Hard fought second place at Okayama


Copyright: TOM's

Dutch Toyota Team TOM’s driver Carlo van Dam has today again increased his lead in the 2008 Japanese Formula 3 championship. He claimed a hard fought second place at the Okayama circuit (formerly known as TI Aida), after having been forced to start from fifth place on the starting grid. Tomorrow, Carlo will start the tenth race of the year from pole position.

This morning Carlo recorded the second fastest time during the qualifying session for today’s race, but was put back three places as he had ignored the chequered flag. “In the first session I clinched pole position for Sunday’s race and that session was ended with the chequered flag and red lights. Apparently, they only used the flag to end the second session, because the red lights did not come on. I never saw the flag, as I was right behind another car, while my engineer came on the radio saying: ‘Push, push!’ So I did another drove into me quite hard after some banzai move. I still managed to get up to second place eventually and was rapidly closing the gap to Yamamoto, who was leading. Overtaking, however, is basically impossible on this track; I was half a second a lap quicker, but if you want you can keep anyone behind you here quite easily. All in all this is not a bad result for today, though, especially after having to start from fifth place. Since my team mates both got a drive through penalty, I also managed to increase my championship lead with another ten points.”

Tomorrow, Carlo will start from pole position for the fourth time this year.

Result Japanese Formula 3 championship, race 9 (Okayama, 7 June):
1. N. Yamamoto (Jap, Dallara), 26 min 04 sec 395
2. C. van Dam (Ned, Dallara) at 0 sec 432
3. Y. Nakayama (Jap, Dallara) at 3 sec 135

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