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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Official FCJ Test at Fuji and acitivity for 2008

The #24 H.I.S. Travel FCJ will be driven by Igor Sushko
Finally, the racing season is back in gear.
I was at Fuji Speedway on Wednesday and Thursday for the official FCJ testing. We have 26 drivers this year and it seems the level is as high if not higher than last year. Everyone is again very close in lap times. There are 6 drivers competing this season from last year, including one who is in his 3rd year in FCJ.

I have been meticulously training and focusing on the start of the season during the entire winter break, and it has definitely paid off - I was 2nd in the morning session on Thursday with a time of 1:42.2. Many had opted not to use their new tires for this session though, so my overall lap time position for the day was 12th. The test format was three 1-hour sessions per day for two days.

For those curious, here is a driver's view from the cockpit. The peripheral vision adds to the range of vision to either side, but I have made sure to take the photo from the correct height and angle as my eyes see it.
Driver's view from the cockpit of a formula car

It was great to be back in the car, and I am feeling mentally and physically prepared for this season. The first race will be in the first week of April at Fuji Speedway.

In addition to Formula Challenge Japan, I will be again competing in Super Taikyu Class-3 in Nissan 350Z with Okabe Jidousha team. Okabe Jidousya are long-time veterans of the Super Taikyu series. Yesterday, I had a chance to sit in the car for the first time while visiting their location - the car is in excellent shape and the seat, steering wheel, and pedals all fit perfectly to my body without any adjustments. Nagashima-san, the team owner and driver, has a few decades of racing experience and has even left some good results in the JGTC GT300.

Official test will be at Motegi on March 23rd. In addition to the Z, the team will also be fielding two Mazda RX7s in the same class. The team is especially known for great atmosphere, which I believe to be critical in order to produce good, consistent results.