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Tag: Andrea Caldarelli

It is definitely not being the best time of the year in the SUPER GT championship for Andrea Caldarelli. After the issues experienced at Autopolis, the Pescara-based man suffered from bad luck again at Motegi, as a differential issues stopped his run on lap 25. In the recent collective test held at the venue, the 22-year-old Italian had proved in tin-top form by ending up in 2nd, but once back running for race weekend, the car did not respond like the LEXUS TEAM KeePer Kraft expected. After a tough practice session, Caldarelli could not do better than 12th in qualifying which, on the other hand was an improvement from the latest round at Autopolis.

In qualifying, the team found a good way to set-up the car with the dry but conditions changed on Sunday as the Honda-owned circuit was hit by the rain. Caldarelli drove the car at the start as usual and recovered from 12th to 7th in prohibitive conditions, highlighting his car control skills. TEAM KeePer Kraft decided for a late stop to enable him chase the sister car of Team Tom’s, but the aforementioned differential problem forced Andrea to the sidelines as well as team-mate Yuji Kunimoto, who couldn’t even get behind the wheel.

Andrea Caldarelli
“I’m a little bit sad for how the race ended up. We haven’t had reliability problems during the season but this time, in the final round, a differential issue stopped our race, which could have brought us some really positive results. I think that points would have been in our frame as we demonstrated in the middle part of this season. There have been a lot of great results in 2012 as both the team and I proved able to work in the right direction. Despite the fact that I was a rookie, I managed to deliver the engineers with some valuable feedback in order to solve the problems we had on the wet at Autopolis. That was also thanks to the support of Bridgestone. The season is over, but luckily I will be back driving my LEXUS SC430 in November’s Fuji Sprint Cup. We can’t wait to be getting the rewards we missed here at Motegi”.

Andrea Caldarelli continues to improve in the SUPER GT 2012. The twenty-two years-old Italian finished the two days of collective testing of the Japanese serie at Motegi with excellent results. On both days, he scored the second best time, with just few milliseconds of gap from the top, collecting three times on four sessions the second place. A great result in the last months for the Italian driver, who fight for second position in Sugo, scored the second at the 1000km of Suzuka and was close to the podium in Fuji, before a lapped car kicked him out. This tests that the LEXUS SC430 prepared by TEAM KEEPER Kraft has a chance to fight for top positions, with two young drivers like Yuji Kunimoto and the rookie Caldarelli.

Andrea Caldarelli
“I am very happy for the results that we scored. All the team has work very hard to find the right way to give me a fast car. We close most of the gap that we had at the beginning of the season. In just two races we fight for podium and find the good pace to be competitive in qualifying. I was very fast in all the two days of test, but I couldn’t register the record for 0”026. Now for the race of 30th September in Autopolis I hope to repeat this great result, but will not be easy because also my opponents have grown up”.

Andrea Caldarelli continues to show progress in the SUPER GT. The Pescara-based man cruised to his personal best position on the grid in qualifying as he qualified his LEXUS SC430 in third. After having clocked the fifth fastest lap in practice, Andrea logged a fast lap in Q1, enough for the 35 car to advance to Q2. Then team-mate Yuji Kunimoto took over and when Caldarelli made it back on-track for Q3, he put together a small masterpiece by setting the third fastest mark of the day in 1’33″297, just 0.3s off the pole position. Andrea successfully continued in his constant progression. From his debut race in April and despite being a rookie, he established himself as an household name in the series.

On Race Day, Andrea was once again slotted for the start. After passing several Nissan cars, Caldarelli also went for second place, but after just a couple of laps he was eliminated by a lapped car. During an outside move, he was hit from behind and ended up in the runoff area. He held on to avoid contacts with other cars but at that point the leaders were far away. After restarting in 10th, Andrea recovered with a sharp drive and made it back to 4th before handing over the car. In the closing stages, Kunimoto brought his car to the checkered flag in seventh place, a valuable result in terms of points in a tough championship like the 2012 SUPER GT.

Andrea Caldarelli
“After Suzuka and more than that after qualifying our goal was to fight for the podium. Unfortunately, a contact put us out of contention even before starting to battle for the top end of the charts. That’s racing though. I’m not disappointed because we proved we can be on par of the top teams in the championships despite the fact that we’re a young team and both my team-mate and I are rookies. I want to thank LEXUS TEAM KeePer Kraft because the gave me a car capable of our best qualifying effort of the season, an incredible third place being the best Lexus on the grid. During the race we held a great pace that could have enabled us to battle for the podium, and that provides us with additional motivation. We look forward to the closing stint of the season with a lot of optimism and determination”.

