In yesterday’s free practice, the IMPUL team was not in good shape. I was a little worried about the qualifying session.
In Q2, all cars were red-flagged during the last attack, and the race was extended by 3 minutes to the first lap of measurement.
In the final race, we started from the 3rd row and expected to fight for the top positions with our usual race sharpness, but a big crash involving #36 and #64 on lap 4 at 130R caused the red flag to be raised.
It was difficult to repair the course and the race was over at the end of 3 laps.
Final Round in 2023
#20 ITOCHU ENEX TEAM IMPUL Ryo Hirakawa finishes 6th!
In yesterday’s Round 8, which ended after just 3 laps, the slim chance of the title was gone, but Ryo Hirakawa was focused on the last domestic race of the season.
He qualified 4th in Q1 and improved his time in Q2, but finished 9th. In the end, qualifying for this season was incomplete until the very end.
In the race from 9th on the grid, he moved up one position, but his pace did not improve and he had to endure a patient mid-pack run. After his pit stop on lap 23, he quickly increased his pace and set the fastest lap of the race, but ended up finishing 6th.
Despite the disappointing result in SF, Ryo Hirakawa will be back in Bahrain next week for the final round of the WEC, where the consecutive World Champion will be crowned.
Thank you very much for your support this season in Japan and we look forward to seeing you again in the coming weeks.