2017 Okayama GT 300km Race: Weather Outlook

Despite early forecasts predicting rain showers for the opening weekend of the 2017 Autobacs Super GT Series at Okayama International Circuit, the forecasts for this weekend in the city of Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture are looking a bit more optimistic as April 8-9 draw closer.

Here’s a look at how the weather might look for this weekend.

On Saturday, we can expect to see temperatures peak at a high of 23-25°C in time for the two rounds of qualifying that afternoon. That’s higher than any temperature recorded during the two days of testing at Okayama on March 18-19.

Yahoo! Japan and Tenki.jp have the most optimistic outlooks for a sunny day at the track on Saturday, with predicting a 0-20 percent chance of rain. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), however, predicts up to a 60 percent chance of rain – though most likely, not coming until Saturday evening, after qualifying.

If it is a dry qualifying session, we are expecting the current lap records at Okayama International Circuit to fall with the recent resurfacing of the track, and the fact that the GT300 lap record was unofficially broken in testing.

Sunday’s 82 lap race could see rain play a factor for the third time in the last four years, with a brief shower in the 2014 race, and persistent rain in 2015.

Weather.com expects the rain to come early in the morning, enough to wash off whatever rubber had been put down during Saturday’s on-track activities, and wreak havoc on the support races from the FIA F4 Japanese Championship and Porsche Carrera Cup Japan.

Both the JMA and Yahoo! Japan predict up to an 80 percent chance of those morning showers. Tenki.jp, however, predict only a ten percent chance of rain, during the evening hours if at all.

Temperatures for the race start will be anywhere from 20-23°C, just as it was for last year’s race.

Fans would be advised to bring rain gear with them to the circuit as a precautionary measure – it is always better to come overprepared, than it is to be underprepared.

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