Great news from Tuesday as Nissan Super GT driver Katsumasa Chiyo has now healed from his back injury sustained in the Fuji GT 300km Race, and will return to racing starting at this weekend’s All-Japan Formula 3 finale at Sportsland Sugo.
Chiyo was forced to miss the Suzuka 1000km, plus the last two Formula 3 rounds, after sustaining a back injury as the result of a crash from 289 kilometers per hour at the end of the front straightaway at Fuji Speedway, when his #46 S Road MOLA GT-R suffered a brake failure in pursuit of the lead.
“I’ll be back on track for Formula 3 this weekend! Thanks for all your kindness,” Chiyo said in an update from his blog.
Chiyo’s first race back will be in the #23 B-Max Racing Dallara/Volkswagen in All-Japan F3’s final round at Sugo. He won his last start at Fuji Speedway in July.
In his first year racing in GT500, Chiyo finished on the podium in his debut outing at Okayama as he and Satoshi Motoyama finished third place in the S Road GT-R, and then seventh in the Fuji 500km despite a late stop/go penalty for pitting under a safety car.
His injury sidelined him for the biggest race of the season, but substitute driver Mitsunori Takaboshi did well to drive the car to a third-place finish at Suzuka – and Chiyo was able to celebrate the result with his teammates after the race.
He now lies thirteenth in the championship, with thirteen points. Co-driver Motoyama is up to eighth in the championship (28 points), and while Chiyo can no longer claim a share of the Drivers’ Championship this year, he can assist Motoyama to his fourth GT500 championship in the final three races.
The next Super GT round is in Thailand on October 9th, at the Chang International Circuit located in Buriram. MOLA are the defending race winners in Buriram, with Motoyama and Masataka Yanagida winning in 2015.