The 22-year-old racer from Pescara, joined by team-mate Yuji Kunimoto, captured a second-place finish at the end of one of the toughest rounds of the season so far, the 1000 Kilometers of Suzuka. A race that definitely worths a whole season in terms of commitment needed, due to the demanding nature of the racetrack and to the equally tough weather conditions: the air temperature reached 36° Celsius with relative humidity passing th! e 80% mark. After having scored a 6th place finish in the previous round held at Sugo, Caldarelli also cruised to the lead in the collective test of the series at Fuji, giving the KeePer Kraft team a good indication about their true potential. In qualifying, he was off to a conservative run, saving his tires for the race with a 9th-place, and then he drove the opening stints of the 41st 1000 Km of Suzuka. As usual, he avoided any possible contact while passing and approaching lapped opponents, and left the car to his team-mate in second place at the end of a triple stint. He also enjoyed a taste of the front spot during the second part of his run.
It's been an important result for Andrea. The 22-year-old from Abruzzo confirmed to be the best rookie in the category, and was also the first driver aboard a LEXUS SC430 and using Bridgestone tires to get to the checkered flag. Two sister cars ended up right behind, slowed down by tire management issues. The confirmation of the podium result came with just a few laps to go, when Andrea saw his team-mate Kunimoto pass two Nissan cars that, due to tire wear, did not offer any resistance to the Italian-Japanese duo's racer.
Andrea Caldarelli "Suzuka hosted my debut in Japanese motor competition. Last year I entered my maiden Formula Nippon race here and many things changed since then. I left Europe and it hasn't been easy although results like these are a great reward for my commitment to this new experience. I want to thank LEXUS TEAM KeePer Kraft for having provided us with a racecar capable of this results, as well as my sponsors for having helped me getting where I am. I don't look at this as a point of arrival but as the start of an adventure which is each day more competitive and exciting".
Source: Andrea Caldarelli Press