Belfast Telegraph

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Late fuel stop costs Boyd first Chinese victory

 

By Sammy Hamill

Wayne Boyd will move on to Japan for his final race of 2018 buoyed up by a podium finish in the opening round of the Asian Le Mans sportscar series in China.

The Templepatrick driver took second place for the United Autosports team in the LMP3 category, and was only denied victory when co-driver Chris Buncombe had to being their Ligier in for a late 'splash and dash' pit stop.

Indeed, late stops cost the Anglo American UA team two potential victories after Paul di Resta also had to pit for a late fuel top up in their LMP2 Ligier.

Boyd has been racing in the LMP2 division UA in the European Le Mans championship but an unexpected call-up saw him drafted into their LMP3 for the winter series in Asia where he shares the car with Englishman Buncombe and American Garret Grist.

A previous winner in European LMP3, he showed he could make the switch back comfortably by leading the class for much of the middle section of the four-hour race in Shanghai; indeed he was challenging for the overall lead at one point.

He handed over to Buncombe with a 30-second LMP3 lead but the late pit stop proved costly, just as it di for di Resta and Phil Hanson in the LMP2 car. But overall it was a great debut in the Asian series for United Autosports who finished with three podium places.

"It has been a great experience racing in China for the first time and we were a wee bit unlucky not to get the win. But it is a good start to the series," said Boyd.

Next up is the Japanese round at Mount Fuji on December 9 before further races in the new year in Thailand and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Marty McCormack and Paul Barrett are the highest seeded Ulster drivers in a massive entry list for next weekend's Killarney Historic Rally.

McCormack and Barrett are at two and three in a 150-plus list headed by Mark Falvey, with the trio all driving Ford Escorts. McCormack is also joined by his regular British championship rival Jonny Greer who is entered in a Ford Sierra Cosworth for a rare historic rally outing.

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