With three rounds done and dusted, Team NAZA Aylezo shifted their attention to the fourth round of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific which takes them to Japan to compete on the legendary Fuji Speedway. The Fuji Speedway might be the second shortest circuit in the Asia Pacific calendar with a length of 4.563km over a course of 16 turns, but what makes this circuit stands out is its extremely long 1,475m main straight.
The cancellation of Race 2 back in Zhejiang had affected the team’s chances in securing a higher position in the championship but they were determined to make up lost grounds by making this outing one that counts. However, the team was facing some challenges in properly setting up the race car to tackle Fuji Speedway and Zen was not able to wring out the full potential of the 488 Challenge race car on the Japanese race circuit.
Still giving his best, Zen managed to clock a 1:43.664 during Qualifying 1 which positioned him on P4 for Race 1. The setup did give Zen some challenges in keeping up with the pack, but he managed to give the cars up front a good chase during the race and gained some grounds to climb up to P3.
Unfortunately, a podium finish was just not going to happen for Race 1 as disaster struck at just 2 more laps before the checkered flag. Team NAZA Aylezo’s 488 Challenge race car was hit by the car at the back and the contact had sent both cars spinning, losing the hard-earned P3. And to make matters worse, the contact had also damaged the car’s rear suspension, but Zen managed to nurse the car to cross the finish line in P10 out of 35 cars.
For Qualifying 2, Zen was still trying to make the best out of the car and his best time of 1:44.675 had placed the team on P6 to start Race 2 in. Keen to go home from Japan with at least a podium finish, Zen went straight into business in Race 2 and within no time, he managed to overtake a couple of cars and was already in an encouraging P4. But just as things were looking good for the team, bad luck had befallen them once again as the safety car was deployed for a number of laps and that had effectively closed any window of opportunity for Zen to further improve his position in the race.
This was undoubtedly one of the toughest round for the team and being one of the unluckiest as well. Despite all the uphill struggle, the team are keeping their chins up and are already setting their sights on the next leg of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific which will be on their home turf at Sepang International Circuit.
Team NAZA Aylezo would like to take this opportunity to extend their greatest appreciation to everyone who had helped in making this journey possible, NAZA World, Rudy Project, Ecotint, Lifestyle Chiropractic LLP, and Under Armour.