FCJ - Twin Ring Motegi - rounds 5 and 6.
By Igor Sushko
Nov 13, 2007, 00:10
From May 17th through the 20th, I was at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Tochigi-ken for the 5th and 6th rounds of FCJ. The weather was extremely unpredictable throughout the weekend, with wet, semi-dry, and dry sessions on the track. The throttle problem continued to haunt the team despite having previously replaced the damaged butterfly and the throttle-body. Finally on the evening of Saturday, after the 5th round, it was fixed for the 6th round race the next day.
The 5th round was raced in the wet and I got the best finish so far - 11th out of 27. One more spot and I would have gotten a point for the series.
The 6th round on Sunday was held in beautiful weather and it was going quite well, despite my qualifying position of 27th, I got up to 16th through avoidance of a large crash and turning the event into an opportunity to pass more cars. However near the end of the race, with 5 laps to go, an accident befell me. On the downhill straightaway after the hairpin in the back, when downshifting from 6th gear to 5th under threshold braking, the gear did not catch and the transmission went into neutral. Immediately, the rear tires locked up due to zero assistance from the regularly expected engine-brake (since the engine was no longer connection to the axles) and as it sometimes happens with rear-tire-lockup, the car turned around 60 degrees to the left into the nearby wall, at around 200 km.
However, I for the first time got to an under-1-second gap from the top finisher in lap time and things are progressing quite well despite this setback.
Next up for FCJ is the next two rounds at Fuji in mid-June, so nearly a month off - during which I may drive in a F4 car for practice and will certainly be doing lots of go-karting.
On May 30th, Maejima Shyuji and I will be going to Fuji Speedway with the H.I.S. Super Taikyu Fairlady Z for a test along with a possible 3rd driver for the upcoming 24-hour race at Tokachi in Hokkaido.
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