Sunday 16th October 2016, 12:00
After the qualifying sessions in Fuji, car 44 started in P6 with Roberto Merhi while car 45 started in P7 with Alex Lynn driving first. Roberto made a good start which meant he came around in P3 after the first lap, unfortunately Alex didn’t get the same start and after a small collision came around in P11.
Within the first hour there was plenty of battles going on between the top six, with the main objective being to save tyres Roberto dropped to P5 but after the first round of pit stops he returned to the track in P2. Unfortunately after just 1 hour car 45 had a starter motor issue which meant it had to return to the garage for repair, which lasted for 30 minutes by which time there was so much time lost that it made it impossible to recover any positions.
Nearing to the two hour mark, car 44 pitted for a full pit stop and driver change to Richard. When the car returned it was P3 before Richard overtook to take P2, although this didn’t last long as the car had to take a drive through penalty dropping the car back to P8. During the following hour it was driver change time to Matt Rao, who completed a solid double stint before handing back to Richard for the final stint. Meanwhile in car 45 there was a driver change to Tor who also completed a double stint.
With one hour to go Alex achieved the fastest LMP2 lap of the race. At the end the team had to settle for P7 with car 44 and P11 with car 45.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director
“Although today was a tough race we are going away with a lot of positives now that we are back up to running two cars.
Leaving Fuji with the LMP2 fastest lap shows our potential and has some reward for all the hard work that the team has put in.”
Roberto Merhi, Driver Car 44
“The beginning of the race was good, we had to look after our tyres as we were double stinting where others weren’t. The second stint was really good and we showed strong pace again today.”
Richard Bradley, Driver Car 44
“The end result was frustrating but I think we be can be happy with the speed that we have showed. Personally I think I showed good pace and if we carry this pace to Shanghai we should expect a good result.”
Matt Rao, Driver Car 44
“I am very pleased with the performance of the car, it is a shame that a few errors cost us a shot of the podium but again it is good that we have shown that we can compete and it is good to now have the reliability. I am looking forward to Shanghai where as if all goes well we should be fighting for a podium.”
Alex Lynn, Driver Car 45
“It is a real shame we had a starter motor issue at the start as the car was very competitive, unfortunately from that point we were just trying to finish the race and get as much experience as possible. To get the LMP2 fastest lap was a good way to end and just proves the competitiveness of the car.”
Tor Graves, Driver Car 45
“I really enjoyed being back in the car today, the race didn’t turn out as we had hoped but we can take positives that we have a fast package overall.”