With thanks to our friend and colleague Geinou of RacingBlog.de, who covered this weekend’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) final round and Autobacs Super GT Series Show Run at the Hockenheimring in Badem-Württemberg, Germany, here is the transscript of Sunday morning’s joint press conference by ITR president Gerhard Berger, and GTA chairman Masaaki Bandoh.
There was a great deal of anticipation in the air on Friday morning at the historic Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, as the cars of the Autobacs Super GT Series completed a successful first test at race speed in the lead up to opening practice for this weekend’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) season finale.
Four-time GT500 Drivers’ Champion Ronnie Quintarelli, aboard the 2016 #1 Motul Autech NISMO GT-R, joined reigning GT500 champion Heikki Kovalainen, in the 2016 #093 TRD Lexus LC500 Test Car, for the first of two thirty-minute demonstration runs of the weekend.
In the session, Super GT’s challenge to the DTM was laid down – as Kovalainen recorded an unofficial lap time of 1:29.8, nearly two seconds faster than the best time set in the subsequent DTM free practice session.
Defending GT500 Drivers’ Champion Heikki Kovalainen and four-time GT500 champion Ronnie Quintarelli have been selected to run for their respective manufacturers, as the Autobacs Super GT Series brings their machines to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) season finale at the Hockenheimring circuit in Germany this weekend.
F1 hero Kovalainen will drive the 2016-spec Lexus LC500 Super GT test vehicle, while four-time champ Quintarelli will drive the Motul Autech NISMO GT-R that he raced last season to third in the championship.
Defending GT300 champions VivaC Team Tsuchiya are once again in the midst of a championship battle, and through a 12-month emotional roller coaster, deputy team director Takeshi Tsuchiya has taken the highs, and the lows, in confident stride.
In a recent interview with Ryuji Hirano of AUTOSPORTweb of Japan, Tsuchiya revealed that he would like to bring the team up to GT500, and compete as the sole privateer in a full-factory premier class sometime in the very near future – the team’s self-described “Road to GT500.”