Graeme Dowsett and TeamNZ have enjoyed an excellent debut in the latest round of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA), which supported the final Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit last weekend.
As well as being the first time we had lodged an entry in PCCA, it was also Graeme’s first experience behind the wheel of the current generation Porsche 991 GT3 Cup and with very little track time available due to the packed weekend grand prix programme the New Zealander had a steep learning curve and so it was imperative that he made the most of the available track time, although certainly he knows this circuit inside out.
Following last Saturday’s qualifying session, Graeme was well placed for the race, which started at 1230 on Sunday afternoon, a key curtain raiser for the following Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Heavy rain fell just before the grid lined up and that meant the start and the first three laps were run behind the Safety Car, but once the race received the green lights Graeme immediately got stuck in, taming the wet track and low visibility, battling with the Pro-Am midfield and safely bringing the #3 Porsche home tenth in class.
A strong PCCA debut for Graeme and TeamNZ, we’re happy with how the weekend shook out and very pleased that we had the opportunity to be part of an emotional weekend for our ‘home’ circuit as Malaysia said goodbye to Formula 1.
This was a strictly one-off entry, but it gave the team a great opportunity to evaluate PCCA, potentially for the future.
Graeme Dowsett: “The overall PCCA racing experience was excellent, it was really good fun. The race start was very difficult with a torrential downpour a couple of minutes from the green light meaning we had to start on slicks and to crawl through the formation lap which was super difficult with cars spinning on the back straight, let alone in the corners. The red flag allowed us to switch to wets and start under the Safety Car for a couple of laps within the race. Once it was green, it was incredibly difficult, with visibility so poor that you could not see the car in front of you when you braked, and could only see it once you were 75-100 m from the corner so it meant having complete trust in everyone in front of you.
We made up a couple of positions and then had I a good fight with Paul Tressider in the later few laps. The fastest lap during the race was a bit better than our finishing position and gives a good benchmark for myself and John for future PCCA races. Both of us have our eye on PCCA in 2019 so it was an excellent experience to have competed in this weekend’s event. A special thank you to Modena Motorsports, Open Road Racing and Michael S., for the opportunity to drive this weekend and also to PCCA for a stellar event to participate in. Big congratulations to my team mate and TeamNZ regular Will Bamber, who drove to an amazing second place giving the fans some excitement of very close car racing in unbelievable conditions.”
Source. Edd Ellison