CHAMPIONSHIP: Formula Nippon Event: Round 7 Fuji Circuit 2nd September Qualifying Michael qualified his Team 5Zigen Reynard in eighth position. Michael set his time of 1:17.090 on his last flying lap of the day. "We worked well today and found...
CHAMPIONSHIP: Formula Nippon
Event: Round 7 Fuji Circuit 2nd September
Michael qualified his Team 5Zigen Reynard in eighth position. Michael set his time of 1:17.090 on his last flying lap of the day. "We worked well today and found a set-up that works that is good for here. We set competitive times in each session, but I am very annoyed as we lost the last 2 minutes of qualifying, a marshal gave the team the wrong information following a red flag. They where told that 26 minutes were left and planned my last attack accordingly, but there was only 24 minutes to go. Here the second flying lap is always the quickest - normally at least 2 tenths quicker - but I passed the chequered at the end of my first flying lap" commented Michael
From the standing start, Michael stormed through to challenge for third position in the first few corners, " I made a very good start, nearly getting into third, but fourth was OK considering where I started". Michael held fourth place until he was re-passed by Andre Couto who had started fifth. "It took quite a while for my tyres to start working properly and Andre slipped past. But it was no problem to hold onto him as the tyres came in"
Michael pitted from fifth position and made the fastest in and out laps of any competitors - rejoining the track in fourth place behind Motoyama, who had pitted earlier. The gap to Motoyama quickly closed and Michael overtook him to take third place. Once into third he set a string of fast laps, relentlessly closing the gap of several seconds to the second placed car of Tachikawa, taking the flag in third place a mere half a second behind Tachikawa.
" That was great fun. The car, especially on the second set of tyres, was very good today. I closed right up on Tachikawa and for sure would have taken him if we had a few more laps. We have struggled a little in the last few races, but I think we have found most of the problems now." Michael commented after the race.