Duval explains sighting lap crash in Fuji Dream Race
Audi driver Loic Duval says he was trying to get temperature into his tyres when he crashed on the sighting lap for the SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race at Fuji.
Duval had qualified a promising second for the first leg of the crossover round, just behind polesitter Nick Cassidy, who went on to claim a lights to-flag victory.
But the 2010 SUPER GT champion lost the rear of his Audi on the approach to the Dunlop corner in wet conditions, diagonally hitting the barriers in front of a marshal post.
The damage to the car's suspension and bodywork proved to be terminal and Duval was unable to take the start for the first of the two races at Fuji.
“I went out with the first set of tyres to scrub them,” Duval told Motorsport.com. “And then I went out a second time and I think it’s been raining a little bit more.
“Basically the beginning of the track until Dunlop corner was kind of dry. So I knew it was the moment to put the energy, to try to scrub them as good as possible and lost it.
“Was just weaving, I was not super quick. It was kind of a straight line, I was just weaving and suddenly I lost the rear.
“But I didn’t lose it enough to spin completely, so I went sideways. Then I saw I could come back. But then I went on the outside of the track and there it’s even more slippery.”
With Duval ruled out of the race before the start, WRT Audi driver Benoit Treluyer - also a past champion in SUPER GT - led the DTM contingent home in sixth, with Kamui Kobayashi finishing as the top BMW runner in 14th.
Duval says he could have best hoped for a top five finish, as the DTM cars weren’t as strong a match to SUPER GT in race trim as they were in qualifying.
“I think my pace on the dry on Thursday was a bit better than the DTM guys,” he said. “But it’s also related to the tyre drop. So this you never know how much you’re gonna drop.
"Rene [Rast] before the safety car was something like P8. Maybe I could have been P5, P6. I don’t think I could have done better than that. Maybe it would have been even worse if I had tyre deg.
“But I believe if I had a clean race, then there’s no problem. When I see the performance from the other guys, P5, P6.
“Hopefully tomorrow we have a better day, even though I think qualifying we can be able to stay with the SUPER GT guys. In the race it seems to be a little more difficult.”
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