Car strategy meant it just wasn’t enough. The #22 car crossed the line under the floodlights in P7 with the #23 close behind in P8.
The Asian Le Mans Series continues next weekend with another double-header in Abu Dhabi. Stay up to date with the team on our social channels - Yas Marina, we’re coming.
Quali P9 (in class) | Race P7
Jim McGuire: “That was a pretty tough race for us towards the end. Phil started off with a mega first stint, went through traffic and took it to the lead. I held it for a little bit but then we fell behind on my stint and could never recover from it. Paul did a great job, fighting to the end … we move onto Abu Dhabi, hopefully we can have a better outcome.”
Phil Hanson: “P7 today - it was a tricky one. I started the race, but there was chaos so we went backwards initially. After that, I managed to get right the way through to the lead … then a safety car came out which meant we lost the advantage we’d built up. It was kind of similar to yesterday … we lost a bit of ground and didn’t really make it up. There were a couple of times when FCYs would have worked perfectly with our strategy, but we seemed to miss it by one lap – that was just bad luck. P5 yesterday, P7 today … we’ll try again at Yas Marina.”
Paul Di Resta: “Difficult. I don’t think the safety car helped what we were trying to do … bit unlucky there – and with the minimum pit stop times, if it doesn’t fall into place, it’s never going to happen. But we tried. I guess you can only roll the dice and go from there. Onto Abu Dhabi. Lots to learn and we keep trying to get on the podium. Our car should be more suited for Yas Marina, so we’re optimistic it will be better all round.”
Quali P3 | Race P8
Yasser Shahin: “We came here very determined today - Garnet got us off to a fantastic start, he couldn’t have done any better. The car was set up to be fast and it was, but unfortunately the front tyres were fairly delaminated when I got in and I really struggled to drive it in the first stint. As soon as we took a new tyre, things got a lot better for but it takes guts, brains and luck to be blowing in your direction to win and today just wasn’t our day. Plus, we served an unnecessary drive through. It is what it is, onwards and upwards.”
Garnet Patterson: “Exciting start - we had an alternative strategy today so I started the race. I had a good first lap, took the lead and then made a gap. The plan was to look after the tyres and hand it over to Yasser, but a few things went wrong … it was a messy race and we got an unfair penalty. Too many things went wrong today but we have the pace to win. We go again in Abu Dhabi next week - hopefully we can turn it on.”
Oliver Jarvis: “Today was tough to take. We had a really strong start with Garnet taking the lead from the second row – but after that, nothing seemed to go our way. We lost out during the Safety Car and then had to serve an incorrect penalty. We have the car, we have the pace, we just need a bit more luck. Onto Yas Marina”
Max Gregory: “We leave Dubai knowing we could have had more. For the #23 car, it was a great start with good pace, the race lead and a strong pit stop strategy. However, a Safety Car undid our progress. Similarly for the #22, it was a great effort from the team – they gave it all they could … but the circumstances didn’t work in our favour. We keep pushing.”