• 2021/07/28
  • OTHER(日本)

Mazda Jinba Ittai Academy’s Terakawa wins his first overall IPS race

On July 24 and 25, the second round of the 2021 Interprototype Series was held under clear skies at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture. Kazuhiro Terakawa of the No. 55 Mazda Jinba Ittai Driving Academy finished in 3rd place in Saturday’s third round, but came out on top in the fourth round on July 25. Kazuhiro Terakawa of the No. 55 Mazda Jinba Ittai Driving Academy finished 3rd in Round 3 on Saturday, but took the checkered flag in Round 4 on the 25th, winning his first overall IPS Gentleman’s Race victory.


In the previous round at Fuji, he was leading the race with plenty of time to spare, when he spun in the first corner on the last lap. Terakawa’s enthusiasm for this round was extraordinary, as he missed out on the victory that he had almost grabbed. Even so, during the practice session held on Friday, Terakawa said, “I had asked the team to refine the setup beforehand based on the data we had collected so far, but the specifications we brought in were very oversteer. We asked the team to change the setting drastically, and we went to the qualifying and the race on Saturday, but now the car was understeering and would not turn. I was especially bothered by the car not being able to turn at the second Degner and the hairpin. The race started after 4 o’clock, and my faint hope that the tires would wear out and the handling characteristics would improve in the second half of the race was completely betrayed, and the understeer was not only unresolved, but even more difficult to turn. So I tried to keep up with the top two cars, but they were slowly pulling away from me.”


On Sunday, the fourth race of the day started at 10:35am. Even though it was mid-morning, the sun was shining brightly and the temperature was already over 30 degrees Celsius. Terakawa started the race from the 3rd spot on the grid, and lapped in 3rd place behind Ayaka Imahashi in car #19 and Mineki Okura in car #37. Keeping a good distance from the two cars, Terakawa lapped nonchalantly and waited for his chance. However, the two cars did not show much of an opening, and it looked like they would finish the race until the chicane on lap 7. On the 7th lap, the two cars tangled up and spun. Terakawa took advantage of this opportunity and took the lead. No. 44 Tatsuo Yamaguchi came after him from behind, but Terakawa was able to keep him at bay and took the checkered flag. Terakawa commented, “After yesterday’s race, they changed the setting a little bit again, but when we started driving, we still had some US (understeer) tendencies. Still, it was easier to ride than yesterday, and I went around the track believing that I would have a chance if I could stay with the top two cars. On the way to the hairpin, I swerved too far out and lost two wheels, but I was able to keep my position. However, at that time, I was straddling the curb and was exposed to gravel, so I don’t know if that was the cause, but my oil temperature went up and I was rather worried about that. I was good at the 130R corner and had plenty of room, and I thought that if the top two cars fought in the chicane ahead, the acceleration from the exit would slow down, and I thought I had a chance around there. I could see that Mr. Okura was going for the win, so I kept an eye on him, and sure enough, the two cars got tangled up and went around each other. I’m very happy to win my first Gentleman’s Race, as my last race was disappointing.”


Terakawa, Mazda’s development driver, commented, “Since we carry out this activity as part of our development work, I once again felt how difficult it is to make a car. I couldn’t imagine that the car would be strongly oversteer at the beginning of the race weekend, and then when we took countermeasures, it would strongly understeer, just the opposite. Even in our daily development work, I wondered if there were various things hidden behind what we took for granted. In other words, I wondered if we were too caught up in preconceived ideas, and if we could see things differently if we took a step back and thought about them. I realized these things very keenly this time.”


Text and Photos by MZRacing


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