Walkinshaw ready for Super GT debut
Sean Walkinshaw’s endurance racing career enters an exciting new phase this coming weekend, 8th/9th April, when the 2017 Super GT Championship gets underway in Japan. Embarking on his first campaign in the prestigious Far Eastern category, one of the most high profile championships in global motorsport, the 23-year-old heads to Okayama off the back of a strong, and highly productive, pre-season with Autobacs Racing Team Aguri.
Partnering vastly experienced Super GT competitor Shinichi Takagi, the duo sharing driving duties in a BMW M6 GT3 race car in the GT300 category, Walkinshaw is determined to make a competitive start to his maiden season outside Europe. Along with a different car to adjust to, the British racer having competed with Nissan power over the past couple of years in the Blancpain GT Series, Walkinshaw also has to learn a whole series of different circuits in Japan and Thailand and acclimatise to a variety of Bridgestone tyre compounds.
Pre-season testing with has been very positive for the ARTA squad and while the first round of Super GT, the Okayama 300km, will undoubtedly be a big challenge for Walkinshaw, it’s one he is more than ready for.
“Everything has gone pretty well so far”, he commented, “It’s been quite a big learning curve, especially the first test as I’d never been to the track before and it was an ‘old school’ circuit. The car is completely new to me, quite different from the Nissan I raced the last couple of years, and there are also lots of different compounds of tyres to learn about – it’s a big change. The team is fantastic, as is my team-mate Shinichi, and we’ve all been working really well together. It’s a very similar approach to racing in Europe really, although in Super GT we work a lot closer with the tyre engineers – each team has its own tyre engineer. Everything is very professional and the team is one of the best I’ve ever worked with.”
“I’ve got no real goals for the first round, other than to be competitive and do the best we possibly can”, added Walkinshaw, “Finishing on the podium would be great, but there’s still a lot to learn. I just want to produce a strong performance on my debut.”
(Sean Walkinshaw Press Office)