The Honda NSX GT3’s FIA GT World Cup race debut ended in disappointment, despite a strong initial showing in Saturday’s qualifying race on the fabled Macau street circuit.
Renger van der Zande made a storming start to climb from 12th on the grid to eighth by the third corner of the lap, the infamous Lisboa corner, and was confident of gaining further positions.
Unfortunately for the Dutchman, his race came to an end less than half a lap later. A collision with the wall by one of the race leaders triggered an incident that involved 13 cars.
Despite trying to steer the NSX GT3 away from danger, Renger was hit from behind immediately, resulting in significant front, rear and side-damage to the car.
The team is working hard to have the car repaired in time for Saturday’s 18-lap main race.
Renger van der Zande : « Today is a huge shame because with the work done to the car overnight, we should easily have finished in the top 10. I overtook two cars at the start and at least one more before Lisboa and even in half a lap, I could feel that the car was quite a bit better than in qualifying, so I had massive confidence. Then there was an accident in front of me that blocked the track. I tried to stop, but I was hit hard from behind. It’s a big shame for the team, who have worked so hard to improve the car since practice. I hope we can make it out tomorrow. »
Stefano Fini – Team Director: « Obviously we’re all extremely disappointed to see the race end in this way. The team has made excellent progress with the NSX since the opening practice session and it was very encouraging to hear Renger say that eighth place was only the start of what he could do today. When there’s a big crash in Macau, it can involve a lot of cars, and that was the case today. Renger took a hard hit from behind, but the car has been designed with driver safety as a priority, so he’s absolutely fine. We’re working hard to try and repair it for tomorrow. »
Press Release Honda Racing,