MAIDEN POINTS IN NIPPON AT SUZUKA FOR CARBONE Brazilian driver Fabio Carbone enjoyed a strong performance at the fifth round of the Formula Nippon Championship in Japan, scoring his first points this year with a solid run to sixth place. The...
MAIDEN POINTS IN NIPPON AT SUZUKA FOR CARBONE
Brazilian driver Fabio Carbone enjoyed a strong performance at the fifth round of the Formula Nippon Championship in Japan, scoring his first points this year with a solid run to sixth place.
The Dandelion Racing driver has been affected by a lot of bad luck so far this year, but he put a troubled start to the season behind him in spectacular style. Suzuka, well-known for hosting the Japanese Grand Prix, is a notoriously specialised circuit that requires maximum commitment for flat-out corners such as the famous 130R.
The high-speed demands of the circuit suit Fabio well, and he was confident of a strong performance right from the very first free practice sessions. The opening session was wet, eliminating the possibility of setting good times for everybody, but Fabio was still able to see the potential of the car.
Qualifying two was dry, and Fabio could convert the potential into reality. With a car that was fully to his liking, Fabio was able to set some quick times. Unfortunately his promising run was halted by a car that spun during the closing minutes, causing the session to be prematurely stopped.
The result of this was that Fabio was robbed of the chance to show his pace, and consequently he ended the session in 13th. Given his position on the grid, before a race that was likely to feature mixed conditions, Fabio adopted the strategy of no pit stops during the 250-kilometre distance.
It was a tactic that worked extremely well. The Brazilian made a good start, although he was forced to slot into a parade of cars in the middle of the race. At about half distance, everything changed when a heavy accident brought out the safety car. Most competitors dived in for a pit stop and tyres while the safety car was out, with more than 20 laps remaining.
Fabio, however, decided to stay out. This tactic elevated him to fifth place when the safety car finally came in. With tyres that were nearly destroyed he struggled to defend his place. Eventually he had to concede the position, finishing sixth and taking his first points of the year.
The 26 year-old commented: "I'm hoping that this will kick-start our season. I think we had the best car here at Suzuka that we've had all year and the results are clear to see. I'd like to thank everyone at Dandelion for a fantastic job: it's only bad luck that has held us back so far."
Fabio's next race will be round five of the Japanese Super GT Championship at Sugo, from July 28-29.