GT300: Sacha Fenestraz brings impressive season to a clase

Sacha Fenestraz finished what has been an impressive debut season in Japan, after coming home fifth in class in the final Super GT race of the year at Twin Ring Motegi.

2019 was the first year in Japan and driving in a GT championship for Sacha, while it was also his team Kondo Racing’s debut GT300 season in Super GT.

Going into the final weekend of the year, Sacha and his team-mate Kazuki Hiramine were aiming to finish as high in the overall GT300 standings as possible. They started off well by finishing practice as the fifth fastest team before qualifying took place. Sacha did a fantastic job and together with his team-mate they managed to qualify second fastest.

Hiramine took control for the first stint and managed to pass the car over to Sacha in the lead, although an alternate pit-stop strategy from one of the other teams meant that Sacha came out on track in second place with another car close behind. Sacha put in a great performance in his on-track battle for second place during the beginning of his stint, despite having issues with grip in the car.

Unfortunately for the French-Argentinian driver and Kondo Racing, an electrical fault at turn 9 brought Sacha’s Nissan to a temporary halt. He was able to get the car restarted again but the issue put him back to fifth in class, which he held until the end of the race.

« All the main power switched off. I had to turn off the ignition and restart the car, and by then we had fallen to P5.
« We had a similar issue in free practice. Usually we can be a bit aggressive on the kerbs, but this time it was a very small touch of the kerb with the floor of the car that made us lose power. It really cost us a chance of a podium this weekend. »

Sacha however holds his head high as he concludes a very successful debut year in Japan. After winning the Japanese F3 title in his rookie season, he helped Kondo Racing to sixth in the GT300 standings in its first Super GT season.

He is very happy with how the 2019 season went for him in Super GT.

« Overall it has been a great year. I think it was a very good season for the team’s first year in this championship, as well as my first season driving GT cars.
« My team-mate helped me a lot throughout the year with his experience in driving GT cars and helped me adapt quickly. »

The season might be over, but Sacha is hoping that it is the first of many for him competing in Japan.

« Big thanks to everyone here in Japan supporting me. It has been incredible with the amount of support I’ve had for hopefully my first of many years in Japan. We’ll see what the future brings, but I’m looking forward to it. »

Qualifying : 2nd – Kazuki Hiramine & Sacha Fenestraz
Race : 5th – Kazuki Hiramine & Sacha Fenestraz

Ashley Bibby,