Ultimately, a hub failure in the final hour put paid to their race, but the reality was that the atrocious wintery conditions resulted in a spin for Nobu an hour into the race and this effectively set the result, having lost four laps when a simple slip resulted in the car beached on the trackside kerbs.
It was a real shame for the pairing as Nobu, leaning on his local knowledge of the Fuji Speedway, was running extremely competitively on fourth position and on pace with the leaders. The worsening freezing weather caught him out just when it was looking like he had the measure of the conditions.
Matters were made worse that the car was stranded awaiting assistance to re-join the field; instead of losing a few seconds, he lost laps and the race was effectively being over from that point.
Nonetheless, Nobu pushed on and handed the car to his young Australian teammate who set out to make a point, setting a series of fastest laps for the opening 40 minutes of his stint. This was promising for the future but ultimately disappointing on the day.
As the race drew into the final hour and pit stop for the Eurasia run Ligier, Read was set to run to the flag and a likely seventh place finish when a left rear wheel failure resulted in retirement with 45 minutes remaining on the clock.
“I am disappointed that we didn’t finish in the race” said Nobu. “It was my mistake that we spun out and at the time I was feeling quite in control on the cold and wet track. It was definitely unlucky that the car beached on the kerb as the spin was fairly small and should have been easy to recover from, I guess we were just unlucky this time”
Conditions should certainly be better for round three of the Asian Le Mans Series at the Chang International Circuit, Buriram, Thailand on January 10-12, when the pair will be looking to get back to podium-finishing form.