OH DEAR GOD EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE AND THE DUST BIN IS ABLAZE
#22 R’Qs Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
Drivers: Hisashi Wada / Masaki Jyonai / Tohjiro Azuma (Suzuka 1000km)
GT300 Drivers’ Championship: Not Classified (0 points)
GT300 Teams’ Championship: 24th Place (12 points)
Best Finish: 18th (Buriram)
Best Qualifying: 21st (Okayama)
In motorsport, there are bad campaigns, and there are comically bad campaigns. Seasons that can be described as a great big dumpster fire, perhaps even a dumpster fire burning inside the Springfield Tire Yard, which itself is on fire.
The 2016 season for R’Qs was in the latter category.
Where does it start? Three consecutive races with a collision with another car: Twice at Fuji with other GT300 midfielders, and once at Sugo where they tangled with the GT500 race leading Wako’s RC-F on the sixth lap of the race. The door popped open not once, but twice in as many days at the Suzuka 1000km meeting, which was at least amusing in itself.
They were the absolute worst thing a backmarker could be: Entirely anonymous, until they were being a hazard to other drivers. It escalated to where team owner/driver Wada was disciplined under the Driving Moral Hazard System, the only driver to serve a qualifying ban all year.
I’m not one for making a living off of being snarky all the time any more. But there were times where Wada, a veteran of 22 JGTC and Super GT seasons, legitimately looked like he had no business being out on a race track. Jyonai was fine, but unremarkable, assuming his stints weren’t already compromised before he even got a chance to drive.
Both “WADA-Q” and “Guts” are 54 this year, the old SLS is obsolete and lethargically slow compared to the newer GT3 cars, and R’Qs are already running on little to no sponsorship. They may be at risk of being replaced on next year’s grid, without any chance to atone from a wretched 2016 season.