Bjorn and his GAINER Team scored their first podium of the season in last weekends Super GT Round 2 held at Fuji Speedway. It was a well earned result following a hugely entertaining fight for 2nd and 3rd positions during the last 10 laps of the 500km race.
The Fuji race is traditionally held over Golden Week, one of the major public holidays in Japan. A crowd of in excess of 80,000 were on hand to watch the race live at Fuji Speedway.
“Having tested at Fuji only a few weeks previously we had a good idea of what tyres to bring to this particular round. Having done the normal evaluations in Free Practice it was a straight forward decision which Dunlop compound to pick for qualifying and the first stint of the race,” said Bjorn.
“We were P5 in Qualifying 1 and then Katsuyuki secured P4 in Q2 and that was a result we were pleased with considering the race distance for this round is longer, 500km instead of the normal 300km, giving us a better chance to fight for a podium,”
“With three stints it was decided that I would start the car as normal and be back in the car to take the finish in the final stint. In the first stint I managed to move into 3rd on the opening lap and stay in touch with the leaders. We opted for a slightly earlier pit stop to try to get a run on the cars in front for the second stint,”
“Katsuyuki took over but at that point it was becoming clear that we weren’t strong enough to take the fight to the leading Nissan GT-R’s. I was back in the car for the final stint and was able to move into 2nd after a long fight with the Round 1 race winning #41 Toyota Prius. At that point I had already gained another position thanks to the misfortune of the #3 GT-R who had a puncture. But in trying to stretch the final stint we ended up loosing tyre performance in the final 5 laps and as a result we dropped back to third,”
“Still, it was the best result we could expect from this weekend, GAINER Team had strong pit stops as usual and the Dunlop tyre performed very well considering the circumstances. The result confirms that we are just as strong as we were the last two seasons so now it will be a case of consistently scoring podiums throughout the next few races to put ourselves into a position where we can fight for the Championship at the end of the season.”
The next round of the Super GT Series takes place at Buriram, Thailand on the 21st of June. Bjorn’s next race is at Imola the 17th of May for the second Round of the European Le Mans Championship.