Carlo van Dam claims second place at Fuji


Copyright: T. Taguchi

Dutch racing driver Carlo van Dam finished second at Fuji today in the opening round of the 2008 Japanese Formula 3 Championship. Carlo, who races for Toyota Team TOM’s, will start from third place in the second race, held at the same circuit tomorrow.

Today Carlo was on the front row of the grid, having set the second fastest time in qualifying. “Qualifying is just half an hour and after one lap the red flags were out and the session was stopped. They don’t stop the clock here, so in the end we had just fifteen minutes and two sets of tyres to set a time. In this championship your fastest time determines your grid position for race one and your second best time counts for race two. The first sixty percent of Fuji contains three corners and the other forty percent has eight corners. In that slow bit my car lacks traction at the moment and that is costing me quite some time.”

“Nevertheless, my lap times were still good enough for second and third on the grid this weekend. Today I started on the dirty part of the main straight and it is a bit hard to get away well from there, but I managed to hold on to second place at the start. My car is still not handling perfectly, though, and I had a rather lonely race, running a few seconds behind my teammate Iguchi and a few seconds ahead of the guy in third. All in all this was not a bad start of the season: a podium finish and important championship points. However, there is a lot more time to be found in the car, so tomorrow will be another challenge. I will then start on the good side of the road and maybe that creates some opportunities, too.”

Uitslag Japans Formule 3-kampioenschap, race 1 (Fuji Speedway, 4 april):
1. T. Iguchi (Jap, Dallara), 23min 59,229
2. C. van Dam (Ned, Dallara) op 7 sec 042
3. K. Cozzolino (Jap, Dallara) op 12 sec 424

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