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Jonathan Venter Blighted by Bad Luck Once Again in Japan

  • Jul 04, 2016

Jonathan Venter was blighted by bad luck once again this weekend at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan. The young Australian was spun around by contact at the first corner of race one, dropping him to the back of the field and leaving him with an insurmountable gap to close. Even his good race pace wasn’t enough to save him and the #8 Bentley crossed the line in P12. Race two was going to be his saving grace and with his teammate starting on pole, it gave the #8 pair a strong chance at victory. Unfortunately, bad luck would rear its ugly head once again, with the Bentley slowly losing pace throughout the race. During Venter’s stint, the car finally gave up and put an end to the young driver’s weekend. With no points scored and through no fault of his own, Venter now sits 12th in the championship but is determined to turn it all around at Fuji in two weeks’ time.  

Qualifying

It was Venter who would determine the #8 Bentley’s start position for race one and his performance was looking strong. He set about his flying lap and was on the pace, but was held up by traffic, which resulted in him setting a time of 1:30.206 that would see him start that afternoon’s race in P7.

His partner, Keita Sawa, was able to take P1 in the second session and give them a good shot at the podium for the second race on Sunday.

Race One

Jonathan began the race in P7 and made a strong charge into the first corner when he was hit on the right side of his car, turning him around and dropping him into last place. He made a good recovery but was left nearly a lap down once he got back up to speed. Running in P13, Venter did his all to claw back precious time and was showing leader matching pace, but it wasn’t enough to offset the unfortunate incident at the start of the race. As soon as the pit window opened, Venter headed into the pits for the driver change to Keita Sawa. Bentley Team Absolute executed the 88 second pit stop perfectly and sent Sawa out to finish the race. Even though Sawa showed great speed, there wasn’t enough time to catch the rest of the field before the flag fell and the #8 pair finished in P12.

Race One Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“Race one was very disappointing with contact at the first corner that was unnecessary. This caused a spin and from there we were unable to catch up, this was further compounded by our silver-silver success penalty and we had no chance of making up any further spots. It wasn’t a good race, but I’ve got my head up for tomorrow and with pole position and a new set of tyres, let’s hope we do well.”

Race Two

Things were looking positive for race two, with Venter’s teammate starting on pole position. Sawa was off to good start, maintaining the lead for the first five laps of the race before slightly dropping off the pace and falling back to P2. Over the coming laps, Sawa seemed a little off the pace and was down to P3 when the pit lane window opened. Venter hopped in the #8 and hit the track in the hopes of still securing a good result. However, it was now clear that the #8 Bentley had a problem and Venter continued to lose performance, forcing him to retire the car in what was a disappointing end to another tough weekend.

Race Two Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“We had a really disappointing race today, Keita Sawa started on pole but after a while his pace seemed to drop off a bit, which made it seem like we had a problem with the car. When I got in after the driver change, it was apparent that there was a problem. There was a failure and this caused the car to stop. Disappointing weekend, I walk away with no points and I am now struggling in the championship but looking forward to Fuji, which should suit the Bentley.”

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