At 23 years old each, Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy are already two of the best young drivers in international motorsport. And for both young men, it’s only the start of their own legendary careers.
Lexus Team KeePer TOM’s won the 2017 GT500 championships, the first title for the Lexus LC500 in its debut year, and the fourth for TOM’s – on the 20th anniversary of their first championship triumph. Hirakawa and Cassidy both take their places as the youngest premier class champions in Super GT history.
Here are the reactions from both drivers, and from team director Masanori Sekiya, after the team’s championship victory at Motegi.
Continue reading Champions’ Reaction: Lexus Team KeePer TOM’s
From an overly eventful start to their race to a confident pole-to-win victory, no team had the measure of the #23 Motul Autech NISMO GT-R of Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli – which took a landmark victory in the final round of the 2017 Autobacs Super GT Series at Twin Ring Motegi.
Quintarelli and Matsuda took their first win of the season, setting career milestones for both drivers, and for Nissan, as well as avoiding a winless 2017 campaign for the manufacturer and securing second place in the championship.
They finished ahead of the #37 KeePer TOM’s Lexus LC500 of Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy, who with their second-place finish, secured history of their own as the two drivers at 23 years old became the youngest GT500 Drivers’ Champions in history.
Continue reading NISMO dominates Motegi Grand Final; Lexus Team KeePer TOM’s win GT500 championship
K2 R&D LEON Racing finished out the 2017 Autobacs Super GT Series in stunning and dramatic fashion this Sunday, winning the season-ending Motegi GT Grand Final at Twin Ring Motegi with a penultimate-lap pass. It was the second victory of the year for Haruki Kurosawa, Naoya Gamou, and the #65 LEON Cvstos Mercedes-AMG GT3.
And with a third place finish, the #4 Goodsmile Hatsune Miku AMG of Nobuteru Taniguchi and Tatsuya Kataoka took the GT300 championships for the third time for both Goodsmile Racing with Team UKYO, and their two drivers – cementing the team’s legacy as one of the all-time great squads in Super GT history.
Continue reading LEON Racing takes dramatic Motegi victory; Goodsmile Racing win 3rd GT300 title
Ritomo Miyata, one of the impressive young prospects of the Toyota Young Driver Programme (TDP), has made FIA Formula 4 history by becoming the first back-to-back champion of the F4 Japanese Championship, the official support series of the Autobacs Super GT Series.
On the strength of a win and a third place finish in two races at Twin Ring Motegi this past weekend, Miyata overturned a 13-point deficit to rival Ukyo Sasahara to win his second F4 championship – the first multi-time champion of an FIA Formula 4 series – as well as the third in as many seasons for the TOM’s Spirit team.
Continue reading Miyata wins back-to-back F4 Japanese Championships
Ten years ago, what is now Goodsmile Racing began their racing journey in earnest as a privateer with a colourful anime-inspired “itasha” car, but little hope of realistic results.
In their tenth season, Goodsmile Racing with Team UKYO have now won their third GT300 championship in the last seven years, putting the team and their drivers, Nobuteru Taniguchi and Tatsuya Kataoka, into elite company. They may now well and truly be the greatest GT300 team of all time.
Here are the quotes from both drivers, and team director Ukyo Katayama, after the team’s landmark third championship win in Motegi.
Continue reading Champions’ Reaction: Goodsmile Racing with Team UKYO