A1 Team Japan and driver Hayanari Shimoda had an uneventful first race finishing the Sprint Race in 14th position. The Feature Race saw Hayanari stall on the grid, but with quick assistance from the team he rejoined the race losing as little time...
A1 Team Japan and driver Hayanari Shimoda had an uneventful first race finishing the Sprint Race in 14th position. The Feature Race saw Hayanari stall on the grid, but with quick assistance from the team he rejoined the race losing as little time as possible. Running in 16th position with ten laps to go, Hayanari picked up debris from an earlier accident which damaged the front wing and tyre and had to pit again, rejoining the race in 19th place. The young Japanese managed to finish the thirty lap Feature Race in 15th position.
Race 1 - 14th (1'48.056 on lap 14)
Race 2 - 15th (1'48.148 on lap 27)
"I feel that I could perhaps have pushed a bit harder in the two races today. I kept out of trouble in the Sprint Race, but I would have liked to have moved up the field some more. It's a steep learning curve coming from sports car endurance racing, but I feel that I have made progress this weekend and the team has certainly managed to help me find a set-up that suits my driving. I also made a mistake at the standing start in the Feature Race when I stalled which obviously lost me a great deal of time. The tyre and front wing incident on top of that did not help either. The team did a great job getting me out on track again quickly and I rejoined the race just behind the race leaders which helped me push that little bit harder. All in all I am little disappointed with today's race performances but very pleased with the progress we have made this weekend.
Malcolm Swetnam (Team Manager, A1 Japan):
Hayanari kept out of trouble in the Sprint Race and although he didn't gain any places as we would have hoped, he steadily improved his pace throughout the weekend which is the important thing for us. Unfortunately Hayanari stalled on the grid in the Feature Race due to a mistake from his side which meant that his car was pushed into the pitlane where some of the boys where waiting to fire up his engine again. Hayanari then rejoined the race half a lap behind the rest of the field. From this point Hayanari raced well up to 16th position until he picked up some debris which damaged his front right tyre and that in turn went on to destroy the front wing. The team did a remarkably quick pitstop changing his front wing and tyre but Hayanari was now down to 19th position. Back on track again, Hayanari was right on the tail of the race leaders and he did well to keep up with their pace until the chequered flag.
The team are looking forward to making more progress in Indonesia and we hope we can transfer the improving practice and qualifying results into points scoring race performances.