Round four of the Super Trofeo Asian Championship took place at the Fuji Motor Speedway in Japan. Set at the foot of the famous Mount Fuji, the 4.563 km Grand Prix circuit weather was typical for this time of year being mostly wet and overcast.
With this being Bartholomew’s first visit to the track, it was important to gain some track knowledge on the Thursday and Friday free practice sessions. Getting to grips with the Grand Prix circuit, Bartholomew and team mate Ebrahim finished the practice sessions P6 and P7 overall.
As Bartholomew headed into qualifying on Saturday morning, rain was falling on an already damp track and track conditions would have a big impact on lap times. With a small break in the rain, Bartholomew was on his fastest lap which would have put him on P4, but was baulked by a slower car in sector three which resulted in him qualifying P9. Team mate Armaan Ebrahim then set out to qualify for race 2 and with the rain having stopped and the track drying, he managed to put the #5 FFF Racing Lamborghini onto P5 for race 2.
Race 1 started at 12.40 local time and as the cars crossed the line to start the race, Bartholomew set about making up places. Unfortunately, he was pushed wide at turn one and boxed in by a slower car so was unable to make progress through the field. For the remaining 25 minutes of his stint, he focussed on chasing down the pack before the pit window opened to hand over to team mate Ebrahim. Ebrahim was able to make up places and at the flag finished a frustrating P5.
Race 2 on Sunday morning was looking much more likely for a podium position as the duo were starting in P5 on the grid. However, as the car arrived at its grid position, a water leak became apparent, causing the car to be pushed back into the pits. A frantic effort by the team to repair the car was unsuccessful meaning they were unable to start the race.
“Of course, I’m really disappointed at not being able to compete in race 2 as I’m convinced a podium finish was possible, but the team did everything they could to rectify the fault. Unfortunately, they ran out of time, it’s all part of the sport and we will dust ourselves down and head into the next race where we can show what we are capable of.”
Jack remained in Fuji for three days following the race weekend on instructor duties for the Lamborghini Accademia and will start preparing for the next race on his return home. This will be held on the weekend of 23rd and 24th September in Shanghai, China.