Shanghai Blancpain: Patel returns on podium in Race 1
Indian GT ace Aditya Patel scored his fifth podium of the year in the penultimate round of the Blancpain GT Asia Series in Shanghai.
Patel’s OD Racing teammate Mitch Gilbert lined up third on the grid on a damp racetrack. As the cars made their way up to turn 2, the #88 Porsche got tagged by the #30 Bentley, bringing out the Safety Car.
While Gilbert managed to steer clear of the incident that took place ahead of him, he slipped down to third while taking evasive action.
However, as soon as the SC retreated, the Australian was back up to P3 and set about a charge to haul in the race leaders.
He quickly displaced the #1 Lamborghini, before hammering down the race leading #66 Lamborghini, then driven by Sandy Stuvik.
With every single lap, the 23-year-old brought down the eight-second gap, eventually passing the Thai driver with 35 minutes to go
At the same time, the pit stop window opened and drivers around him stopped for the mandatory driver change. Gilbert, however, preferred to stay out until lap 13 before handing over the car to Patel.
During the pit stop, Patel also took on slick tyres as the track has dried out sufficiently.
But with conditions still tricky, the Indian ran deep into the final corner and was forced into a full 360-degree spin.
Having already fallen down to second in the pit stop sequence, he now dropped to third place.
Fortunately, the then race-leading #66 Lamborghini was given a drive through penalty, elevating the Audi India-backed driver back into second place.
Patel tried to chase down the #5 car for victory and brought down the deficit to 2.578s, but ultimately had to settle for the runner-up spot.
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