Patric Niederhauser will contest Blancpain GT Series Asia in 2018
Fresh challenge for 26-year-old Patric Niederhauser! The Swiss driver will line up in the Blancpain GT Series Asia this season, driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 prepared by Team GruppeM Racing together with team-mates Nico Bastian and Markus Pommer. Plus, he’s planning a guest start in the GT4 Central European Cup with partner, Marylin Niederhauser.
Patric Niederhauser has had many years of experience in international GT3 sports, is one of the top drivers in the field in the Blancpain GT Series and in the ADAC GT Masters and has shown enormous flair on a number of occasions. He has now taken the decision to venture into Asia to further expand his motor racing CV.
He has chosen the dominant team from last season, Team GruppeM Racing. After twelve races, the outfit easily won the team championship with a lead of 83 points and also took the drivers’ titles in the GT3 overall standings and in the GT3 Pro/Am Cup. Niederhauser will share the Mercedes-AMG GT3 on the first and fifth race weekend with Nico Bastian while former ADAC GT Masters team-mate Markus Pommer will support him for the other four races.
The Blancpain GT Series Asia is made up of six meetings in all, running from mid-March to mid-October and contested mainly at current and former Formula 1 circuits. Sepang International Circuit will host the season opener, 14th - 15th April 2018. Further season highlights are planned at the legendary Suzuka International Racing Course and Shanghai International Circuit.
Two one-hour races are held on the Saturday and Sunday of each race weekend, preceded by two 15-minute qualifying sessions on Saturday and practice. The standings are based on the FIA’s official scale with 25 points for the winner and one point for the driver in tenth place.
Three questions for Patric Niederhauser
You’re bidding farewell to Europe, at least, as far as racing goes. What led you to make that decision?
I’ve had some great years in the Blancpain GT Series and ADAC GT Masters, but everyone knows that I’m always well up for a new challenge. Actually, my programme for the 2018 season was already in place when I was suddenly offered the chance to compete for Team GruppeM Racing in Asia. The outfit’s achievements speak for themselves. They won three titles last season and are top favourites again this year.
You referred to the role of favourites just now. How do you expect to do this season?
These will be my first races in the Mercedes-AMG GT3. I feel pretty optimistic that I’ll soon get used to my new car, as switching brands in the past has always gone smoothly for me. The tracks will also be new to me. I’m really looking forward to competing on Malaysia’s unique circuits and at Suzuka. But taking those factors and the strong competition into account, the season will be no walk in the park, that’s for sure! Nevertheless, I know that we can impress with the backing of an excellent team and a strong driver combination!
You’re heading for another premiere in 2018, a very special one...
Yes that’s right! I’m going to contest a GT4 Central European Cup race weekend with Marylin Niederhauser. I’ve helped her as a driver coach already in the past and so, know the KTM X-Bow GT4 quite well. I’m really looking forward to competing with her and Reiter Engineering.
2018 Blancpain GT Series Asia Calendar
14/04/18 - 15/04/18 Sepang, Malaysia
12/05/18 - 13/05/18 Mai, Chang International Circuit, Thailand
30/06/18 - 01/07/18 Suzuka, Japan
21/07/18 - 22/07/18 Fuji Speedway, Japan
22/09/18 - 23/09/18 Shanghai, China
13/10/18 - 14/10/18 Ningbo, China