For the first time in my life, I raced in Japan! We flew all the way to Tokyo a week in front, just to get used to the time zone. We traveled through the city, only leaving for Gotemba – the village where Fuji Speedway is close to – on Wednesday. From Friday onwards, it was time for some motor racing action.
Juan was back, as was Filip of course, though our super-sub Andrea found himself in the Prema garage as well. One of the drivers of the sister car was unable to make the trip to Japan and therefore my Italian friend was invited to do another WEC race. Andrea was our tour guide during the week: he raced in Japan for years and even knows a bit of the language.
I can be very short about racing on the Fuji Speedway. The track is awesome, one of the best I ever raced at, but our pace was not good enough. We struggled in qualifying and during the 6 hour-race. In the end our car finished P8, whereas the sister car couldn’t do more than tenth.
To put this in perspective: Prema Racing is a massive corporation, active in a lot of different championships. They won races in Formula 2, captured the Formula 3 title once again, did the same in Formula 4 and FRECA. Next to that Prema and partner Iron Lynx are preparing a two-car effort in Hypercar, which demands a lot of time and attention.
It’s only logical that LMP2, a class in which Prema Racing won’t race in 2024, and where there’s no more chance to capture the title, is looked at after examining the latest developments in Hypercar and single seaters. I don’t blame Prema, as I would do exactly the same and I really hope they will be successful in the future. For now, we still have one WEC race to go and I’m sure Prema will do everything to make sure we have a competitive car in Bahrain.