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Friday, March 23, 2012

2012 - Most Exciting Yet!

I am happy to announce that I will be racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Japan series this year. Team: OGT! Racing. Sponsors include: Freescale Semiconductor, Avnet, Toyotsu Electronics, and Tokyo Electron Device. This is a collaborative R&D project covering semiconductor applications in automotive, medical, networking, and consumer segments. Stay tuned for some brand new things you've likely never seen before! Furthermore, we plan on working with academic/medical institutions to advance research in biometrics.

Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. produces and designs embedded hardware, with 17 billion semiconductor chips in use around the world. The company focuses on the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets with its product portfolio including microprocessors, microcontrollers, digital signal processors, digital signal controllers, sensors, RF power ICs and power management ICs. The company also holds an extensive patent portfolio, including approximately 6,100 patent families. In addition, the company offers software and development tools to enable complete solutions and to support product development.
The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas with design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations in more than 20 countries.


To put all of this in layman's terms - Freescale manufacturers an enormous portfolio of microchips that have applications in virtually anything that has electricity - TVs, remotes, ECUs, G-sensors, powertrain, network basestations, e-readers, cameras, medical sensors, and the list goes on. Freescale is the spin-off entity of the original Motorola Semiconductors division, created in 2004. It has a long history of being in the forefront of innovation.

I recommend full sound from your speakers for this:

As part of the 2012 program, Freescale Semiconductor Japan is a series sponsor of Porsche Carrera Cup Japan - allowing for close collaboration, as Porsche is also of course a Freescale customer. Another fantastic opportunity is the fact that Michelin is the spec-tire used in the series. Freescale works with Michelin on joint R&D in areas like active suspension and other innovations.

As I have been preparing this 2012 program for the last 1.5 years, I actually had not had a chance to be back on track in a racecar since the summer of 2010 (SUPER GT GT300 - Taisan Porsche).
Our race team garage for 2012 is KTR - the factory Hankook Tire team in SUPER GT racing in a Porsche 911 GT3R. This is hands down the best Porsche team in Japan and I am excited to be working with them this year.

Now... to on-track news.

Our team has one of six 2012 997 GT3 Cup cars allotted to Japan - and what a fantastic car it is!

Compared to the SUPER GT GT300 Taisan Porsche - the Cup cars actually have a higher top speed due to more power output and significantly less downforce. So in comparison the car naturally suffers in braking zones and mid-corner speed. The top speed however, with some tailwind at Fuji Speedway, is 285km/h (180mph).

The official pre-season test at Fuji Speedway for Porsche Carrera Cup took place on March 15 and 16.

The entire first day was spent on finding the right balance on the car, and so was the morning of the second day.

Here is onboard from day 1 - the car was rather uncooperative and it was very forced driving. This is 1:45.4 lap time.

Unfortunately I can't go into much detail about the setup changes at this point since this is a spec-series - all competitors are racing in identical cars.

For the last session on day 2, I felt pretty happy with the resulting setup and we threw on a new set of tires for a qualifying simulation.
The result - top time out of all of the PCCJ drivers! Time: 1:44.1 shaving off 1.3 seconds from day 1 in a car that's become just a pleasure to drive.

Porsche Carrera Cup Japan 2012 Race Calendar

Official Testing March 15-16 Fuji Speedway 4.563km
Rd.1|2 March 31 - April 1 Okayama International Circuit 3.703km with SUPER GT
Rd. 3 May 3-4 Fuji Speedway 4.563km with SUPER GT
Rd. 4|5 June 9-10 Fuji Speedway 4.563km One Make Festival
Rd. 6|7 July 28-29 Sportsland SUGO (Sendai) 3.704km with SUPER GT
Rd. 8 September 8-9 Fuji Speedway 4.563km with SUPER GT
Rd. 9 October 5-7 Suzuka International Racing Course 5.807km with Formula One Japan Grand Prix
Rd. 10|11 October 27-28 Twin Ring Motegi 4.801km with SUPER GT

See you there!

OGT! Racing (Twitter Account here)
Freescale Semiconductor Japan
Avnet Japan
Toyotsu Electronics
Tokyo Electron Device

Special Thanks:
5Zigen / ARD Racing Suits
Arai Helmet