Andrea Caldarelli was appointed FIA Ambassador. The twenty-two years old Italian, protagonist this year in SUPER GT and Young Driver of TOYOTA Racing for the Le Mans project, completed his training in the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, receiving the appointment of Ambassador by the Federation International de l’Automobile. Andrea is the first, and only, Italian to be chosen by FIA in his program, and now with the title of Ambassador Caldarelli will continue alongside Formula 1 drivers like Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton the FIA project for Action Road Safety.

Andrea Caldarelli
“Be part of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy was a great experience. Since last year, when ACI CSAI submitted my application to the FIA for joining the project in 2012, I knew what this would mean a lot for me. In one year I grew up in many ways thanks to them, who followed me athletically, but also gave me a training for which I am ready to disclose to other this wealth of knowledge. I’m so proud to have this title as FIA Ambassador, a privilege that just few drivers can claim”.

The 22-year-old racer from Pescara, joined by team-mate Yuji Kunimoto, captured a second-place finish at the end of one of the toughest rounds of the season so far, the 1000 Kilometers of Suzuka. A race that definitely worths a whole season in terms of commitment needed, due to the demanding nature of the racetrack and to the equally tough weather conditions: the air temperature reached 36° Celsius with relative humidity passing th! e 80% mark. After having scored a 6th place finish in the previous round held at Sugo, Caldarelli also cruised to the lead in the collective test of the series at Fuji, giving the KeePer Kraft team a good indication about their true potential. In qualifying, he was off to a conservative run, saving his tires for the race with a 9th-place, and then he drove the opening stints of the 41st 1000 Km of Suzuka. As usual, he avoided any possible contact while passing and approaching lapped opponents, and left the car to his team-mate in second place at the end of a triple stint. He also enjoyed a taste of the front spot during the second part of his run.

It’s been an important result for Andrea. The 22-year-old from Abruzzo confirmed to be the best rookie in the category, and was also the first driver aboard a LEXUS SC430 and using Bridgestone tires to get to the checkered flag. Two sister cars ended up right behind, slowed down by tire management issues. The confirmation of the podium result came with just a few laps to go, when Andrea saw his team-mate Kunimoto pass two Nissan cars that, due to tire wear, did not offer any resistance to the Italian-Japanese duo’s racer.

Andrea Caldarelli
“Suzuka hosted my debut in Japanese motor competition. Last year I entered my maiden Formula Nippon race here and many things changed since then. I left Europe and it hasn’t been easy although results like these are a great reward for my commitment to this new experience. I want to thank LEXUS TEAM KeePer Kraft for having provided us with a racecar capable of this results, as well as my sponsors for having helped me getting where I am. I don’t look at this as a point of arrival but as the start of an adventure which is each day more competitive and exciting”.

Andrea CaldarelliThe rumors over the future of Andrea Caldarelli are finally over. The 22-year-old Italian racer is proud to announce he will line-up in the 2012 SuperGT aboard a Lexus KeePer SC430 fielded by team KeePer Kraft. After having made his first steps in Japanese motorsports in the 2011 Formula Nippon, Toyota decided to promote him to what is renowned as the pinnacle of the country’s racing panorama.  Andrea is one of the three European drivers signed by Toyota for SuperGT, and that’s an even more valuable accomplishment for him especially considered his young age. His team-mate will be Yuji Kunimoto. The first test for Caldarelli will be on the next 6th of March at Fuji, while the first round for SuperGT will take-off on April the 1st at Okayama.

Andrea Caldarelli
“I’m extremely happy and proud of the agreement reached with Toyota. The SuperGT program will be my primary commitment this season, and will also be useful introduction to closed-wheel competition. For the first time I will share a ride with another driver and that will be a new and interesting aspect too. That said, the KeePer Kraft team has an huge potential and the Lexus is one of the most competitive cars in the show. A lot will depend on tires and on the ability of the drivers to adapt. I really want to thank Toyota as they gave me another great chance after having named me as their Junior Driver for Le Mans. Now they showed great trust in my again in SuperGT.”

Andrea CaldarelliAndrea Caldarelli has been announced as the junior driver for TOYOTA Racing in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. Andrea, 21, is a former member of the TOYOTA Young Driver Programme (TDP) and has previously raced in Formula Nippon and Formula 3. The talented Italian has shown promise throughout his career and as junior driver for TOYOTA Racing he is expected to become familiar with a new discipline; endurance racing. To assist his development, Andrea will be present at the race track during several FIA World Endurance Championship events, where he will take an active part in briefings and technical discussions. In addition, he will take part in several sessions on the driving simulator at TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH, becoming familiar with LMP1 cars and the circuits they race on.

