As I turned out the light to sleep on Saturday night, I thought to myself that the forecast of snow for race day at Sugo was unlikely.
After all, how often can we really rely on the weather forecast? Surely, the snow would fall on the mountain tops, but not reach the Sugo circuit itself.
A cold day ahead, sure. And wet, most likely.
Fast forward to mid-morning on Sunday and we are making snowmen in the pit lane and watching graders persist with keeping the race line free from the heavy snowfall that is blanketing the Sportsland Sugo facility.
So, the first round of the Super Taikyu Endurance Series, despite the best collective efforts of the teams and organisers, was abandoned.
Making snowmen and annihilating people with snowballs is all good fun, but it’s a hollow means of passing time when deep down we are all bitterly disappointed.
Especially us in PETRONAS Syntium Team Car #28. We have started the season as we ended the last, consistently outpacing our team mates all weekend and, despite not taking pole position, feeling outwardly confident of our prospects for the 3 hour race.
I had to find my feet for a few laps on Friday, after a few Porsche races in contrasting machinery early in 2013. But once I ‘had my eye in’, I remembered just why I love the SLS AMG GT3 so much.
And so, we topped practice for the day and went into qualifying knowing that Nissan were strong, but ready to take the challenge to them.
TK started in the best possible fashion, holding the top spot in Q1 until the very last minute when we were pipped at the post by the GTNET ADVAN Nissan GT-R.
So, my task was hefty, but not out of the question. As I begun my qualifying run, I felt the car beneath me was a rocketship. It just felt fast!
Until the last corner, I had put together a great lap. Unfortunately, I lost valuable time behind a slower car, having to brake, and then overtake the car on the dirty outside line.
So, on combined times, we settled for 3rd on the grid, behind two very fast Nissans.
Alas, apart from the personal knowledge that on all tyre conditions we have a great race car, all this effort came to nothing, with the cancellation of the race due to that pesky snow.
So now, we must look ahead to Korea and the new Inje Autopia debut – a brand new circuit of which we will be the first series to take its corners at speed.
I just want to drive. And win. And see Gangnam style for real.
Until next time!
Driver of the #28 PETRONAS Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in the Super Taikyu Series