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    Comments from the Race 2 podium at Fuji

    Maranello 13 maggio 2024

    The highly anticipated Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Japan Round 2 Race 2 took place at the illustrious Fuji Speedway. As expected, two skilled drivers claimed the coveted Trofeo Pirelli title, while two promising rookies made a memorable mark with their first wins in the exciting Coppa Shell category.

    Yudai Uchida, winner in the Trofeo Pirelli: "Today's Race 2 was crucial, particularly in the first corner, as I placed my full concentration on the start. Prior to the race, I had strategized to preserve my tires. However, at the start, I noticed Trofeo Pirelli Am's Makoto FUjiwara ahead of professional driver Yugo Iwasawa in 2nd place. In that moment, I made the decision to push and create distance. After establishing a comfortable lead, I maintained a steady pace. Remarkably, in the early laps, I was able to clock a time of 1 minute 41 seconds, almost equivalent to my qualifying time – a testament to my unwavering focus. To my delight, today was a day of perfection. Going forward, I am determined to keep up with the elite drivers in the upcoming round."

    Makoto Fujiwara,winner in the Trofeo Pirelli Am: "I was thrilled to get off to a great start in Race 2, just like in Race 1, and managed to make some improvements in my position. Initially, I had considered allowing Yugo Iwasawa, who was in a different class, to take the lead. However, when I saw AKITA, who was right behind him in second place in our class, I knew I had to step up my game and focus on keeping my position. It was definitely one of the toughest battles I've had in my racing career, but I am grateful that I was able to hold my ground. In yesterday's Race 1, I faced some challenges starting from pole position and ultimately had to retire due to machine trouble. This time around, as a spot entry for this Round 2, I was determined to not repeat the same mistakes and focused on securing my victory from pole position. I am delighted that my determination paid off and I was able to get my revenge.

    Tsutomu Shimoyama, winner in the Coppa Shell: "I started from pole position, but Yasutaka Shirasaki and Phil Kim put up a tough fight. It was an exciting battle between the three cars and I had a lot of fun. I'm happy to have come out on top, but the three of us were all so close in lap time, making it a great race overall. I owe much of my success to my coach's advice, as I tried to keep a level head throughout the race. While I've had experience in mock races in the Club Challenge for three years, I joined this race in hopes of driving on circuits all over Japan. So, it was not just practice for a full-scale race. I'm still surprised that I was able to win a race like this."

    Yusaku Maezawa, winner in the Coppa Shell Am: "I am humbled by my first race win, from pole-to-win, and I believe that it was pure luck as a newcomer. I may have been overtaken by Masafumi Hiwatashi in 2nd place at one point, but I was able to reclaim my spot and it brought immense joy. The intensity of the race consumed my focus, but it allowed me to focus solely on my driving. The unwavering support and motivation from the coaches and staff motivated me to deliver my best performance. I am also grateful to the mechanics who worked tirelessly to fix my car after the qualifying crash in race 1. I am looking forward to participating in a few more races this season."