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Andrea Caldarelli scores maiden points finish at Sepang

Andrea Caldarelli scores maiden points finish at Sepang

11-06-2012

Andrea Caldarelli finally hit his first points finish in the 2012 SUPER GT series. The Pescara-based, 22-year old racer, lined-up at the Malaysian Sepang circuit and ended the day in 10th, collecting one point that made him enter the championship's drivers standings. It's been a demanding weekend for Caldarelli in Malaysia, as he was able to log just four laps in free practice. On an unknown venue for him, that definitely appeared as a toll to take in qualifying.Despite the issue though, Caldarelli brought his LEXUS KeePer SC430 in Q2 as he clocked the eight fastest laptime of the session, enough for a position in row 4. As in the previous rounds, Caldarelli was the starting driver. At the beginning of the race, he decided to save his tires and settled to lose a couple of spots, but he promptly recovered before the first pit-stop, taking advantage from his fresher tires to improve his laptimes. By the time the driver change came, Andrea had already recovered up to 4th as he handed the car to team-mate Yuji Kunimoto on lap 27.

Due to an exceedingly careful exit lap by the japanese driver, the team's LEXUS SC430 fell down the order to 10th place. With just 10 laps to go, thanks to a contact between two of the cars he had in front, Andrea's team-mate managed to recover a couple of spots but, Unfortunately, he made a pretty costly mistake. While lapping a slower GT300 car, Kunimoto made contact with his opponent and was assessed a 30-second penalty to be added to the car's race time.Thanks to the great job done earlier by Caldarelli, the Japanese squad was able to nail the 10th position. A top-notch result considered Andrea's so far short experience with some tough cars to tame like the ones of SUPER GT.

Andrea Caldarelli
"The start of this season has been evolving pretty well. After the retirement at Okayama and the race completed at Fuji, we were finally able to hit the points zone at Sepang. I'm pretty happy although still bitter for the two positions lost due to a penalty that has maybe been a little too heavy. We're still really satisfied the great teamwork done. After the problems suffered in qualifying, Yuji did a great job in qualifying the car for the Q2 segment, and I pulled an incredible Super Lap considering that I had run only four laps in practice. During the warm-up, the team trusted me and left me on-track for a full session, giving me the chance to learn the track in a better way”.

"At the start, I've been prudent and did not really care about being passed because I knew that they would have needed an earlier stop. That's the way it went and 8th place would have been a great result. Tenth place is ok for this time, but we’ll improve and push even further in the next round at Sugo. Last year in Formula Nippon I cruised to my best result of the season there, and I hope to be repeat that positive experience this season. Now I'll be back to Europe, as i will join the TOYOTA Racing team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans"
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Andrea Caldarelli background