F1, Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, MotoGP, ALMS, And More!

Jun 03, 2014 - 04:01 PM
Top News!
Rumors Edition!
Upcoming Racing! (Updated)

Top Stories
· 2014 Detroit: IndyCar Race Two Results - Castroneves, Chevrolet Win! (Jun 1, 2014)
· 2014 Dover: NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Results - Johnson, Chevrolet Win! (Jun 1, 2014)
· 2014 Italy GP: MotoGP Race Results - Marquez Wins! (Jun 1, 2014)
· 2014 Detroit II: IndyCar Qualifying Results - Sato, Honda On Pole! (Jun 1, 2014)
· 2014 Dover: NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-up & Race Preview (Jun 1, 2014)

Previous Top Stories!

Hot Rumors!
· F1: Pirelli could add speed to 2014 tyres ? (Jun 3, 2014)
· F1: FIA to approve 'Forza Rossa' entry ? (Jun 3, 2014)
· F1: All-new fuel flow sensor to debut in 2014 ? (Jun 2, 2014)
· F1: Red Bull to bill Renault for 2014 crisis ? (May 30, 2014)
· F1: Haas delays F1 debut until 2016 ? (May 29, 2014)
More Rumors!

Stunning Debut For Australian Antunes In GT Asia Series
Posted by: newsla on Jun 03, 2014 - 03:51 PM
Sports Cars
Stunning Debut For Australian Antunes In GT Asia Series

Rising Australian star Nathan Antunes has experienced the full range of emotions during his GT Asia Series debut for the Dilango Racing Lamborghini team at the Autopolis circuit in Japan, from qualifying fastest in Q2 to watching the car he shared with former champion Dilantha Malagamuwa go up in flames during the ‘warm-up’ lap for the second 50-minute race.


Bookmark and Share
“I don’t know where to start,” he shrugged post event on reviewing his whirlwind visit to the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.

“From where we started Thursday practice with the Gallardo FL2, to where we were in Q2 was a big step for the team and testament to the hard work they put in across the weekend, so to finish the event with two DNFs was devastating, but I guess, that’s motor racing.”

During Thursday’s two unofficial practice sessions Antunes worked tirelessly with the Dilango Racing team to improve the FL2, in the process assisting Malagamuwa with improving his speed, the Lamborghini classified 13th fastest in the 28-car field after the two 90-minute ‘unofficial’ sessions, Antunes improving again after Friday’s two sessions to gain more than a second on the field, although he was still classified P13.

“There’s a lot of work to do yet,” the former international Red Bull star admitted on Friday night. “This is a technically challenging circuit with the fast changes of direction, 19 corners and changes in elevation. Mechanical and aero grip play a big part in the speed of the car. We’re getting closer, but I think we need to do something a little bit ‘left-field’ for qualifying.”

Malagamuwa - by virtue of being entered first for the event - qualified the car in the ‘Pro’ driver’s session, whilst Antunes was scheduled for Q2.

The Sri Lankan driver found more than a second during his session, the team making some minor modifications ahead of Antunes’ run.

Due to the nature of the circuit, traffic would play a big part in the qualifying time, with overtaking opportunities limited, so finding a ‘clear’ lap was vital. Antunes planned just one lap, and the young Australian called on all his experience as a driver to jump to the top of the timesheets, more than a second clear of the field.

Ultimately he was pushed back to second after points leader Anthony Liu in the Ferrari 458 went faster in the dying stages of the session to drop the big blue Lamborghini back to second.

“I knew I had one chance, so I put everything into it,” Antunes explained afterwards. “I was only ever going to do one quick lap to make sure that I didn’t put too much pressure on the tyres and give Dilantha the car back with good rubber underneath him for the first race.”

Starting from the seventh row of the grid, Dilantha started strongly and managed to stay out of trouble on the opening lap, picking up a position in the melee that saw the Nissan GT-R come together with one of the Audi R8s.

Settling into 12th, the team prepared for Dilantha’s compulsory pit stop, although they took a little time to convince the team-leader to pit.. despite the fact that he was now circulating behind the Safety Car after one of the Aston Martin’s stopped on track.

“The race restarted without dramas but because of a little pit lane confusion Dilantha came in two laps too late according to our strategy,” Antunes confirmed. “That meant I had less time to claw back the leaders when I got into the car.

“My pace was really good. My first flying lap was two seconds faster than anyone else on the track. The way it was looking we were heading for a podium position and an excellent result for Dilango Racing and Lamborghini.

“Sadly it wasn’t to be. About ten minutes from the end of the race, I had warning lights flashing telling me the engine oil pressure was low and I was forced to slow right down and head back into the pits to prevent a possible engine failure.”

Unfortunately for the Dilango team, further investigation revealed a broken position, and more likely internal damage, so the decision was made to change to the team’s spare engine for Sunday’s second race.

Come Sunday morning though, an exhausted Dilango team had effected the change and had the car ready for duty. Unfortunately though, all was not 100% right with the Gallardo FL2..

“We had to go through an engine change last night after the failure in race one, and that put us to the rear of the GT3 field for the race today,” Antunes explained. “Coming to the grid I saw a bit of smoke, and flag marshalls rushing towards my car with fire extinguishers, and then suddenly I could see the flames, so I got out of the car pretty quickly. I could see they were able to contain it, so I didn’t need to push the fire bomb and fill the car with suppressant, but I have to admit it got the heart-rate up there for a while..

“The guys are scratching their heads a little bit, because they can’t find the source of the problem, so the engine will come back out and they’ll check it again. It was not the way I wanted the weekend to finish up, but sometimes these things happen..!”

Clearly frustrated that he had been unable to follow up the promise he’d shown during qualifying, Antunes had done enough though to make the GT Asia Series pit lane take notice, and more than enough to warrant an invitation to return to the Dilango team for the conclusion of the 2014 season.

“Nathan did a fantastic job,” Malagamuwa admitted post-race. “I’m sorry for him and the team that we were unable to complete race two, but I think we learnt a lot this weekend, and I’m certainly very keen to have Nathan back in the car with me for the rest of the season.”

The 2014 GT Asia Series continues at the Fuji International Circuit (Japan) on July 11-13. Stay tuned for an announcement about Antunes’ involvement in the coming weeks!

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in Sports Cars:

Related links
· Sports Car Edition
· Top PaddockTalk News!
· More about Sports Cars

Home :: _ 

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest (c) 2003-2014 by PaddockTalk.com.
Contact E-mail: [email protected]