– Round 4 of the VLMS season, Suzuka. Our goal for this race was to stay in contention for the championship. This meant we were aiming for at least a podium this race.
Tough and technical challenge of Suzuka brings season to halfway point. Sitting in P2 in the overall standings #48 has the momentum going into this race.
Team Manager: Greg Hall
Setups: Jon Uyan
Engineer (Pit Wall): Jon Uyan
Drivers: Jordy Zwiers, Brian van Beusekom
Reserve Driver: Jon Uyan
After some close times in practice, it was shaping up to be a close qualifying session. This is exactly what happened, because between us and 1Aco there was a 0.008 second difference in the closing stages. In the end they managed a better laptime to beat us to pole, but this was our best-ever qualifying position. We started second place on the race grid.
Right from the start, traffic played an important role. It looked like we had slightly more trouble with traffic than others, as we were losing time and positions due to it. Halfway through, Jordy came in to hand the car to Brian, but unexpected repairs meant we dropped from 3rd to 8th place. Now the podium seemed out-of-reach and we started aiming for a top 5 position. Brian had made his way back into the 6th spot when a small misjudgement meant one wheel on the grass on the outside of the Dunlop turn. This was enough to spin the car and end up in the barrier, basically ending our race. After long repairs we ended up finishing 14th, 1 lap down on the car ahead.
Few unlucky contacts and unforced errors forced us to stay in the pits just too long second half of the race. Finishing well beyond top 10 in P14, we are extremely lucky that points deficit to P3 is still only 2 points. Not being able to score any points in this race caused us to fall back into a big group where only 14 points separate 6 teams as the struggle and inconsistency among them continues. Hope that this was the only low of the season and Interlagos will be a race to bounce back again. We are definitely taking some positives from Suzuka; almost a pole position and fastest lap of the race.
Scoring 0 points this round, we drop to 3rd overall in the championship, 2 points behind 2nd, 26 points behind the leader.