While it was disappointing to suffer a gearbox failure, Nobu Yamanaka and Eurasia Racing New Zealand made an impressive LMP2 debut on Sunday at the Shanghai International Circuit in China.

The all-new team saw Nobu joined by Masa Yanagida and Daniel Gaunt in the #1 Ligier JSP2 17 and after plenty of testing mileage in Malaysia, the season got underway with Nobu running confidently from the start of the race, leading the LMP2 Am drivers, whilst staying in touch with the Pro drivers ahead.

Ultimately, the gearbox inexplicably failed just as Masa started the second stint of the race. For Nobu, it was a strong showing in what was his debut in the LMP2 class.

The Japanese driver worked through the programme with his teammates in practice to set the car up to his liking before Masa qualified the car in sixth position.

Nobu took the start, quickly getting into a rhythm and lapping in the 2:01s bracket as requested by the team. While he lost two positions in the opening few laps, he maintained his confidence and was soon lapping well ahead of the LM2 Am entries behind.

Following his stint, the gearbox issue curtailed the race prematurely, but for Nobu, it was a good experience ahead of the next round of the championship in Australia.

“It was definitely a steep learning curve for me, but I enjoyed the race,” Nobu said. “It was difficult on the first few laps, but then I started to feel more comfortable in the car and enjoyed the rest of my race.

“It’s a shame for Masa and Daniel as they didn’t really get to race at all, but overall, it has been a good weekend.”

山中信哉は、中国で開催のAsian Le Mans Series LMP2クラスで力強いデビューをしました。

ギヤボックスの故障によりがっかりさせることになったが、山中信哉(Nobu)とEurasia Racing New Zeeland Teamは中国の上海国際サーキットでLMP2での印象的なデビューを果たしました。

新しいチームの#1 Ligier JSP217では、Nobuと、柳田真孝(Masa)、Daniel Gauntが組みました。そして、マレーシアで十分なテスト走行を重ねた後、レースのスタートからNobuの自信に溢れたドライビングでシーズンは始まり、Nobuはプロドライバーを追走しながらLMP2クラスのアマチュアドライバーのトップを走りました。