The Japanese rookie knew that it was not going to be an easy task, taking to the track in a field of 41 cars, amongst them a number of ex-Formula 1 drivers and many Le Mans winners. A tough task indeed but Nobu got cleanly to the finish, within three laps of the leaders in the LMP3 category.
It was a creditable achievement after four-hours of racing at the French track that hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix in a few weeks’ time.
During the race, Yamanaka, who was sharing the #8 Nielsen Racing Liger LMP3 with co-driver James Littlejohn, drove for his first complete ‘double stint’, spending 1 hour 50 minutes of continuous driving at speeds of up to 280 KPH and proved that his fitness was up to the challenge.
The Japanese rookie maintaining lap times from start to finish, whilst not the quickest, consistent and sufficient to compete at this level.
“It is all part of my learning process,” Nobu explained. “There are many very fast drivers here in European Le Mans and I must challenge myself against the best around to be ready and to the standard needed to race at Le Mans.
“Paul Ricard is a great circuit and I feel I have gained in myself from the experience and aim to come stronger to the next round at Monza, Italy in a month’s time.”