Dramatic first Okayama race for Eurasia
Date posted on October 31, 2009 · Published by Mark Goddard
Front row starter, Axcil Jefferies, retired on the first lap whilst Chris Wootton put on a great comeback drive and newcomer, Daiki Sasaki, impressed in his first race, round 13 of the Formula BMW Pacific Series held at Okayama Circuit in Japan.
Jefferies made a slow start with too much wheel spin and was swamped by second row starters, Haryanto and Thompson. An attempt to get by Thompson at turn six, onto the back straight, failed and Jefferies lost momentum allowing team mate, Chris Wootton, to get alongside. It ended in tears when the cars clashed spinning Wootton at over 180kph. The rest of the field managed to avoid the Australian and Wootton rejoined at the tail of the field. Meanwhile Jefferies was hit up the rear by Ilyas and forced out of the race. Wootton then spent the remainder of the race fighting back through the field, ending in ninth place after a great drive.
Newcomer, Daiki Sasaki, started 16th on the grid after a pinched nerve in his back had seen him unable to steer properly in qualifying. He made a great start and made up several places on the first lap, finally finishing in 8th place and demonstrated that he will be a factor in Sunday’s race.
“A team’s worse nightmare is to have two of their drivers clash and we lost the possibility of two great results today” reported Mark Goddard of Eurasia. “Axcil has made it very hard for himself, although not impossible, to win the rookie championship but he learns very quickly and I am sure today’s race was a memorable lesson for him! Chris has been very level headed about the incident and he proved he is a real racer by getting his head down and pulling off some extremely good passes in his drive back up through the field. If we can get through the first lap tomorrow both Chris and Axcil should be on the podium and Daiki will certainly be able to demonstrate his speed assuming his back is fully healed”.