Eurasia Motorsport arrived at Fuji Speedway ahead of the second round of the Asian Le Mans Series in a buoyant frame of mind having finished on the podium in Shanghai two weeks ago. Whilst confident, the team was however fully aware that it would again require a perfect race and strategy for a repeat of the result in such a highly competitive field.
Unfortunately, the cards did not fall for the Eurasia squad today (9 December) as a spin and then a mechanical failure the #36 Ligier LMP3 entry ended the race with 40 minutes of the four-hour race remaining.
“That was a difficult race for us,” declared Team Principal Mark Goddard. “The weather was very challenging for the team and for Nobuya meaning that we lost laps in the first hour of the race. At this level, you cannot simply pick up the pace to regain the lost ground, so we knew we were in trouble.
“It unfortunately proved academic anyway as we had the left rear suspension issue. It’s a shame we could not finish the race, but despite the result, we made gains this weekend with Nobu gaining confidence from his experience and lapping very much on the pace of his fellow Gentlemen drivers.”
The team took part in the Friday unofficial test session, putting in 41 laps before the first free practice session where Aidan and Nobo were sixth fastest, albeit on old used tyres. Armed with fresh rubber for qualifying, Aidan showed his undoubted speed to record the fourth fastest time ahead of Sunday’s four-hour endurance event.
Nobo took the start, dicing with his rivals and holding his own against some vastly more experienced driver. In fact, the Japanese racer was able to extend the gap to the eventual third-placed #79 Ligier early on but as the drizzle intensified, was caught out as he neared the end of his stint and he spun.
Nobu was especially unfortunately to find the Ligier beached on the kerbing and it took an agonising four-laps for the safety team to restart him. With hopes of a solid result dashed, the team worked through the programme with Aidan taking over with just over two hours remaining. The Australian lapped on the pace of the leaders, but it was for little as the left rear wheel departed the car with 40-minutes remaining and 104 laps in the books.
The team now regroup for the third round of the Asian Le Mans Series which takes place at Buriram January 10-12.