Japanese Grand Touring Championship
Round Six Motegi
Michael and teammate Satoshi Motoyama suffered a frustrating weekend in Motegi, struggling for outright pace all weekend. A two-stop strategy helped the drivers to achieve tenth place - although mechanical problems nearly thwarted the finish.
Motoyama undertook the qualifying attack and qualified the No.22 car in 18th position, although this was a good lap, it was the worst qualifying for them this season.
"Satoshi did a good job today, we are simply way off the pace, we have some problems with the balance and also the driveability. We will work tonight to try and find a solution and get into the points on Sunday" Michael commented Saturday evening
Motoyama made a good start and passed several cars to secure a solid 11th position, before pitting to hand Michael the car. The Nismo team called a two-stop strategy, Michael quickly rejoined the circuit and began to challenge cars in front.
As others pitted Michael climbed to seventh position before pitting for the second time - rejoining in ninth position. Michael immediately began to challenge for eighth position. Sadly the challenge was short lived as he lost third gear, then second and finally having only fourth gear to use in the dying stages of the race.
Michael dropped to 10th, which secured the no.22 Skyline one point. " The race was actually good fun, we had a strategy that worked and we pushed on every lap, after my pit stop I was sure I could get into 7th or 8th position which from 18th on the grid is not bad, but then we lost the gear box and I had to just make sure we got the car home. At first I could lap within a second of the pace without third gear but then I lost everything except fourth and could still lap a couple of seconds of the pace" Michael commented Sunday