GAC Motor recently concluded its stint in the 12 hour Kalayaan Cup endurance race. With the team that the brand had assembled, all worked hard in order to bring home the gold in several categories, as well as place among veteran race teams.
A new team comprised of some veteran, and semi-veteran drivers, the 12 hours on Clark International Speedway is no small feat. The effort of the team resulted in top honors for GAC and its humble little GA4 1.5L MT sedan. The combined effort netted the team a first place finish in the manufacturer class for the four hour and 12-hour segments. Overall, the team managed to bag a second place finish after the first four hours and still placed respectably in fourth by the time 12 hours of racing had elapsed.
I’m now home in my bed, dead tired from a straight two-hour stint under scorching afternoon heat. I’m just glad I got to help bring it home for the team and give GAC its first 12-hour Endurance Race win on its debut race.
The manufacturer class is meant for cars that are close to stock. The only modifications that got the team through the door was the roll cage, racing seat and harness, as well as better tires and brake pads that are meant to take on the challenges that endurance racing demands. These modifications are tantamount to safety on track and no other modifications were made to the engine or suspension as per the regulations. All parts were supplied by GAC themselves, and as stated by the team, no major issues arose other than the pit stops for driver changes, tire changes, and refueling.
Being the brand’s first entry into motorsport, there were so many unknowns and the goal for GAC was just to finish the brutal 12 hours intact. Thanks to a great team, our strategy pulled through and these trophies are just the cherries on top. Good job everyone!
Endurance racing is not just about straight line speed. It’s about pace and reliability. If you’ve tuned in to the 24 hours of LeMans, then you would be familiar with the steps and preparation necessary to undertake a whole day’s worth of racing. You might also be familiar with the drama of a technical failure when it does happen. A breakdown can cause all the effort going up the leaderboards to go to waste.
Good job to the GAC race team and the GAC Motor brand for their stellar finish. The performance and the build quality of the GA4 sedan was not just skin-deep by any stretch of the imagination. It is not yet known whether another racing event will be participated in by the company. Rest assured, that 12-hours worth of track driving did not phase the little compact sedan.
Photos courtesy of Aurick Go, Francis Arjonillo, and Sung Joon Park