Hi guys – Harrison here back with my latest column for Crash.net looking at my year racing in Japan.
With four races down in my maiden year in Super Formula, the season so far can be summed up with one word: “frustrating”. That said, the team and I are making progress. A top-six result definitely looked possible at Sugo until my car unfortunately caught fire, and I ran well in practice at Fuji before a fuel spillage causing a similar issue at a pit stop after torrential rain. But let me get you up to speed with my racing activities over the past couple of months. Round 2 of the Super Formula season was at Autopolis.
We had an engine issue in practice, so I didn’t record many laps, and it was the only dry session before the race. FP2 was wet with loads of red flags and I only managed one flying lap. Qualifying was delayed from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning and also changed the structure from the normal Q1-Q2-Q3 to a more conventional 40-minute qualifying session. I went off near the end of the session, causing a red flag, and was sent to the back of the grid with another six cars.
The race didn’t go much better when I stalled on the grid due to a clutch actuator issue which then kicked out the anti-stall electronics, putting me a lap down, but got up to effectively P9 in terms of true pace. I then headed over to Monaco for the Formula 1 race, which is always a very cool experience.
Next up for me was the Fuji 24 Hours. I qualified in pole in my group with a new lap record, which was satisfying, and in overall pole with the combined times of my co-driver Tairoku Yamaguchi. The race was going pretty well, lying second with about four hours to go, but an alternator problem caused an oil pump issue which led to a gearbox failure. The mechanics did a great job and managed to get us back out, and we ended up third, which was a shame as we were in the hunt to win it. It’s always amazing to do a 24-hour race, no matter where it is or what it’s in. It is just a great experience. Continue on Crash.net