Terakawa makes a comeback at rainy IPS Suzuka to finish 2nd
This tournament, which would become the first IPS Series event held at Suzuka, was competed under inclement weather conditions. Race 1 of the Gentleman/CCSR, held on Saturday, met with heavy rain, while all the cars tackled the full Suzuka course for the first time. However, the #55 car driven by Terakawa was unable to attack due to shift problems in the qualifying session, and the team were frustrated when they were unable to even start the race.
The next morning on the 26th the rain stopped for a while and the second race of the Gentleman/CCSR class saw each car line up on the starting grid riding on slick tires. Despite there still being some damp areas, the track was dry in many locations during the race. Terakawa, who was not able to run in the first race, started from the back of the seven IPS cars on this day. After a rolling start, when the signal turned green, Terakawa made a rocket start and moved up to 6th in the first corner and then further to 5th in short order. However, it started to rain lightly in the eastern part of the track and the rain gradually increased. Still, Terakawa continued to drive strongly and passed the 4th placed car at the chicane just before the home straight and showed some strong performance with the potential for taking a top position. With this momentum, he tried to catch the next car in front at the chicane on the second lap, but overshot the mark, losing control and spinning out. At this point, he completely lost his margin and fell back to last place.
After that, many of the top cars spun out, and it turned into a chaotic race. When the rain intensified, Terakawa found it difficult to get a chance to move up to the front again. Under such adverse conditions, the IPS cars, which aren’t fitted with ABS or traction control, had great difficulty passing the CCSR cars. By lap 4, Terakawa had managed to climb back up to 4th place in the overall IPS standings, and with three CCSR cars in front of him, he was looking for a chance to get ahead of them, but he struggled to make it happen. In the meantime, the rain was getting heavier, and on the 8th lap, the Safety Car (SC) was called out, resulting in a full course caution. The race ended behind the SC and Terakawa finished the race 3rd overall in the IPS and 2nd in the Gentleman class.
After the race, Terakawa said, “The reason I spun out there (at the second lap chicane) was my lack of experience and control. I hesitated for a moment whether to pass or not, and I think I was braking too hard at the beginning. I tried to unlock the rear of the car to get back on track, but I failed to make it happen. I was in a comfortable pace and state of mind up to that point, so it’s very frustrating. This time I had shift problems in qualifying and was unable to make a proper qualifying attack, and then I was not able to run in the first race on Saturday. This was an ordeal of a race week, and I made mistakes. Our pro driver (Yuhei Sekiguchi) had shift problems again and had to retire from the race. But it was a very meaningful event because I gained a lot of experience and was challenged both mentally and technically. I will use this disappointment as a springboard for the next round, where I aim to be number one overall.”
Text by MZRacing, Photos by IPS Official and Terakawa