Suzuka 1000km Hour 4: au TOM’S RC-F drives to the lead

The safety car peeled into the pits to restart the race on lap 93, with Hiroaki Ishiura getting a perfect restart from the lead in the #38 ZENT Cerumo RC-F. Cars including the #39 Denso RC-F and #4 Hatsune Miku AMG dove into the pits immediately after they opened.

Mitsunori Takaboshi, whose #46 S Road GT-R got a break with the safety car, began putting the pressure on the #6 Wako’s RC-F of Kazuya Oshima. Several times, Takaboshi tried to make a move at 130R, only for Oshima to hold the place. Finally, Takaboshi made his move on lap 99, going up to P3.

On lap 97, the #25 VivaC 86 MC pitted, Takeshi Tsuchiya giving the car to Takamitsu Matsui – and crucially, taking no tyres, fuel only on their stop. The next lap, the #18 Upgarage 86 pitted, Yuhki Nakayama to be relieved by Shinnosuke Yamada. The no-tyre stop helped the VivaC 86 MC jump to the lead.

With 102 laps posted, Daisuke Ito in the #36 au TOM’s RC-F was now within a second of the ZENT RC-F of Ishiura, but got hung out to dry in traffic very badly the next lap in the run to Spoon Curve by both the #55 ARTA BMW and #26 Taisan SARD Audi R8.

The #61 Subaru BRZ, that pitted just before the safety car was deployed, moved right into the thick of the fight for the lead with the timing of its stop after its hour one tangle with the Gainer GT-R. It gained the GT300 lead on GT500 lap 110 when the #31 Prius pitted from the lead.

Incredibly, with 60 laps to go, the #1 Motul Autech GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda driving) had now climbed as high as 4th place, pressuring the Wako’s RC-F before pitting on

116 laps in, the #36 au TOM’s RC-F pitted from second place, with Nick Cassidy taking over from Ito.

The next lap, Tachikawa returned to the helm of the ZENT RC-F for his final stint in the race.

But the undercut worked out for the au RC-F, as it overtook the ZENT RC-F through the S Curves on Tachikawa’s out lap. Cassidy now moves into the virtual lead of the race at the end of the fourth hour, with the #1 Motul GT-R still yet to stop.

Running Order after 120/173 laps

GT500

1st: #1 Motul GT-R (Matsuda/Quintarelli)
2nd: #36 au TOM’s RC-F (Ito/Cassidy)
3rd: #38 ZENT Cerumo RC-F (Tachikawa/Ishiura)
4th: #46 S Road GT-R (Motoyama/Takaboshi)
5th: #6 Wako’s RC-F (Oshima/Caldarelli)

GT300

1st: #25 VivaC 86 MC (Tsuchiya/Matsui/Yamashita)
2nd: #18 Upgarage 86 MC (Nakayama/Yamada)
3rd: #61 Subaru BRZ (Iguchi/Yamauchi)
4th: #33 Excellence Porsche (Yamano/Sakamoto)
5th: #0 Gainer Tanax GT-R (Couto/Tomita)

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