Free Practice. Michael took to the track Saturday morning, at the demanding Suzuka Circuit, setting the second fastest time of the session a few fractions of a second behind old rival and friend Motoyama. Both drivers set times in the range ...
Michael took to the track Saturday morning, at the demanding Suzuka Circuit, setting the second fastest time of the session a few fractions of a second behind old rival and friend Motoyama. Both drivers set times in the range of 1:45.9.
Having only completed two days of pre-season testing, Michael elected to use old tyres throughout the first session - saving three sets of new tyres for the second session.
"I was very happy with the car this morning, but I wanted to try a few things, and here the second session is always the quickest so we decided to save our tyres and use the session as a test" Michael commented
Michael qualified the Team 5Zigen Reynard in fifth position with a time of 1:45.596 on his final run with new tyres, the first two having been ruined by traffic and running out of synch with the other leading drivers.
Having made a simple installation run, Michael made his first qualifying attack, just failing to pass the pit exit before several cars exited the pits ruining the run leaving him in eleventh position. His second attack left him in eighth position, again suffering delays due to traffic.
Michael's final qualifying attack saw him leap to second position with only minutes to go in the session, this lap was also set in traffic costing him several tenths of a second. He was pushed back to fifth in the final moments.
"It has been a frustrating session, once we were out of synch with the other cars we struggled, on each run I suffered traffic. The lap after my best time was a 1:45.7 and I set the fastest first section time of all, but I had pushed the tyres hard on the previous lap, so I lost grip after the chicane and could not improve - this is the only clear lap I had this afternoon!" Michael commented after qualifying from Suzuka.
Suzuka Round One
2001.3.24 / WEATHER:CLOUDY / COURSE:DRY
Pos. No. DRIVER TEAM BEST 1st 2nd 1 5 NAOKI HATTORI 5ZIGEN 1'44.941 1'46.082 *1'44.941 2 55 JUICHI WAKISAKA ARTA 1'45.186 1'45.910 *1'45.186 3 1 TSUGIO MATSUDA PIAA NAKAJIMA 1'45.293 1'46.413 *1'45.293 4 3 YUJI TACHIKAWA Olympic KONDO 1'45.394 1'46.132 *1'45.394 5 6 MICHAEL KRUMM 5ZIGEN 1'45.596 1'47.583 *1'45.596 6 19 SATOSHI MOTOYAMA excite IMPUL 1'45.636 1'45.673 *1'45.636 7 12 SEIJI ARA COSMO OIL CERUMO 1'45.730 1'49.293 *1'45.730 8 56 TAKESHI TSUCHIY AARTA 1'45.913 1'46.002 *1'45.913 9 68 HIDEKI NODA DoCoMo DANDELION 1'46.045 *1'46.045 1'46.484 10 7 ALEX YOONG LeMans 1'46.117 1'46.990 *1'46.117 11 11 MASAMI KAGEYAMA COSMO OIL CERUMO 1'46.437 1'48.274 *1'46.437 12 2 RALPH FIRMAN PIAA NAKAJIMA 1'46.443 1'46.867 *1'46.443 13 69 JAROSLAW WIERCZUK DoCoMo DANDELION 1'46.553 1'47.791 *1'46.553 14 8 YUDAI IGARASHI LeMans 1'46.602 1'46.900 *1'46.602 15 10 ANDRE COUTO Team Morinaga NOVA 1'46.679 1'46.885 *1'46.679 16 37 MASAHIKO KAGEYAMA TAKAGI B-1 1'46.853 1'49.138 *1'46.853 17 9 RICHARD LYONS Team Morinaga NOVA 1'47.078 1'48.843 *1'47.078 18 20 NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN excite IMPUL 1'47.840 1'49.012 *1'47.840 19 36 TETSUJI TAMANAKA TAKAGI B-1 1'49.267 *1'49.267 - 4 KATSUTOMO KANEISHI Olympic KONDO (P.P. 107%) 1'52.286