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JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Suzuka International Racing Course. 24 September 2019
April 16, 2002
BA Racing are finally getting their 2002 season on course, after failing to start the 1st 2 Grand Prix, and retiring in the 3rd, they have now scored a top 6 finish and taken home valuable points.

Dan Lawrence commented, "After qualifying in 7th, I was expecting to finish in the top 4, but when I woke on the morning of the race and looked out of the window I was horrified!..Rain! I felt pretty sure that I would be lucky to hold onto 7th place as I have never raced in the wet in such fierce competition.

Warm-up was tough. I was on the back foot in regards to set-up and really didn't know if the compromises I was making would be worthwhile. The forecast was that it would dry towards the end of the race, but during warm-up I found it so hard to get downforce..so went for a high wing setting and hoped it wouldn't dry out too much

The start was clean and was a battle between myself and Pablo Arteaga and Kieran Ryan. After a few laps I got the better of Arteaga but couldn't hold off Ryan who was flying! My pace was reasonable and I managed to hold 4th place for a while. I pitted on lap 16 when the rain started to get harder and from then on was on 'auto-pilot'. I was pretty sure that I would finish 4th, but Consiglio was recovering from a bad start to the race and unfortunately caught and passed me on lap 50. I had a bad few laps straight after and left the circuit too many times! but got my act together and started to catch him....unfortunately not quick enough as the flag was waved before I got there.

5th is a great result though, and a performance to build on. We have 4 days of testing this week to improve the car and should be on the top 6 pace for the Spanish Grand Prix.

I will be participating in the F3000 race this week aswell, unfortunately it means a lot of flying! because I will be driving in france testing aswell!...should be an interesting week!"

Mal McKee, BA Racing's number two driver, had to say about his race at Imola.

"My first time in the wet was truly awful. Had I found a better setup, and perhaps drove less aggressively, I'm sure I could have secured some more points for the team. I also had a lot of problems with cars running into the back of me, sending me off the track or into a spin. In fact this was why I retired. I lost a wheel and my front wing just at the pit entry, but both the team and I decided to discontinue. I wasn't happy with my lap times anyway. A lot of lessons have been learned, but there's a lot still to learn ... and not just in the wet."

When asked about team support, the driver smiled.

"Well, its up and down, but I understand my manager is very busy. Communication's pretty good, and I'm sure technical support will improve under the new management. Especially with the pending French testing sessions. Its going to be pretty hectic the next week or two, with the testing, F3000 and another race coming shortly after."

When asked about drinking allegations made earlier in the press, Mal had this to say: "He-heh! Well I guess I'll lay off the Black Bush for a while! Except for my birthday - I'll be getting well and truly slaughtered! I think I'm scheduled for the first day of testing, which is the morning of my birthday, so I'll not be testing on the second day."

Lawrence concluded, "We have our weaknesses as a team, and we are aware where these waeknesses lie. Power is not a massive issue for us, of course we would like more of it!...but compared to a few teams below us, our engines are not exactly that bad. We are focusing a lot on reliability, so that we can always be guaranteed a finish, which of course always stands you in good stead to take championship points. Mal will be getting a new race engineer for Spain, so hopefully his setup problems will be solved. Generally we are looking for a double points finish in Barcelona."


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