Promising Start for Robotham in GT World Challenge Asia

Lanotec Ambassador Jay Robotham made a promising start to his Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS campaign at the Sepang International Circuit over the weekend, with a class podium from the opening race of the season.

Driving a Lanotec Australia-backed Climax Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Min Heng, the combination showed strong pace throughout the event, even if it wasn’t smooth sailing in qualifying or the races.

After setting the second fastest time in the second test session, the outfit placed 18th on the grid for race one. An up-and-down opener saw the pair finish 17th and third in the Silver-AM class.

After a strong drive through the field on Sunday, a top-five outright result beckoned; however, a communication issue between the pits and Heng saw a penalty go unanswered, which resulted in the crew being scrubbed from the final results.

“We had an ok day on Saturday, but we had a lot of unlucky stuff happen,” said Robotham.

“We had a drive-through after a safety car restart issue where a few people got caught, it was a bit unfortunate, but we still got third in the end, which was a nice surprise.

“In race two, I got a pretty good start, but there was a car that spun, I got caught out on the wrong side of it and fell back a few places, and I had to fight my way back through.

“I got stuck behind a couple of fast cars, and I couldn’t really pass them because their straight-line speed was so fast, but once we got into a pack, I was able to get past them and set some good lap times at the end of the stint.

“When Min got back in the car, we were around eighth outright, and he got up to sixth or seventh.

“Then we found out that our pit stop was a tenth of a second under the minimum time allowed.

“We had a stop-go penalty, but he didn’t know and couldn’t see the board, so we were ultimately disqualified.

“If we stayed where we were, we probably would have finished fifth, but we were pushing for fourth outright and leading the class by a fair bit, which would have been a great result.

“It’s a tough one to swallow, we know we have the race speed, but we need to maximise qualifying and just make sure that there are no mistakes.

“We were quick on the opening day of practice, the race pace was there, and Min is very fast as a Bronze driver.

“Everyone drives crazy here. It’s like racing for sheep stations the whole race, and you’re playing with expensive toys – I just tried to keep it clean.”

Robotham’s next outing in the GT World Challenge Asia series is slated for the Chang International Circuit from May 10-12, one week after the Thailand Super Series kicks off at the same venue, where he will compete in both the Super Pickup class in a Ford Ranger and the GTM category in a MARC Mustang.

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