Giuliano Alesi on the upward slope

The Frenchman launched his third GT500 campaign with the prestigious TOM'S team on a basis never seen before. With his first pole combined with a victory, can he aim for the title?

Published on 03/06/2024 à 13:29

Medhi Casaurang

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Giuliano Alesi on the upward slope

What if 2024 was the year of Giuliano Alesi? Such a question seemed presumptuous during the offseason, but the son of Jean Alesi is well on his way to acquiring another dimension in Japan. The 24-year-old Frenchman is in full swing. A week after winning the 24 Hours of Fuji with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the Rookie Racing team in Super Taikyu (with the Japanese Ryuta Ukai, Naoya Gamou, and Tatsuya Kataoka), the Avignonnais did it again, on one of the most demanding circuits in the world: Suzuka. “ When you drive at Suzuka, if you reach the limit, it's happiness! Top speed is important because there are two long straights. If you miss the esses, the timer will be thrown in the trash. It's super exciting, it's one of the greatest challenges on the calendar. »

On Saturday, he took over from his teammate Ukyo Sasahara on the Toyota GR Supra GT500 from the TOM'S team to score its first pole position in Super GT. “ In Q1, Ukyo pushed very hard, which helped me and allowed me to approach Q2 without feeling too much pressure. As for my qualifying lap, it wasn't a very clean lap, but I did my best. »

The next day, the Japanese driver was responsible for the start as well as the first two stints. Ukyo Sasahara stood up to Nirei Fukuzumi (Toyota) and the outcome of the duel seemed uncertain. When Giuliano Alesi took the wheel again, the rival Toyota had moved ahead. The fear was short-lived as it was soon penalized with a drive-through for a dangerous exit from the pits. From then on, Sasahara-Alesi could breathe. “ Since last year until now, things haven't gone as planned, analyzes the Frenchman. We had a lot of disappointing results. We were able to reset the counters. I hope we can continue this momentum. »

In the championship, Giuliano Alesi moved up to a very interesting third place, ahead of big names like Ronnie Quintarelli and Bertrand Baguette. From there to placing him among the challengers for the title, the twenty-year-old prefers to temper hopes. “ The next round in Fuji (August 3-4) will certainly be difficult. We cannot let our guard down because the weight of our car (Success weight) will be heavier in Fuji. We will overcome every obstacle. Everyone on the team is confident and very motivated, so we want to continue. As Nobuhide Tachi (team founder) said, we would like to take a 'push and push' approach. »

ALSO READ > Giuliano Alesi on pole position at Suzuka

Medhi Casaurang

Passionate about the history of motorsport across all disciplines, I learned to read thanks to AUTOhebdo. At least that's what my parents tell everyone when they see my name inside!

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