Fenestraz test pace a "big motivation" for Kondo Racing

Sacha Fenestraz has described his chart-topping time in this week's Fuji Super Formula pre-season test as a "big motivation" for the beleaguered Kondo Racing team ahead of the new campaign.

Fenestraz test pace a "big motivation" for Kondo Racing
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During the final session of Super Formula testing at Fuji Speedway on Wednesday afternoon, Fenestraz set the pace with a best time of 1m20.953s, beating Inging's Sho Tsuboi by 0.194 seconds.

Teammate Kenta Yamashita was eighth-fastest, 0.488s behind the Franco-Argentine driver.

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Following a season in which Kondo was a lowly ninth in the teams' standings, not helped by Fenestraz being absent for five of the seven races owing to visa problems, the 22-year-old says that such a strong performance at the end of testing bodes well for a much-improved showing in 2022.

"It’s only testing so I don’t want to expect too much, but it’s good motivation for the team," Fenestraz told Motorsport.com. "Last year was really tough for them, motivation for the mechanics and engineers was difficult. This result will give them motivation to work harder, also for myself.

"When you’re at the back it’s tough, but this result gives us a good feeling. I hope it stays like this! It’s a big motivation, I’m working really hard to recover what I lost last year compared to everyone [by missing races]. Hopefully it’s paid off."


Fenestraz has been boosted by the addition of Japanese racing veteran Michael Krumm in his pitbox this season, with Krumm able to bridge the language gap between Fenestraz and his Japanese-speaking engineers.

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The collaboration has made Fenestraz even more enthusiastic for this third season at Kondo Racing and in Super Formula.

"It’s amazing how much different having Michael here is making," he said. "We are moving at double speed [compared to before]. I just say everything I feel, and he just translates. It’s so nice to speak freely, as if I am racing in Europe. It feels like that.

"I’m not gonna say [the performance] is just because of that, but it’s definitely a big help to have him on board. I’m excited for the season and I hope we can have some good races."

Asked how representative he felt the leaderboard on Wednesday afternoon was, Fenestraz replied: "The first test is usually not representative, but as you get closer to the season it gets more and more representative because everyone starts pushing more.

"Of course with the red flag at the end maybe some people couldn’t complete the lap, also myself, but I think it is fairly representative because we’re just a couple of weeks from the first race."


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