Andrea Caldarelli
“I am really pleased to be joining TOYOTA Racing as the junior driver and I expect to gain a lot of invaluable experience. Even though I have been racing cars since 2005, I am still only 21 so there is plenty to learn and this is another milestone in my career. I know some of the guys in the team having been part of the TDP scheme for several years so it will be fun to work together again. For a young driver like myself to work as part of such a professional and experienced team will be a big benefit and I am looking forward to learning a lot more about the challenge of endurance racing”.

Andrea Caldarelli successfully completed his 2011 Formula Nippon season today at Fuji. After suffering from an unlucky break at Motegi last weekend, the Pescara-based Team Kondo racer rounded out a solid and highly-competitive weekend that brought him to a double 9th place in qualifying and at the end of the race. The final round of the season, named the Fuji Sprint Cup featured an unique qualifying format as well as a shortened race distance. Drivers run just a single qualifying lip in Super Pole style, then their position was determined by pairing their laptime with their top speed. While a third-row spot was definitely in his frame, Andrea settled for 9th and en-route to providing a really positive performance on Race Day. After being forced to lift the throttle at the first corner thus lifting three spots in avoidance of a contact, he made up all the ground lost finishing in the 9th position.

Andrea Caldarelli:
“I spent an incredibly beautiful year in Japan. I landed here in May, discovering a completely new reality for me, and it really became part of myself and my personality. Team Kondo have been really close to me and we truly helped each other to accomplish our common goals. At the start of the year, we were really far away from the top guys but with hard work now we’re battling in the middle of the pack.

“With wet weather I proved how fast can be both at Autopolis and Fuji. A lot of really important people in Japanese racing praised me and that’s been great. Now I’m set to be back in Europe to take part in the selections of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy where I hope not to suffer too much from the jet-lag and the huge physical effort of the last couple of weeks.”

Andrea CaldarelliThe 5th round of the 2011 Formula Nippon, scheduled for this weekend at Suzuka, was canceled due to the adverse weather that plagued the Japanese venue. As a consequence, Andrea Caldarelli was forced to step off the cockpit, relinquishing what would have been a valuable chance to increase his experience in the series. The arrival of Cyclone Talas forced to reschedule all the racing activities before the races was eventually called off for good on Sunday. The promoter is now weighing the possibilities available to recover the round lost. The most likely scenario would see the Formula Nippon cars race in next November’s Sprint Cup at Fuji for points rather than just for exhibition purposes.

Andrea Caldarelli
“Losing the race at Suzuka has been a pity. First, I think it’s one of the best tracks in the World. Then, my season started there last May and it would have been great to check my progress on a circuit I already know in order to reduce my experience gap to the others. Despite this issue, the promoters did a fantastic job in creating a media event that established a great connection between drivers and fans. We were able to meet the fans and spend the day with them. The people here is great, so passionate. When the decision to cancel the weekend came, everybody was still on the grandstands under pouring rain just to wait if we would have started… they’ve been incredible. Now we’re already focusing on next round, set for September 25 at Sugo.”

Andrea Caldarelli was off to a really positive GP3 debut in the first round of the 2011 series at Istanbul park. The Abruzzo-based 21-year-old racer started from the front row, before ending up on the podium and scoring the fastest lap of race 1. After a great run in practice despite the wet asphalt, he clocked the fourth fastest lap in qualifying, before being promoted to second place due to a couple of post-session penalties. At the start of race 1, Caldarelli cruised to the lead but had to yeld in order to avoid a first-lap contact. He then held second place through the finish and scored an additional point for having clocked the fastest lap. On race 2, he didn’t make mistakes at the start as he recovered up to 5th place. On his path to a valuable top-5 finish, he provided some exciting duels and completed a sensational outside move at the first corner.

Andrea Caldarelli
“Fair play has been important since qualifying, and it’s great to see that’s normal in an international environment, and that drivers are actually penalized for breaking the rules. I was promoted from 4th to 2nd place and thanks to a good start I found myself in the lead. At the end of lap1 Melker moved on me, and I decided not to block him in order to avoid putting our results in jeopardy. I lost my chance for win at the re-start after the safety-car which went on-track for just two corners. We didn’t expect it to come back to the pits so early. I recovered the gap I had towards the lead as I also clocked the fastest lap of the race, but it hasn’t been enough. On race 2 I just got back all the spots I could in order to score the highest possible amount points. I want to thank all the Tech 1 team for their great support. We worked hard and developed a winning racecar in just one month…”