The Autobacs Super GT Series made their long-awaited return to Autopolis circuit for the Super GT in Kyushu 300km on May 21, the first race at the mountainous circuit in Oita Prefecture since 2015.
After starting seventh on the grid after an accident in the second stage of Saturday qualifying, the #36 au TOM’s Lexus LC500 of Kazuki Nakajima and James Rossiter charged through the field, and on to take the victory at Autopolis – as Nakajima’s incredible start to the 2017 season across Super GT, WEC, and Super Formula continues.
Lexus remain undefeated in GT500 in the 2017 Super GT season, but the win was not without controversy, after a collision with the defending GT500 champions’ #1 Denso Kobelco SARD LC500 of Heikki Kovalainen & Kohei Hirate while the two Lexus cars were battling for the top spot with 15 laps to go in the 65 lap race.
Continue reading Lexus Team au TOM’s survive controversial clash to win at Autopolis
0.091 seconds. That was the record-smallest margin, by which the #25 VivaC Team Tsuchiya Toyota 86 MC of Takamitsu Matsui held off the #61 Subaru BRZ R&D Sport of Takuto Iguchi, as the two raced to take the chequered flag in the GT300 class of Round 3 of the 2017 Autobacs Super GT Series, the Super GT in Kyushu 300km at Autopolis.
Overcoming a fuel pump issue in the final laps of the race, as well as a frantic charge from the Subaru of Iguchi and his co-driver Hideki Yamauchi, the #25 VivaC 86 of Matsui and co-driver Kenta Yamashita won from pole position in the GT300 class.
In doing so, Matsui and Yamashita scored the first victory for a JAF-GT300/Mother Chassis vehicle in 2017, as well as the season’s first victory for the defending GT300 champions VivaC Team Tsuchiya – but most importantly, the victory moves them into the GT300 Championship lead heading into the traditional Summer Series.
Continue reading VivaC Team Tsuchiya hold on to win closest GT300 finish in history
On Sunday morning, GT Association (GTA) chairman Masaaki Bandoh delivered his customary pre-race press conference before the Super GT in Kyushu 300km at Autopolis.
Many subjects were addressed during Bandoh’s press conference, as it pertains to Balance of Performance – and in particular, the recent 15 kilogram weight deduction for the Honda NSX-GTs going into this third round of the championship, as well as an update on the agreement between Super GT and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the 2018 Super GT race at Suzuka Circuit, and of course, Super GT’s return to Autopolis.
Special thanks to our friend Geinou of RacingBlog.de who provided translations of Bandoh’s remarks.
Continue reading GTA chairman Bandoh weighs in on Honda weight reduction, update on DTM alliance
The regular driver pairing of Takamitsu Matsui and Kenta Yamashita are back together at VivaC Team Tsuchiya, and the defending GT300 champion team got their title defense back on track after taking GT300 class pole position for the Super GT in Kyushu 300km at Autopolis circuit.
The session was a benefit for the JAF-GT300/MC machines, seven of which made it into the second phase of knockout qualifying – with the top three cars in Q2 all being JAF-GT300/MC cars. However, there was no catching the #25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC – especially in Q2, when Matsui set the fastest time of the afternoon’s time trials.
Continue reading GT300 pole position for Matsui, VivaC Team Tsuchiya in Autopolis