CARBONE SECOND IN GT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH WIN AT FUJI!
Up-and-coming Brazilian star Fabio Carbone has finished second in this year's Japanese Super GT Championship with a dominant win at the final round of the season in Fuji. In his first year of the ultra-competitive Super GT Championship, Fabio was a regular visitor to the podium -- thanks to a trio of top-three finishes -- and the Nakajima Racing driver ends the season in the best possible way with a spectacular win.
Fuji is a highly technical circuit, home to a dramatic Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix this year, where it is vital to find the correct set-up in order to maximise traction and grip. Fabio and his French team mate Loic Duval used Friday's free practice session to set the car up properly for the unique demands of the Fuji circuit. Their methodical work brought solid results as the car proved to be well-balanced, setting third-fastest time.
The notoriously variable temperatures at Fuji were a bit colder for qualifying, and the drivers consequently adjusted the set-up to suit the new conditions. A successful qualifying session resulted in the crew claiming third on the grid. Consistency would be the key to the race on Sunday, and Fabio was encouraged by a solid performance on old tyres during the morning warm-up. The race got underway with Duval driving, and thanks to the crew's excellent set-up work, the performance of their Honda NSX remained constant whilst the pace of their rivals dropped off.
When Fabio took over on lap 20, he had a 10-second lead. The Brazilian felt instantly comfortable, and soon stretched the gap to 22 seconds. From that point, he was able to control his pace to the end for the last 30 laps, and record a magnificent win. The result also sealed second place in the overall championship and first rookie in the championship.
Fabio said: "I'm absolutely delighted with this fantastic result. To finish the season with a win and then second in the overall championship is amazing. I'd like to thank the entire Nakajima Racing team for all their hard work and professionalism this year, which has resulted in a consistently strong performance throughout the season. I'd also like to thank my team mate, Loic Duval. It's not always been easy but we've come through in the end and really proved the effectiveness of the package."
Fabio will now concentrate on his physical fitness and preparation for the 2008 season. His programme for next year has not yet been finalised, but he is looking forward to another season at the highest levels of motorsport.