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Aug 31, 2014 - 06:18 AM
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Challenges and Surprises Abound as Lamborghini Returns
Posted by: newsla on Aug 31, 2014 - 06:16 AM
Sports Cars
Challenges and Surprises Abound as Lamborghini Returns to the Fuji International Raceway


The Italian super sports car maker Automobili Lamborghini and Swiss luxury watchmaker Blancpain have come together again in Japan for the first day of racing this year at the Fuji International Speedway.

 

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The Fuji International Speedway is almost as much an attraction as the Super Trofeo itself and the presence of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji, could be felt despite being veiled in clouds from early morning rains, left over from rain-soaked qualifying rounds the day before. But fate was on Lamborghini’s side with skies clearing in the afternoon giving drivers a dry, beautiful track to race on.

This year’s race at the Fuji International Speedway saw an especially high level of local enthusiasm with 15 out of 26 drivers coming from Japan and achieving some impressive results, including sweeping the AM category and taking third place in the PRO-AM category. Local drivers, retailers and car enthusiasts also turned out in droves despite what originally looked like bad weather, lending their support to this increasingly popular series.

The tricky turns and long straight at the Fuji International Speedway presented challenges for drivers today, resulting in quick changes and even a couple of surprises like unexpected placings and many experienced drivers falling behind only to having to fight back for top positions.

Throughout today’s competition even top racers like Wiser/Xin (#9), Zen/Afiq (#69) and Nakaya (#11) all faced setbacks. Despite being at the lead of the pack from the start, the team of Wiser/Xin (#9) may have faced some technical problems, pitting early and changing drivers, but they quickly regained their momentum and moved up quickly in the second half, ultimately taking first place, which they held for the last ten laps.

Final placement for the PRO-AM category saw Wiser/Xin (#9) taking first place, followed by Zen/Afiq (#69) in second place and the surprise team of Takeuchi/Matsuda (#82) taking third. This proved to be a big upset, kicking favorite Nakaya (#11) out of the top three. Nakaya (#11) had been in the top three spots for most of the race, pitting late and fighting to get back into the top three only to be passed by #82 in the very last lap, ultimately placing fourth.

The AM category was swept by Japanese drivers, showed the ambition and continually improving technical skills of local drivers. The second and third placed drivers in the AM category – Toshiyuki/Ochiai (#2) and Takei/Furuta (#16) – fought hard for their wins, starting at the back of the pack but moving up steadily, taking and maintaining more advanced positions throughout the race thanks to their cunning use of the track. First place in the AM category was taken by Kazuyuki Yamaguchi (#12), an unknown and previously unplaced driver in this year’s series, once again highlighting the potential of drivers in Japan.

Following a warm welcome with updates on the latest from Lamborghini, guests were introduced to the next-generation mortorsports machine, the new Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo. This was the first time that technical specifications had been released about the car, showing how it compares to previous models and competitors – a further example of how Lamborghini continues to surprise car lovers, especially those that have a racing spirit.

The popularity of amateur racing in Japan has driven Lamborghini’s growth in the country, making it the perfect place to introduce the new Huracán Super Trofeo to the Asian market.

The excitement continues tomorrow with the second race at the Fuji International Speedway. Now that the drivers have had the chance to experience the track and learn some new tricks, competition should be even more intense and exciting.

Podium Results - Race 1

PRO-AM Category
#9 Max Wiser / Jiang Xin
#69 Zen Low Suan Chuan / Afiq Yazid
#82 Hironori Takeuchi / Hideshi Matsuda

AM Category
#12 Kazuyuki Yamaguchi
#2 Toshiyuki Ochiai
#16 Hirofumi Takei / Satoshi Furuta


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