Firman despair at late blow

Attleborough's Ralph Firman had to endure a heart-breaking ending to the opening round of the Japanese Super GT series, when his leading Honda NSX suffered a catastrophic failure on the last lap of the race.

Attleborough's Ralph Firman had to endure a heart-breaking ending to the opening round of the Japanese Super GT series, when his leading Honda NSX suffered a catastrophic failure on the last lap of the race.

Firman and his co-driver, Daisuke Ito, had dominated, not only the opening round of the championship, held at Suzuka in Japan, but also the pre-season testing with their up-dated machine.

Early testing of the Honda NSX sportscar was blighted by transmission problems, but once the mechanics from the Dome team had fixed the problem, Firman and Ito headed the time sheets on day two.

Both drivers took this testing form into the first practice session of the season with Ito, on his home track, pulverising the opposition to easily gain pole position for the opening round of the championship.


You may also want to watch:


Norfolk racer Firman started the 300km event and led from the start, quickly opening up a sizeable gap to the opposition that included setting the fastest lap of the race, before handing over to his team mate.

Ito rejoined the fray and continued the good work until the last lap when the Honda frustratingly ground to a halt on the final lap with an engine failure which lost the devastated pair a certain victory.

Most Read

Ben Devlin also had to contend with a difficult debut race in the BK Motorsports Mazda powered Lola B07-40 sportscar in the Sebring 12 Hour Classic in America.

The Attleborough racer was making his first appearance in the Japanese-powered machine and along with co-drivers Jamie Bach and Brazilian Raphael Matos qualified the new car in tenth place.

Devlin started the event but was swiped by a similar Lola sportscar after just 18 minutes of the event with both cars continuing with only light damage.

At the three-quarter hour mark, Devlin made a scheduled pit stop but was straight back in the pit lane on the following lap when a fuel sensor played up.

After another 45-minute session, Devlin handed over to Bach but throttle problems saw the American driver crawl around the airfield track before the pit crew could set about fixing the problem.

Some two hours later, Devlin returned to the track to run another stint before more work was needed on the brand new package of Mazda power and Lola chassis.

Mato then drove the car after the latest repair but the machine needed more repairs before Devlin could resume behind the wheel.

The trio of drivers completed 224 laps to finish 31st.

The next event is a street race in St Petersburg in a fortnight.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus