Preview Pacific Grand Prix October 12, 1995 Ukyo Katayama Fit for First Home Grand Prix Ukyo Katayama will return to Grand Prix racing for the Pacific Grand Prix on the 22 October after missing the European Grand Prix a fortnight ago. For...
Preview Pacific Grand Prix October 12, 1995
Ukyo Katayama Fit for First Home Grand Prix
Ukyo Katayama will return to Grand Prix racing for the Pacific Grand Prix on the 22 October after missing the European Grand Prix a fortnight ago. For the first time since his accident at the start of the Portuguese Grand Prix, Ukyo drove a Tyrrell Yamaha on Tuesday and Wednesday, at Silverstone, and set very competitive lap times (1 min 30.0 sec).
"I was a bit nervous before getting into the car," said Ukyo. "The first three laps went well. Then, all of a sudden and for the first time since the accident, I started to remember everything that happened during the crash! My legs and my arms started to hurt again and it was very strange! I kept on driving and everything went back to normal quite quickly."
"I am delighted to be back," continued Ukyo. "And it will be special because the next two races are in Japan. I am fit and relaxed and I am looking forward to a strong performance in my country. Last year I had a lot of pressure at Suzuka because everybody was expecting so much from me. This year, with Aida a week before Suzuka, it will help me to be better prepared."
Harvey Postlethwaite, Managing Director - Engineering, said: "We had an excellent test at Silverstone with Ukyo and Mika setting their quickest lap times of the year on this circuit (1 min 30.2 sec for Mika). The objective with Ukyo was to give him the opportunity to get back into the swing of driving and he set a time which would have placed him 7th on the grid at the British Grand Prix!. With Mika, we ran a normal test programme in preparation for the last three races and we also tested some new components for next year's car."
Mika Salo is pleased to go back to Japan where he spent four years racing in the All-Japan F3000 Championship and said: "It's nice feeling to go back to Japan and racing at Aida will be like home Grand Prix for me too! For a change this season I will know the circuit very well. It is an easy track to learn and I will only have a small advantage on Friday morning. We had a good test at Silverstone and I feel we could be more competitive than in recent races."
Mike Gascoyne, Deputy Technical Director commented: "The TI circuit is and interesting high down force track, relatively small, very twisty. The only straight is on the back of the circuit which is quite fast. The only real overtaking point is at the hairpin at the end of that long straight. Traction and engine torque are crucial. Technically, it's a circuit fairly similar to the new Nurburgring or Argentina."
The Pacific Grand Prix will be held on the 3.703 kms / 2.301 miles TI circuit near Okayama, one of the shortest tracks in Formula One after Monaco. The 83 lap, 307.349 kms / 191.019 miles race will start at 13.00 hours local time on Sunday 22 October and is expected to last 1 hour 45 minutes.