Aidan completed a successful week in Thailand driving and coaching in GT3 and LMP3 prototype machinery. He can take credit for his achievements in both roles, bringing pace out of his gentleman driving Clients and a very strong personal race performance in the third round of the Asian Le Mans Series, the 4 hours of Buriram.
The early part of the week was engaged giving Fareed Ali, an enthusiastic amateur driver looking to develop his skills, his first experience in GT3 machinery. Aidan coached him in the Vattana Motorsport prepared Lamborghini that he has campaigned successfully in the Thailand Super Series, bringing the Canadian gent’s times down over two days to a respectable pace that left the Client keen to explore and do more in the category this year.
Attention was then turned to the more serious business of the LMP3 category in the Asian Le Mans Series, partnering and supporting Japanese gentleman racer Nobuya Yamanaka in his first steps in International racing. The partnership had already achieved a podium in the opening round of the Series in China and a strong outing in Fuji Japan before a car failure curtailed the race for the pair.
Aidan had already undertaken private testing and coaching with Nobuya at the Buriram track last year in preparation for this event. It proved beneficial with Nobu coming up to pace more quickly as practice began. Aidan’s focus with the Eurasia team was on optimising the race setup, making the car compliant for both drivers and fast over the race distance.
Things went to plan with Aidan topping the timesheets through practice and Nobu bringing his times down relative to his fellow ‘bronze rated’ drivers across the sessions.
Choosing to save tyres for the 4-hour race over grid position, the pair lined up sixth for the race with Nobu talking the start. A solid stint was run under all green flag conditions resulting in Nobu dropping a lap against the class leaders who had started with their ‘pro’ drivers in the car.
Aidan picked up the car in eighth place and started a one-hour stint in pursuit of the pack ahead. Fast, consistent and relentless pace saw Aidan carve his way back up through the field to hand the car back to Nobu in third spot, for the Japanese to complete his minimum 1 hour 30 minute drive time before he would hand back to Aidan to complete the run to the chequered flag.
The Japanese had what was his most encouraging stint to date, bringing his times down to within 2.5 seconds of the fastest pace. This emphasised driving improvements made under the guidance of Aidan and the team.
In Aidan’s final stint, the benefit from the qualifying tyre saving strategy came back to him with a series of quick and consistent laps that brought the car back up a lap for a solid sixth place finish.
“My week in Thailand was successful in a number of measures,” Aidan explained. “It was really pleasing to see the progress made by Fareed in GT3 and Nobu in LMP3. It is rewarding to see their driving improving all the time as we work together.
“My performances behind the wheel were consistent and strong in both the GT3 and LMP3 cars, which was a nice way to start the year. The 4 Hours of Buriram was solid for the #36 car, we executed our best race which we can be proud of and call upon as useful experience as we continue to improve.
“I hope to continue to work with Fareed in the future, and I look forward to the Asian Le Mans finale with Nobu in a month, on my 20th Birthday weekend in Malaysia!”