01 luglio 2016
Mimasaka, 1 July 2016 - Twelve months ago the GT Asia Series saw two of the most unpredictable races of the season take place at Okayama International Circuit, in the Series’ second visit to the popular Japanese circuit.
Ferrari on front. Leading the charge will be points-leaders Anthony Liu Xu and Davide Rizzo in the BBT Ferrari team. The two have been fast and consistent so far this season, winning last time out in Thailand and they were podium finishers 12 months ago at Okayama, so they know the circuit well.
Bruni on track. Don’t discount the #3 Clearwater Racing Ferrari of Mok Weng Sun and Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni either, both are fresh from the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours where the Clearwater team recorded an incredible fourth place finish in the hotly contested GTE-Am category. These two have some serious unfinished business with Okayama, after their dramatic retirement in the warm up lap of the opening race 12-months ago, which saw Bruni parking trackside with flames leaping from the chrome Ferrari 458 Italia, sending the former F1 regular home early.
Extreme conditions. Located in the mountains outside of Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture, the legendary Japanese circuit is prone to fairly rapid weather changes, something the circuit saw in 2015 with torrential rain during the first two days of the event. Rain is in the area this week, with some suggestions that thunderstorms will also prevail, however the circuit could just as easily be dry. Teams will just have to adjust to the conditions as they come, although humidity will be high, with ambient temperatures expected in the high 20s. Race-1 is on Saturday at 14.15 (6.15 CET) while Race-2 is at 12.30 (4.30 CET) on Sunday.
Previously. Ferrari has notched up two wins in Okayama, initially known as Aida. The first dates back to 2007, as part of the Japan Le Mans Series championship, when the 550 Maranello of Hitotsuyama Racing won in the GT1 class with the Japanese trio of Akira Iida, Tomonobu Fujii and Mikio Hitotsuyama. The last was in 2009 in the Asian Le Mans Series. In the first race of the season Dominik Farnbacher and the late Allan Simonsen triumphed in the GT2 category with the F430 GTC of the Hankook Team Farnbacher.