SHANAGARRY'S Lucca Allen (18) recorded a pair of sixth place finishes and a non-finish in the latest triple round races of the Japanese Formula Lights series, this time at the Suzuka Circuit.
In what was an identical outcome to his debut outing a few weeks ago in Kamitsue, Allen’s middle race resulted in retirement due to fuel issues.
In Saturday’s race (Round 12) he qualified the Albirex Racing Team car in P7 and although he took the chequered flag in seventh, he was promoted to sixth after a 30-second penalty (for dangerous driving) relegated Sena Sakaguchi from second to eighth.
After the race Allen said. “I wasn’t too happy with my performance but still managed to hold off my team mate Tsubasa Iriyama on the last lap.” Unfortunately, a fuel problem after some four laps forced Allen out of the weekend’s second race. In the third and final race (Round 14) he netted sixth.
“The car felt good. It was probably my best race so far. The track was really tricky in the final race as there was a lot of rubber down from previous races.
"At times I was battling for fourth and against those that have a much bigger budget. I think I have taken a big leap for myself and the team and hopefully in the final event I can break into the top four."
The final three races of the series take place at the Fuji Speedway on the weekend of December 19/20.
Meanwhile, French ace Sebastien Ogier claimed his seventh World Rally Championship title with victory in the ACI Rally Monza, the seventh and final round of the series. Onboard their Toyota Yaris WRC, Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia finished 13.9 seconds ahead of outgoing champions Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 WRC), who edged out team mates Dani Sordo/Carlos Del Barrio by 1.5 seconds as the Hyundai crews retained the WRC manufacturer’s title for the Korean outfit.
There was disappointment for Welsh driver and title favourite Elfyn Evans, who crashed out of third place during Saturday’s stages when his Yaris slid out in slushy conditions.
In a great sporting gesture he ran back the road to warn Ogier of the looming hazard. Evans, who held a 14 point lead prior to the event, re-joined the rally yesterday but Ogier wasn’t to be denied as he won the title for the seventh time and a third time with a different manufacturer.
Billy Coleman award winner Derry’s Josh McErlean in a Hyundai i20 R5, finished a very creditable seventeenth overall.
In only his second outing in a round of the WRC (he competed in last year’s Rally GB) McErlean in his Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing car set some very strong times throughout the three days.