CORK racer Lucca Allen faces a baptism of fire at the iconic but demanding Suzuka racing track in the penultimate round of three races in the Japanese Formula Lights series.
On his debut in the series a few weeks ago the Shanagarry driver banked a pair of sixth places before a fuel related issue sidelined his Albirex-RT car on the weekend’s final race at the Autopolis circuit in Kamitsue.
Although acknowledging he has a tough task, Allen is keen to build up experience and seat time, he’s also set to sign for the team for next year’s championship. Speaking after FP1 (free practice) at the track today, he said: “The track is amazing, the walls are so close, everything is just moving so fast, you really need to be switched on to get a lap done around here.
"But they are the challenges that every racing driver looks for, it’s amazing, it’s the best racetrack I have driven on, I feel more confident in the car since Autopolis, using the speed and the downforce, I have a few things to work on for the next session.”
Qualifying is on Saturday morning followed by a race in the afternoon and two further races on Sunday.
The World Rally Championship concludes the ACI Rally Monza where Welshman Elfyn Evans (Toyota Yaris WRC) starts as favourite to land his maiden title.
He has a 14 point lead over team mate and six-times champion Sebastien Ogier with Thierry Neuville and outgoing champion Ott Tanak, both in Hyundai i20 WRC’s, having a mathematical chance of the title but are a respective 24 and 28 points behind with a maximum of 30 points available.
Hyundai, the reigning manufacturer’s champions hold a seven point advantage over Toyota. Reigning Billy Coleman award winner Derry’s Josh McErlean (Hyundai i20 R5) is seeded at No. 36.
The majority of Friday’s and Sunday’s action is at the Monza circuit with Saturday’s stages near Lake Como.
On Tuesday last, Motorsport Ireland posted the following statement on their website: “The Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions issued last night by Government and Sport Ireland prevent Motorsport competitions from taking place in December.
"We have written to the Minister to express our disappointment that our sport is not allowed to resume, while some other similar outdoor sports are. We will issue an update when we have further news regarding January 2021.”
Also earlier this week, Volkswagen announced it will end all of its factory motorsport programmes as “part of the company’s realignment.”
The spare parts supply for the Polo GTi R5 rally car and the Golf GTi TCR touring car have been “ensured in the long term.” Production of the Polo R5 will cease at the end of this month.