For the first time in the 2017 Autobacs Super GT Series, the weather could be a factor in this weekend’s Sugo GT 300km Race at Sportsland SUGO on July 22-23.
Four of Japan’s top weather trackers are calling for at least a 50 percent chance of rain during both days of the weekend, which would be the third time that a race at Sugo has been affected by rain in the last five years.
As of the early morning (JST) of Thursday, July 20, here are what the major Japanese weather trackers are predicting.
WeatherNews.jp expects high temperatures of 29°C on Saturday and a 60 percent chance of rain. For Sunday, they expect a high of 27°C on Sunday, and a 50 percent chance of rain. Biglobe calls for the same chance of rain on both days, but with slightly higher temperatures during the day.
The races in July 2013 and July 2014 at Sugo were each affected by rain, and both races were eventful in that regard: A late downpour in the 2013 race resulted in several accidents that tripped up a number of GT500 front-runners, while in 2014, a very, very late clearing up of the wet conditions caused nearly every team to scramble to the pits at the start of the race to switch to dry tyres.
In the event of rain, Bridgestone and Dunlop seemed to have an advantage in the last two years, at least over rival tyre suppliers Michelin and Yokohama. The last race to be declared wet at any stage was the 2016 International Suzuka 1000km, which saw intermittent showers of rain during the race.
We’ll provide updates on the weather throughout the weekend.