Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy, both just 23 years of age, are two of the brightest young stars in the Autobacs Super GT Series – and in all of global motorsport. On Sunday, they took a defining step towards becoming the youngest GT500 champions in series history, by driving the #37 KeePer TOM’s Lexus LC500 to victory in the 66-lap Chang Super GT Race, held at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.
In a race that began under treacherous conditions, Hirakawa and Cassidy overturned an 11-point deficit into a 6-point lead in the standings on the eve of the Motegi GT Grand Final at Twin Ring Motegi on November 12.
They led home a Lexus 1-2 finish, ahead of the #6 Wako’s 4CR LC500 of Kazuya Oshima & Andrea Caldarelli, who moved into second in the standings, ahead of the #23 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R of Tsugio Matsuda & Ronnie Quintarelli, who fell to third in the championship tables after a ninth-place finish.
Continue reading Lexus Team KeePer TOM’s seize championship lead with Buriram victory
It’s been over a month, but the third round of the 2017 Japanese Super Formula Championship will get underway this weekend from Fuji International Speedway, for a 55-lap race around the fabled, historic, high-speed circuit at the foot of Mount Fuji.
So far, three different drivers have won the first three races of the season – and with the double-race weekend at Okayama this May paying out only half-points to the winners, this race will serve as the pivot point of the 2017 championship battles.
Continue reading Super Formula returns to action at Fuji
The second round of the 2017 Japanese Super Formula Championship will feature the first of two double-header weekends on the season, held at the former home of the Formula 1 Pacific Grand Prix, the Okayama International Circuit.
A maximum twelve points will be on offer over the weekend’s two races, a 110 kilometer, 30-lap sprint on Saturday, May 27, and the 190km, 51-lap “feature” race on Sunday, May 28 – just hours before the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, and the conclusion of the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring on a busy, busy weekend of racing.
And after Kazuki Nakajima opened his busy 2017 campaign with back to back WEC victories, won the most recent Autobacs Super GT Series round in Autopolis, and went wire-to-wire to take the first Super Formula round at Suzuka, the question is – who can stop the two-time Super Formula champion?
Continue reading Super Formula returns with Okayama double-header
To diehard motorsport fans, Jann Mardenborough’s journey from playing video games, to winning the Nissan GT Academy in 2011, to becoming one of the most accomplished and versatile young racing drivers on the planet, is a tale that is well-known.
But to most sports fans, the idea that a young person could become a pro athlete in a given sport just from playing a video game based on that sport is something that would seem unfathomable. And it’s that incredible story that’s now been chronicled in a feature story for ESPN’s SportsCenter, the longest-running sports news and entertainment show in the United States.
Featuring interviews with Jann, along with his father Steve, his mother Lesley, and former Nissan Motorsport director Darren Cox, the SportsCenter Featured story on Mardenborough’s journey from “gamer to racer” is chronicled in an exceptionally produced mini-documentary, narrated by longtime ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi.
Continue reading Super GT star Mardenborough’s racing journey featured on ESPN SportsCenter