After a 3 week summer break, the iWCGPS returned to kick off the second half of the season from the Honda test-track of Twin Ring Motegi nestled northwest of Mito, Japan. As the first of the 3 Japanese tracks the series will visit, 26 cars took to the grid for Round 10. With roasting and slightly foggy conditions, along with slippery tarmac, this was a very challenging circuit for all drivers and tyre management would play a huge part in the race. Find out what Apex drivers thought after:
“Going into qualifying was quite surprising as the track was 20 degrees lower than I had tested. I got to the final chicane of the first lap and got myself an offtrack which would prove to be very costly. On my second lap I made a mistake costing me .15 which placed me 12th on the grid, this was disappointing as my offtrack lap could have gave me 5th.
Starting from 12th I felt confident of my pace especially with the 50 degree track making it very slippery. I got a good launch making it to 10th place just behind Graham. The DRS train soon began to form with no way past the cars ahead which was quite frustrating. Graham made a mistake in the final chicane and I tried to have a good exit to make a pass, and with hindsight I got tagged in the rear from Dinkel putting me into a spin and back to 13th.
Later I got caught up with Alex and Oomishima which broke my wing and forced me to a 2 stop. I Managed to pass more cars finishing in 12th which was a really good recovery at a track which is very difficult to pass. Thanks to all the guys and on to Okayama.”
“I’ve always found this track to be a huge challenge. Balance is absolutely key here with the way the corners are too. As I started qualifying, I didn’t feel like I had much pace and really just wanted to get this one out of the way. P20, not too bad, but I feel I could’ve found another half a second so not too bad.
The race start was very calm, the whole field made it through without a problem and I gained one position. However, I realised straight away that brake pressure was set to Medium and I have my pedals set to High-friendly, so I had to stand on the pedal for any kind of braking, especially in the low speed stuff. From then until the pit-stop, I focused on hitting my marks and trying not to let DeJong get too far ahead. I got the undercut on a few cars and came out P17.
It was a challenge keeping Oomishima and Vergers behind but it was a lot of fun. I made it up to P14 for a while, but the tyres died with 8 laps left so I dropped back just trying to keep it straight, P17. Thanks to the guys for the car and Dan for spotting.”
“In qualifying, after messing up turn 1 both laps, P11 wasn’t too bad. Knew it would be hard getting a good lap in here , funny conditions didn’t help either.
For the race, I got 2 positions on lap one and joined the train. Unfortunately it was behind Alex, didn’t really have the car under me today especially once the tyres starting going with the high track temp. I got Alex mid stint and pitted on lap 28 and hung on to 8th till the end, jumping into 7th with a car spinning in front. Happy with another top 10 but not with the pace of the car think some work needs to be done in Q and Race but I’m sure the team will be back up there next round !”
“Q: After a very interrupted few weeks of testing, with different wheels and busy work schedule, I spent only the morning of the race working on Q pace. I was maybe a few tenths off my team mates but guess I didn’t mess up as bad as they did. 7th pretty good result with the prep time.
R: Well what can you say about the race, iRacing doing their usual thing again and a throw a curve ball, by upping the track temp by 25’c in the matter of 10 minutes. We had done a lot of testing in hot conditions but the combo of everything really hurt the performance in the car in a few key corners and I struggled some what, had a few good battle but the minute Joni got past me I made sure Graham also got past as I didn’t want to hold him up. Some more battle with Kazuki were fun and I managed to stay on top until I guess he got bored and punted me up the rear, spinning me off and permanently damaging my car.
To make things worse, I developed a hardware problem that got worse over time. I again started missing gears and in the end the whole rim shut off. I was stuck in 5th with no ERS or DRS. After dropping all the way to the back I decided to pull the car over and call it a day.
Again another good result gone begging, really is the worse season I have had for consistently getting issues, be it hardware or connection. Add a couple of races that have been ended by someone else, I’m still happy to be in the hunt for a top 15 in the championship.”
“Motegi is a track where I usually perform quite well with its strong braking and acceleration sections. But this time I couldn’t find enough confidence to be able to push really hard and it showed …
Q: I spinned in my first flying qualification lap. With only one lap left I drove my second flying lap very carefully and ended in 17th position on the grid.
R: My race start was not too bad as I found myself in 15th at the end of the first lap chasing Andre. Few laps later I satrted to loose contact, burned my tyres trying to compensate which made things even worse. I decided to switch to a 2 stop strategy and pitted early but unfortunately got a drivethrough penalty … Then I pushed as much as I could to avoid being passed by the leaders, but lost the rear end and finished in the wall on lap 20: race over!”
The World Championship will be staying in Japan as the series heads to Okayama International Circuit for the next race, on July 23rd; 14:00GMT. You can also view the championship standings and results here. Until then, catch the race on RaceSpot TV, and keep up to date with our other drivers competing in other championships such as the BSRTC (live on ApexRacingTV every Thursday at 8pm British Time) and more!
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