Beginning as is always traditional with the remote mountain setting of the Okayama International Circuit. This circuit has been favourable to the R8 in the past and means that straight out of the blocks Richard and new team mate Masataka Yanagida have every opportunity to start the season as they mean to go on.
“Finally! The first race of the season is upon us! I’m really pumped to get back at it again after being on such a high from winning in the last few races of 2016 and finishing 3rd in the SuperGT Championship. Last seasons placing has really motivated Audi Team Hitotsuyama and we’re ready to start the season on a high. There have been a few changes in the team over the winter period, the main change being that I now have a new team mate, Masataka Yanagida who has 4 Super GT titles to his name. We have been working really well together in preseason testing and I expect him to be able to support us on reaching our goal of being champions! Another major change is our engineer, Pierre Arnaud. Pierre will still oversee things from Europe and join us for Suzkuka 1000km but he has been replaced by Miguel Galvez, who was actually my engineer when I competed for AF Corse in Europe in 2014. Miguel just recently joined WRT so it seemed the perfect fit when we realised Pierre was unavailable, so far we’ve all really gelled and the team looks in great shape.
Our Audi R8 LMS is still fitted with Dunlops so we have been able to build on last years experience and hopefully this gives us a stronger starting position than last season. I feel Okayama is a great circuit for the Audi R8 LMS and I think as a team we’re ready to fight for a podium from very the get go.”
Source. RL Motorsport