Round three of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup proved to be a disappointing affair for FFF Racing Saturday (16 July, 2016) after one car was eliminated at the first turn and the second suffered a brake issue and slid into the pit lane barrier at half-distance making it an early finish for the team.
On a day where hopes were high, Hiroshi Hamaguchi started on the front row of the grid in his McLaren 650S but contact with the third-placed Porsche saw him tipped into a spin only to be clipped by two other cars as the field passed by. With the front-left wheel ripped off, it was short-lived race for the #55 line-up.
Taiyou Iida meanwhile made his racing debut with the FFF squad, taking the first stint in the Lamborghini Huracan from eighth position on the grid. He avoided trouble at the first turn to run in sixth position.
The Japanese racer duly settled into the race but with the back end of the #5 car stepping out at turn six at quarter distance, he spun the car into the gravel trap. Following some assistance, Iida resumes in seventh position, but crucially two laps had been lost and the race for the expected podium was all but over.
Iida handed over to Andre Caldarelli at the half distance mark in seventh position but with gravel being swept from the exit of the pit lane, the Italian arrived at the scene and thanks to an ongoing ABS issue, was unable to make the corner. With front-left damage to the Lamborghini, the race was run with 55 minutes remaining.
FFF Racing Team Owner, Sean Fu Songyang, said: “There was a problem with the ABS system on the Lamborghini. When Andrea went to brake, there was no brake and he went completely straight on.
“With the McLaren at the start, the Porsche hit him and he spun and the next car hit him. It’s a bit of a shame as it was a long race and you can say it was a bit unnecessary. They said sorry to Hiroshi but that’s racing.
“It’s not been the best weekend and we’re sorry for the many Roger Dubuis guests who were here to see us challenge for victory, but we’re looking forward to the next one.”
Round four of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup takes place at Paul Ricard 26-28 August 2016.