British racer Oli Webb collected a podium at the first race of the new season with third in front of 100,000 fans at Buriram International Circuit in Thailand for the Round 3 of the Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS). The circuit, which opened its doors in 2014 is the first Grade A track in Thailand and has already been host to WSBK, WTCC and Super GT racing.
Oli hit the tarmac in the Race Performance Oreca 03 LMP2 car in his first appearance for the Swiss based outfit who currently sit at the top of the Championship with 2 rounds remaining.
Practice went smoothly with the team focussing on race pace prior to qualifying where Oli and his teammate Nicolas Luetwiler picked up P3 on the grid for the start of the 3 hour endurance race after a red flag caused an unplanned interruption to their track time.
Come race day hopes were high and Oli got away well, moving up to 2nd off the start before being pushed wide to move back to 3rd. It wasn’t long before he was back in front of the Eurasia KFC car when he made a move into Turn 1 and the situation improved further with Oli in the outright lead when handing over to Luetwiler for his stint. Nicolas more than held his own against far more experienced drivers and with 20 minutes to go was still out in front. Celebrations were on hold however as fuel saving meant the duo dropped back to P3, just 1 second away from the second place Algarve Pro Racing machine. Third was a satisfying result as Pro Performance keep their nose ahead of their main Championship competitors heading into the final round at Sepang, Malaysia on the 23rd and 24th January.
I’m pleased with P3 today although it would have been great to have kicked off 2016 with a win, we had consistently good pace but ultimately it wasn’t quite enough. I’m happy for the team who stay top in the Championship and I I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Thailand and the incredible turnout from the fans, 100,000 of them were here and it was a pleasure to meet so many of them over the past few days. My focus now turns to the Dubai 24 Hour race where I’m hoping to retain the win I secured in 2015