Asian Le Mans Series Race 3 – SPS Automotive Performance/Mikaël Grenier Unofficially Second
A COMEBACK DRIVE FROM SPS AUTOMOTIVE PERFORMANCE AND MIKAËL GRENIER IN A RACE THAT WAS RED FLAGGED FOR 30 MINUTES
Round three of the Asian Le Mans Series had many setbacks for some of the teams in terms of strategy and especially for SPS Automotive Performance.
Having started third in GT, thank to a great qualifying lap by Grenier, things did not pan out as expected. With a full course yellow early on followed by a second full course yellow(with pitlane closed) for a car that caught fire and then race officials having to bring out the red flag to clean up the remains of the incident while everyone had to come to a stop on the start/finish straight, it made it for a rather eventful second half of the race.
Seat time for the drivers were also hampered because of it. Shown in third place of GT P/A after the restart following the red flag, Valentin Pierburg, who had taken over driving duties from John Loggie who had spent nearly two hours at the wheel was shown in third place with the reshuffle following a series of pitstops by competitors.
Mikaël Grenier, who is usually getting most of the driving in the second half of the race, took the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for what was less than an hour in the race. When he joined the race, he was shown about 15 seconds behind second place no. 57 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3. Lap after lap, Grenier kept closing the gap and with les than ten minutes to go, the GT P/A leader no. 99 Herbert Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R received a penalty for a rule infringement and lost two places.
At that moment, Grenier was really getting close to the now leading no. 57 Kessel Racing. In the closing laps of the race, it was announced the no. 57 also received a penalty(reason for the penalty was unclear at the time, NDLR) and in all the mayhem, Grenier and the no. 20 SPS Automotive Performance was shown as crossing the line ahead of the no. 57.
When the podium ceremony came around, even the commentators were surprised to see the no. 57 Kessel Racing drivers stepping on the highest step of the podium with SPS Automotive Performance in second.
At this time, the unofficial results show No. 57 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 in first place with no. 20 SPS Automotive Performance second(1.5s behind) and third no. 99 Herbert Motorsports.
From the unofficial results, Mikaël Grenier ended the race with the third fastest lap 0.042s from fastest time.
Race 3 results here.
Race 4 will take place Sunday at 4:30pm local time(7:30am Eastern Time) on Asian Le Mans Series YouTube channel.
Image: Asian Le Mans Series