Paul Ricard 1000km fantastic race from 32nd to 5th

It was a thrilling race for our 23 NISMO GTR. We had an unlucky quali session. I set 2nd best time in Q1 behind Ferrari of Fisichella but in Q3 Chiyo-San had lots of traffic and made a 32nd position.

In the race we knew with colder track temp, GTR could be strong, It was. We recover nicely up to Top 10. In my stint i did really enjoy coming from P22 to p8, then Alex did a great step up to P5.

In the night we kept strong when I was running in 1.58′s half of the stint but a problem with a wheel knock dropped us from a possible podium finish.

We have to be proud of the nice race we had! Thank you RJN NISMO 23 and team mates!

Also fans for great support!

Okayama GT500 test

Hi guys!

My Super GT 500 adventure has started at Okayama with an intensive testing programm.

As you may know I will drive #24 Kondo GT-R NISMO with Daiki Sasaki for the 1st 3 races.

It’s been a busy week since arriving in Japan. I had to work to understand more about GT500 Yokohama tires, to find the way to communicate with the team in the best way (language barrier) and everything is progressing very well.

GT500 is one of the most tough competitions in motorsport and you have to work and drive at maximum level every lap.

My impression of this week test is very positive but still more time to understand some different compounds and construction tires.

Next week we have last test in Fuji before Round 1 at Okayama so looking forward to spend more time on track and improve as I always try.

Hope you follow me during this season. Any comments will be appreciated!!


Thank you!

Welcome to my pre-season life

During the pre-season time a part from spending time with my family and friends I keep working hard and focus on my 2015 racing season.

What I do with my trainers is to do quality training as during the season is pretty much complicated to do due to a very busy schedule between racing, events and airports.

Cycling:

Cycling is my favorite sport to keep fit, is the most time I spend and gives me all what I need to be in perfect conditions in the race car.
On the bike not only we work our stamina and cardio, also our concentration, visibility, reactions, equilibrium… It’s a really complete training for racing drivers.

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Workout sessions:

An important part of my training is to work with my trainers Fran and Javier at their entrenamientociclismo.com facilities in Madrid.
They do checks on my body, measure and organize my training plans for every month. They are very well known trainers in the cycling world, training Pro cyclist at the highest level of competition and Javier is the President of Madrid Cycling Federation.

They plan my cycling training, running and of course workouts with Fran like strengh, core training, endurance, reaction tests and neck exercise training.

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Gran Turismo simulator:

It’s the tool which turn me into a pro racing driver, the most accessible training tool. Just a Playstation and Gran Turismo game. If you can afford an steering wheel and pedals you can make a fantastic training system. I use it quite a lot, not just for training also for fun racing against fans and friends. I not only learn race tracks in a perfect way I also make my concentration better and for longer time during virtual and real racing.

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Karting:

Not much to say about Karting.

As a racing driver it gives you all the information you need to keep in good shape, in terms of fitness, handling, reactions… Everything happens so fast so you can train your speed and technique in a unique way.

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That’s all for today, hope you push hard to reach your dreams !!

 

Soon I will let you know what are my plans for 2015 racing season, can’t wait to start racing!!

Motegi Race

Last weekend was the final race of the 2014 Super GT Championship at Twin Ring Motegi.

After a great victory in Thailand I had some time at home to get in some proper training. I’m now back in Japan for the whole of November as we have testing to do and the ever-popular NISMO Festival at the end of the month.


I had an interesting trip to Japan and when I say interesting I mean terrible.  I had a drunk guy sitting next to me who kept falling a sleep and cuddling up to me!

When I arrived in Japan I spent some time in Tokyo meeting with some Spanish guys to watch them play football, then I went to Fuji and Okayama before heading to Motegi with Kazuki in his car.

Once at Motegi I was impressed with the size of the facilities but the track itself didn’t look very exciting as it is all 90 degree corners. It was my first time there but thanks to Gran Turismo I knew the track from many years of virtual racing.

During the practice sessions we worked a lot on setup changes to reduce the understeering balance on entry and reduce the lack of grip on the exit of corners. This track is really tough on brakes and tyres so we knew our GT-R would suffer a lot like previous years so we planned to work in a clever way and have a different strategy for the race. On Friday night I had a great dinner as always with Kazuki but also with GT500 NISMO drivers Motoyama-san and Yanagida-san. It was great to spend some funny times with them before the race weekend.

On Saturday we found some setups for qualifying and for the race stints. We played a lot with roll bars, rear wing and camber. I started Q1 but my feelings were not really optimistic as we struggled in the braking zones but I had a perfect lap to place the car in P5. Then Kazuki did Q2 and put the car in P7 doing a great lap but with brake problems in last sector.

Again as at any Japanese race the atmosphere in the paddock was fantastic and even with the very cold weather the fans were on track from 7am. I did the start of the race and will never forget that moment when the Japanese anthem started and the entire crowd stood up and when it finished thousands of flags from different manufacturers started waving. It was an incredible sight.

The race was a tough one for us. I had a good start, passing the Hondas in the opening laps but then had a fierce battle with the strong braking Mercedes and the Audi of Richard Lyons. My brakes started to lose performance from lap 3 so I had to go really steady and also look after my tyres to see if we could do the full race on one set. We managed it so the pit stop was just for fuel and to hand over to car to Kazuki. He did a great job, making the most of the advantage of a fast pit stop but as our tyres were older he then had to defend hard from the guys on new rubber.   We finished eighth, which is the best result we could expect at a track that is not suited to our car.

In the final championship standings we finished fourth. Obviously after winning the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am title I wanted to fight for the championship here in Japan but we had a really strong competition. That said we took great results like the pole position in round 2 Fuji and the victory in Thailand plus two more top two qualifying sessions. Considering this was my first year in Japan and racing on so many tracks that are new to me I am happy with these results.
Now it is time to thank Nissan NISMO and all the partners for such a great first year in Japan. I can’t wait to work harder than ever to get another exciting opportunity in 2015. Also thank you to all the B-Max team and Kazuki for being so faithful, friendly and helpful in and out of the race tracks. And last but not least thank you to all the fans for been unique and so massively supportive – without you this would not be possible.

To finish my blog in the best way possible, big congratulations to #23 NISMO TEAM and Ronnie & Tsugio for GT500 Championship!! GT-R back on top!

See you soon

 

Lucas