Blancpain GT Asia: Patel & Gilbert lose title by one point despite Race 2 win
The Indo-Malaysian were on-song in the final round, but all the efforts went in vain.
After winning the first race on Saturday, starting on pole the #86 OD Racing pair of Mitch Gilbert and Aditya Patel had a mixed run on Sunday in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 car.
The 2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia season's final race started behind the safety car due to the treacherous conditions at Zhejiang, which caught out pole-sitter Gilbert upon re-start.
A wide moment in Turn 1 put him in second as the #18 KCMG of Martin Rump & Sanghwi Rick Yoon took the lead in it Audi R8 LMS GT3.
It was for the Malaysian to keep its pace behind Rump and ahead of its main championship rivals, the #999 GruppeM Racing Team's Hunter Abbott & Maximilian Buhk and the #5 Audi Hong Kong's Marchy Lee & Shaun Thong.
Gilbert's pit stop had to have a 10-second stationery time, as Patel took over to come out behind again behind Am driver Yoon, whom the Indian could challenge for the win.
The Chennai-born driver did so as he reeled in Yoon to take over the lead and built a comfortable buffer from second-placed #88 Craft Bamboo Racing's Porsche, to double up in the final weekend and score its third win of the season.
But despite doing all they could, Patel & Gilbert still lost the overall GT3 title by one point as rival Abbott was able to secure it by virtue of finishing in fourth.
The Indo-Malaysian pair ended up with a total of 160 points to Abbot's 160 in the GT3 tally, while Lee and Thong's sixth place finish put them third with 158 points.
A victory in Silver class to Lee & Thong's fourth place was still not enough for Patel & Gilbert to displace them from the top spot - with the former pair ending up with 206 points, while the latter had 188.