Team R’Qs Motorsports driver and team principal Hisashi Wada has been barred from driving in all Saturday sessions of the 45th International Suzuka 1000km, including qualifying, for penalty points accrued under the Driving Moral hazard prevention system.
The points accrued stem from his involvement two crashes in two consecutive races.
Wada, 53, was first involved in an incident in the early laps of the Sugo GT 300km Race in July.
In the opening laps, as the class-leading #6 Wako’s LeMans Lexus RC-F (driven by Andrea Caldarelli) had caught up to lapped traffic, Wada’s #22 R’Qs Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG tangled with the Wako’s RC-F at turn one, spinning the GT500 class leader out of the top position.
It was ruled that Wada had turned in on Caldarelli at the corner, giving him seven penalty points and forcing him to miss practice for the next race.
The next race, the Fuji GT 300km Race, saw Wada involved in an incident at the first corner, this one with the #9 Gulf NAC Porsche 911 GT3-R of Ryohei Sakaguchi, that brought out a safety car.
Two more points were accrued, and Wada has now crossed the eight-point threshhold to miss qualifying and practice for the Suzuka 1000km. One more point would have seen Wada banned from driving for the weekend.
“WADA-Q” has 139 entries in his Super GT career, and in his 22nd season, he is one of the series’ most experienced drivers – which make this sudden rash of incidents even more surprising.
The car will now be qualified by co-driver Masaki “Guts” Jyonai, and the team’s third driver Tohjiro Azuma, a former Super Taikyu champion with previous Super GT experience as a driver for apr Racing (2014) and Pacific Racing (2015).