|Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Press|
And the level has come up a notch for the Super Trofeo drivers, many of them trying out the Fuji International Speedway for the first time in this supporting race weekend to the Formula Nippon Series. Since its opening in 1965, the Fuji International Speedway has become a household name in the world of motor racing, seeing the likes of Michael Schumacher, Tom Kristensen and more recently Lewis Hamilton top the podium in F3 and F1 Series.
“This race weekend was a real challenge for the drivers. The Fuji track is a tough and fast track, with uphill and downhill turns as well as a very long and therefore very fast straight” said Head of Super Trofeo Asia Series Cristiano Inverni. “Despite the rain we were spoilt with two gripping races. The pure amateur teams especially improved on their performance as they are getting more familiar with the Super Trofeo race car.”
“This round of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is a particular one for Blancpain. It is the symbol of the Manufacture’s attachment to Japan and it is also the symbol of our active presence in the country” explained Blancpain Vice President and Head of Marketing Alain Delamuraz. “We are delighted to see the Super Trofeo Asia paddock stop here on the mythical and sensational Fuji race track. “
Competing on home-ground, amateur drivers Terashima and Yasuoka (#10) came with high hopes of securing a place on the podium. Having won both races in Sepang, however, pro-am team Liu and Rizzo (#37) from China still took to the track as favourites.
With headlights and windscreen wipers switched on, drivers took off in drizzly and foggy conditions for the first race on Saturday. After sliding off due to a wet track, Liu (#37) found himself in last position for a short period, only to race passed competitors and steal second position from Cheng (#2) within four laps. Bo (#3) who started tenth on the grid, maintained the first position until the driver compulsory change, where pro-am driver Rizzo (#37) gained the lead and kept it until the finish line. Meanwhile, amateur team Terashima/Yasuoka (#10) accomplished their goal and finished in second position ahead of bronze winners Chen / Bo (#3). Commenting on differences between Sepang and Fuji, Chen Kenan said: “Sepang was more demanding in terms of endurance because of the heat. Fuji was cooler, but the rain required more skill on technical handling.”
With the sun piercing through, the second race on Sunday afternoon saw the pro-am racing teams lead the race, although showers in the morning made the track even more unpredictable than the previous day. Ramli (#9) from Malaysia took the lead for the first time in the Series, closely followed by Liu/Rizzo (#37) for several laps. But the favourite team from China managed once more to secure victory, 5 seconds ahead of Ramli (#9).
For information on the Super Trofeo Asia Series, the Gallardo Super Trofeo and available Lamborghini models, visit Lamborghini Manila at PGA Cars Centre, 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City or call +63-2-5539693.