Kiwi taking on Thai super series
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Auckland-based racer Shaun Varney is gearing up for what’s set to be his biggest season of tin-top racing yet.
The 23-year-old has confirmed he will be competing in this year’s Thailand Super Series with leading GT squad B-Quik Racing. He will steer one of the team’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3s, with aims to challenge for overall victory.
Several New Zealanders already compete in the series, including Kiwi Racing’s Graeme Dowsett, and Craig Corliss, who campaigns an ex-Triple 8 Race Engineering Holden VE Commodore Supercar.
“GT racing is going from strength to strength around the word, and I’m fortunate to be given this opportunity,” Varney told Driven.
“I feel we have a good chance of winning the series against an impressive array of GT3 machinery including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Audis, and Porches. B Quik is the largest race team in Thailand, running three Audi R8 GT3s and two Porsche GT3s in the TSS class this season.”
Varney recently set foot in a GT3-spec car for the first time, as a test driver for Trass Family Motorsport and their Ferrari 458 GT3.
His motorsport resume also includes experience in the NZ SuperTourer Series, the Eneos North Island Endurance Series, and in New Zealand’s Castrol BMW Racing Series, where he piloted an ex-World Touring Car Championship BMW 320i.
He first connected with B-Quik Racing through Peter Cunliffe. Cunliffe helped connect him to the Thai race team last year.
Varney then competed in selected events for the team aboard a Porsche 911 GT3, but couldn’t commit to a full season because of calendar clashes.
Varney’s hope is that a season with the Audi-supported squad — which finished first in class at the iconic Sepang 12 Hours — will help prepare him for the next step of his career; the Australian GT Championship.
“This year for me is about getting experience in the R8, then my goal is to raise enough sponsorship to run Australian GT next season.
“I see GT racing going from strength to strength, that’s where the future of tin top racing is and that’s where I see my future.
“GT racing has the backing of a lot of manufacturers; I think that creates a lot of opportunity if you can prove yourself.”
Varney’s first B-Quik Racing test of 2017 takes place in three weeks at the Buriram United International Circuit series opener on April 27-30.