CARBONE FACES TOUGH TIMES IN SUPER GT CHAMPIONSHIP
Brazilian driver Fabio Carbone and his team mate Loic Duval suffered bad luck at the third round of the Japanese Super GT Championship in Fuji last weekend, when they retired through no fault of their own.
Having previously moved up to second in the Championship, the Nakajima Racing crew were hit with 35 kilos of success ballast in their Honda NSX, as prescribed by the series regulations.
Nonetheless, Fabio was feeling confident that they could overcome the handicap at one of Japan's most challenging circuits, which was formerly home to the Japanese Grand Prix.
The team started off well, with a strong qualifying performance putting them in seventh place on the grid: a good result considering the weight penalty. Duval started the 500-kilometre race and worked his way up to fourth, just before he was due to hand over to Fabio in the pits.
Then on lap 51 of 110, another car spun into the path of their Honda and Duval could not avoid hitting it. The accident damage meant that the Nakajima crew were forced into remature retirement.
Fabio said: "This was just a case of the most incredible bad luck: what happened was in no way Loic's fault. It was a real pity as I think we showed quite clearly that we had the potential to overcome our success penalty and score a good result anyway. And of course that would have helped our championship, which were already looking good. But there's no point regretting it now these things happen in racing sometimes so we just have to move on. The good news is that for the next race in Sepang we will only have a 15-kilo penalty, so we have every chance to challenge for the podium or even the win. It's a circuit I like so I'm just concentrating on that now."
The Sepang race, round four of the Japanese Super GT Championship takes place from June 22-24. In the meantime Fabio will go back to action in Formula Nippon at Motegi race track for the third round next 18-20 May.