Alex Imperatori wins again in Motegi

Alex Imperatori wins again in Motegi

25.05.2008: Alex Imperatori wins again in Motegi

Japan F3 Championship

Alexandre put in a strong performance at Motegi two take his second win of the season. Before that, Alex had already shown his speed in saturday’s race when he recovered to second after a first corner clash.

Round 4 of the Japanese F3 championship took place at Motegi this week-end. After a bad event in Suzuka, Alexandre was keen on getting a good haul of points. "We arrive on one of the only to circuits I know this year so I am hoping for a good result, especially after our good results in testings here last month." Alexandre confided when he arrived the track.

The weather was dry and hot when the drivers took the track for the two free practice sessions on friday. Alexandre concentrated on defining a good setup with his engineer Adachi:

"Basically, the track was quite slippery and the weather is quite hot so we had to try different solutions to improve our base and exploit the last bit of grip.". In the end of the day, while there was still room for improvement, the team was quite satisfied with the second best time: just 2 tenths adrift from the top.

On saturday, the clouds shrouded the sky but the track remained dry for the 20 minutes qualifying. The best time sets the grid for Sunday's long race and the second best time defines the positions for Saturday's round. The Bridgestone tires used in Japan only allow for two good laps; hence, the drivers have no room for errors.

Alexandre came very close to taking the pole position for the first race but had to settle for a front row start in both races. "The performance of the car was good, I made no mistake. In my first lap, I realized the grip was there and I could have pushed slightly more.

Then, the second lap was quick and almost got me the pole but front row positions leave everything open for the races." The PTRS driver was about to have quite an eventful race in the afternoon.

"I had a reasonable start, but Matsushita went away very well and slipped in. Then he moved to the left before braking so I went in but he squeezed me on the grassed and there was nothing I could do to avoid colliding in the first corner.". While both cars had no damages, Alex had to go to the grass to avoid the spinning car of Matsushita and rejoined the pack in last position.

With renewed determination, Alexandre immediately caught up with the other cars. After a few overtaking in the early stages of the race, Alexandre found himself in third place chasing his team mate Ali. Alex quickly closed the gap and pressured Ali until the latter finally made a mistake.

Alexandre took the chance and overtook from the outside in turn two. With the leader Yamauchi 2 seconds ahead, and just 5 laps to go, Alexandre settled for the runner-up spot which meant valuable points.

The best was yet to come in the longer race on sunday. In the meanwhile, the rain was pouring and wet tires were fitted to the cars. Alexandre took a great start from second to lead into the first corner and immediately pulled a 2 seconds gap. "I made some adjustments to the setup on the grid and the car behaved very well in the first part of the race".

Progressively, though, the track began to dry and Alexandre picked up some over-steer. Yet, he managed to control the gap over the 40 minutes race to take his second win of the season.

Alexandre Imperatori: "It feels good to take the victory again. The conditions were very tricky and it was a long race. Yamauchi was pushing behind and I could not afford a single mistake. But I had the consistency and I could pull away in the back of the track while he was getting closer in the last and first corner. So basically I could control the pace and now we must continue in this fashion.

Next race is Okayama and I know the track so we are aiming at a good result."

Great job by the whole PTRS team.


- Alexandre Imperatori- also photo


25.05.2008 / MaP

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