Andrea Caldarelli completes first SUPER GT Race

#35 Lexus Team KeePer Kraft Lexus SC430: Yuji Kunimoto, Andrea Caldarelli
#35 Lexus Team KeePer Kraft Lexus SC430: Yuji Kunimoto, Andrea Caldarelli

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

In the second round of the 2012 Japanese SUPER GT championship, Andrea Caldarelli managed to get to the checkered flag for the first time this year. In an event exceptionally held on Friday, the Fuji 500 kilometers, the 22-year-old, Pescara based racer had to start from the back due to some set-up issues in qualifying but managed an encouraging 12th-place finish. During the second lap and following to an heavy rainfall, he made an early switch to wet tires but unfortunately, once back on-track, the LEXUS KeePer SC430 was assessed a drive-through for a dubious pass on a GT300 while re-starting. With no chances to appeal the decision, Andrea made his way back to the pits again before handing the car to his team-mate Yuji Kunimoto. While in full recovery mode though, another safety-car condition hampered the team's effort following to an huge crash occurred to a GT300 Porsche.

During the 80th lap, the team sent Andrea back in the car, relying on his skills and experience for most part of the race. Andrea answered the bell by loggeing his fastest personal laptime and the fifth fastest laptime overall of the day. After the rain lost intensity, the team decided to leave him on-track with rain tires although the conditions were improving. Despite losing some valuable time, he managed to end up in 12th.

Andrea Caldarelli "The race at Fuji has been one of the hardest of my career. I'm glad to have made it to the checkered flag because that was the first goal I had set when I started running in this championship. In just one race I had to learn race strategies, pit-stops, lapping… Our result has been greatly compromised by a penalty and without it, we would have been able to recover a lot thanks to the caution situations. It's great to see how the LEXUS TEAM KeePer Kraft is growing fast and strong, with two rookies that are already able to manage such a tough race. The next round will be at Sepang in Malaysia, on the next 10th of June, and once again the weather will be an important variable. Later the same month I will be at Le Mans with TOYOTA Racing to prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's gonna be a busy month!"

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