Sportsland Sugo has a reputation amongst Super GT fans – it’s almost perennially staged many of the series’ most thrilling races – including the two closest finishes in history – and been the host of so many of its most bizarre moments as well.
Keep in mind, this incredible compilation of the best Super GT moments at Sugo doesn’t even include some of these gems from the earliest years of the JGTC:
- 1994 – A popular victory in the first full season, with Kunimitsu Takahashi and Keiichi Tsuchiya driving the Advan BP Porsche 911 GT2 to victory – despite a late-race spin from Kunimitsu!
- 1996 – With Ralf Schumacher and Naoki Hattori needing a win to keep their title hopes alive, they scored a victory – as title rivals and Team Lark McLaren teammates David Brabham and John Nielsen were wiped out in a scary second-lap accident where Brabham was hit in the door by Eiichi Tajima.
- 1997 – An early-race collision in wet conditions takes the Castrol TOM’s Supra of Pedro de la Rosa and Michael Krumm out, and their title rivals, the Denso SARD Supra of Masami Kageyama, would lose several laps in repairs.
As the two teams entered the race tied on points, De la Rosa and Krumm would capture Toyota’s very first GT500 title on the third tiebreaker – the only time this has ever happened in Super GT.
- 1998 – Heartbreak for the Mobil 1 NSX team of Tom Coronel and Koji Yamanishi, whose car fails on the pace laps – giving the title to the Pennzoil NISMO GT-R crew of Masami Kageyama and Erik Comas. Also, Kunimitsu Takahashi’s Raybrig NSX catches fire in spectacular fashion, and GT300 champions Keiichi Suzuki and Shingo Tachi win their record fifth race of the season!
- 2000 – A race to forget for Katsutomo Kaneishi as he spins the pole-winning Takata Dome NSX out of contention – not once, but twice, in his stint alone.
With that history in mind, there may be another classic in store for us at Sugo – hopefully this year, without any Los Angeles-style gridlock in the pit lane!