Leona Chin – New Year’s 6 Hours Endurance Race 2015 Practice Session at Guangdong International Circuit China
Race Car : Subaru BRZ
Race Team : 有朋自远方来
Team Drivers : Sam Lau(Liu Yang), Leona Chin, Sun Qiang, Xi Xu Ping
Race Date: 31-12-2015
Race Format: Endurance
Race Duration: 6 hours
Event Result: 4th in Group B class
I’m Leona Chin,
Last year I participated in the Guangzhou International Circuit Race with the team MRC- Friends for a far, they are a team from Shan Dong
The Team leader is Liu Yang, He is one of China’s famous CCTC driver and also one of the F-team members during my appearance in the TV show I did in August.
We stayed in touch and he offered me a seat for the 6hour endurance race and the car he was racing with was a Subaru BRZ.
Just a week before the race, my manager and I bought tickets to Guang Zhou Baiyun Airport to wait for Liu Yang to pick us up
he brought us to the Guangzhou international track to check out the race car that was still in the garage touching up.
On practice day, I got to try the BRZ it was the first time on track, Liu Yang was worried I might ditch the car but eventually and managed to get 1min 37 sec lap timing during the practice session.
During Qualifying, The third driver Sun Qiang arrived and Liu Yang gave the third driver to practice the car during qualifying
On race day, the parade started and all the drivers parked the cars on the grid and there were a lot of people around. Some took photos with me. The first driver for our team was Liu Yang, during the start of the race, we didn’t know but something happened and he came back to the pits, we were so surprised, the mechanic ran towards his car and yanked a device from the back of the car. It was a broken DJI phantom drone.
This has cost us 2 laps delay and a Drive Thru Penalty for hitting the drone and as he was driving out of the pit, he was stuck at the pit exit as the track had a red flag and they didn’t release any car during the red flag which cost us further 2 laps. We were really far behind in our category but Liu Yang pushed hard and managed to chase to the middle of the pack.
I prepared for my stint, wore my overalls and helmet and waited for him to come in.
Once he came in the stop position, I ran to the door and hop in the car as they strapped me up, I was ready to go out for my drive. It was a quick pit stop and I pushed as hard as I could, overtaking cars that were slower and chasing the same category cars. I manage to maintain the position and drove for almost 1 hour. There was a yellow flag and safety car came out, I was ready to pit in and change driver.
The third driver hop in and I was pulled out from the car to a safe spot and went to the medical room to have my blood pressure measured, after that I went back to our pit to monitor our team positions. We saw the position drop and drop as the car timing lap was getting slower, and after a few laps later the car was reported that it ditched in the gravel. I was shocked and confused, are we still in the race? after many laps later the car appeared in the pit stop and Liu Yang hop in and took over.
He chased like a mad man we see his lap times getting faster and faster every lap, and he climb back up the ranking from the second page till the first page of the score board. It was a tough decision, to let third driver back in the track or not. Finally my manager called me to prepare. I suit up and waited to jump in, at this time the sky was already dark and it was going to be a tough time for me as I didn’t practice in the night before but I was determined to do my best.
Driving in the dark was cooling, and actually not that bad, because there was car lights so you can see if there are cars nearby. My manager was on the radio with me and updated me on my positions. We were only 1 lap away from the 3rd car. I pushed maximum and overtook so many cars.
I learned how to take the overtaking lines in corners and applied it to almost every corner where there were cars. I was more confident then my earlier stint. the car tires were starting to wear out. I had to conserve the car as the fuel gauge light appeared and there was 10 mins left to the end of the race. I told my manager about the fuel is low he told me it’s ok and ask me to keep pushing and chase the 3rd place car that was 20 seconds away. with every lap I made progress in lap times but suddenly I received radio asking if I’m ok? I was still pushing hard and replied them I’m fine. Another lap and I saw the checkered flag appear. We didn’t manage to get 3rd place at the end! 4th was our best!
It was a tough fight but I was very happy I was part of it. It was a great experience , learned a lot of driving skills and chinese culture and hope to join more exciting races in China!
This video is my practice session best lap on GIC track
Event Videos by others:
Event Results （Article is in Chinese) :