Ollie Millroy concluded his 2014 racing season in fine style by helping Team AAI secure the Asian Le Mans Series GT championship at yesterday’s 3 Hours of Sepang (7 December).
The British driver and team-mates Jun San Chen and Tatsuya Tanigawa took second on the road in challenging conditions at the Malaysian Grand Prix venue. And with the sister BMW Z4 GT3 following them home in third spot the #91 crew did more than enough to wrap up the teams’ title, which ensures the Taiwanese squad an automatic entry to next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
“Jun tackled the opening stint, then I took over for the next 75 minutes,” explained Millroy afterwards. “Physically it was probably the most difficult stint I have ever done. The heat was something else – almost 70°c inside the car – and as I don’t wear a cool-suit I really felt it. To make matters worse my drink bottle wasn’t working, so I was especially pleased to secure a strong result.”
Despite the adverse conditions inside the cockpit, Millroy was able to pull a 26-second gap over the chasing Z4 to ease any fears of a late title heartbreak.
“The pace was good,” he confirmed. “Sepang doesn’t suit the BMW perfectly, which allowed the Clearwater Ferrari to pull away out front. But we were able to keep the sister car behind and that was what mattered this weekend.”
Following Millroy’s stint Tanigawa took over for the final portion of the race and maintained second spot. However the event would come to a premature conclusion when a thunderstorm hit the Malaysian circuit, ending proceedings 10 minutes early.
“Most people know what happens when the rain comes down at Sepang as it’s happened a few times in Formula One,” explained Millroy. “It’s a sight to behold and there was little choice but to throw the red flag.
“From our perspective the race was clean and the pit-stops went smoothly. Overall it’s been a good year with Team AAI and I’m pleased to have helped them secure the teams’ championship,” he added.
Millroy will now return to the UK following an especially hectic late-season spell for the Briton.
“Between racing and other commitments I’ve only had three weeks at home from the past 21, so it’ll be good to get back and spend Christmas with my friends and family,” said the JEANRICHARD Watches brand ambassador. “Of course I’ll be training as well, because 2015 will be upon us in no time.”
Indeed, Millroy already has an eye on next year and is excited by his prospects.
“My manager Rod Vickery is working extremely hard on our plans,” revealed Millroy. “We’re mulling over a lot of options from staying in the Asian Le Mans Series to racing in the World Endurance Championship, switching to the ELMS, or perhaps going to America for United SportsCar.
“Rod’s hugely passionate about racing and the effort he’s put in has been phenomenal, so I need to say a big ‘thank you’ to him – and of course my sponsors, family and friends – for their support this year.”