Hayanari Shimoda lined up in nineteenth place for the first of the two races today. A storming start from the young Japanese driver propelled him five places to lie 14th at the end of the first lap. As the 15 lap race settled down Shimoda pushed...
Hayanari Shimoda lined up in nineteenth place for the first of the two races today. A storming start from the young Japanese driver propelled him five places to lie 14th at the end of the first lap. As the 15 lap race settled down Shimoda pushed hard and maintained his position until the chequered flag. In the Feature race, Shimoda made a storming start from the back row to 13th after stalling on the parade lap, and later inheriting 12th after Pakistan retired due to a clash with India. Delays in the pits pushed Japan back down the order after the field had all completed their mandatory pit stops, with Shimoda lying 13th at the chequered flag.
"In the first race, I had a good start, but drove a conservative race to bring the car back in one piece. In the second one, I had to start from the back, but I saw a gap on the inside and made up about six places, then at the esses I avoided the first lap incidents and overtook another three or four cars. The car was difficult to drive with a heavy fuel load, but after about half distance it was much better and I had a better pace. But it was still difficult to overtake. I'm happy with the result but I'd like to be in the top ten next time."
Malcolm Swetnam, Team Manager A1 Team Japan:
"First race was a bit non-eventful for us. Hayanari found it difficult to pass, and it was a bit processional for us. In the feature race, Hayanari had a problem on the warm-up lap but he showed his knowledge from sportscar racing and knew to stay calm and did everything right. He got a good start from the green flag and went all-out for it. He came in for a stop mid- distance as planned because the tyre wear is so high, but a first lap incident which had damaged the rear jack mount delayed us. We lost about 20 seconds, but overall Hayanari did a good job for A1 Team Japan today.