Croatian driver Martin Kodric was forced to retire early when a first win was within his grasp in the Blancpain GT Series Asia this weekend. The frustrated 19-year-old was taken out when in front and looking good for the victory in the first race at Buriram, Thailand.
But the Vincenzo Sospiri Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 was left so badly damaged that they couldn't return to the track or take part in the second race at all. It left the ADD Motorsports racer bitterly disappointed, but able to look at the positives.
He said: “I’m really, really disappointed. We were moving forward so well this weekend and this kind of thing just shouldn’t happen. “The driver was off the track, then tried to come back on and was heading straight for me before spinning and taking me out. I don’t know what he was doing, it was so dangerous I was lucky not to be badly hurt. “He was excluded from the rest of the weekend, but the damage was already done. “It’s hard to take the positives when both races are wrecked, but at least we can see how good we were looking before the crash. Now we just need to keep working hard and get the win we deserved in the next round.”
Martin’s weekend got off to the worst possible start when some travel problems saw him arrive in Thailand a day and a half late. But despite missing the first free practice and it being his first time at the Chang International Circuit, he impressively got up to speed in double-quick time and looked very fast. By the official practice, on new tyres, the pairing of Sandy Stuvik and Kodric were really sharp and up to P6 in the times. The team changed a few things for qualifying, but with traffic impeding his progress, Martin was satisfied with a P6 again. The young driver got off to an electric start in the first race, moving up three places in two corners.
But on lap 7, a GT4 car that had gone off track, tried getting back on heading the wrong way, before spinning and hitting Martin hard. The chassis was badly damaged and ended the weekend early for the team.
Martin continued: “We had done so well to hit our stride after the trouble with the travel early on. It made it even worse that this was Sandy’s home track and we were looking so comfortable. “We were P1 in class with a five-second gap, P1 in the Silver Cup and P3 overall when we were hit, so to say we are frustrated is an understatement. “But we just need to regroup and go again next round.”
Fraser Sheader, director of performance and management team ADD Motorsports, added:
“Martin was looking so good this weekend and the team had really improved and were looking on for the win. “I’m really gutted for them. It was a really stupid move that cost them badly. “But there are plenty of positive signs now about where they are in the championship and where they can be, hopefully we can put this right next round.”
The drivers now move on to Suzuka International Circuit in Japan on 24/25 June.