For the first time since September 2015, the Japanese Super Formula Championship will return to Kyushu island and the undulating, high-altitude Autopolis circuit for the fifth round of the 2017 season.
Back for the first time since the Kumamoto earthquakes of April 2016 cancelled last year’s running of the event, Autopolis will be the stage for the championship contenders to all keep pace with points leader Hiroaki Ishiura, who leads the field in pursuit of his second Japanese top formula championship with just three rounds left this season.
Continue reading Super Formula returns to Autopolis as Ishiura looks to extend points lead
A combination of brilliant pit strategy, and an extraordinary charge to the front of the field in the final leg of the 46th International Suzuka 1000km, helped the #65 LEON Cvstos Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Haruki Kurosawa and Naoya Gamou take a memorable GT300 class victory, in the final Suzuka 1000km as part of the Autobacs Super GT Series.
Gamou rallied back from a deficit of over ten seconds to take the lead with 9 laps to go, and drove on to take the chequered flag for K2 R&D LEON Racing after completing 158 laps in a time-shortened race.
With the 25 points earned for their victory – the first at the Suzuka summer endurance race for Mercedes in the GT300 class – Kurosawa and Gamou now lead the GT300 Drivers’ Championship by two points with two rounds remaining in the 2017 season.
Continue reading K2 R&D LEON Racing make late charge to GT300 victory at Suzuka 1000km
Not even 82 additional kilograms of Success Ballast weight was going to stop young dynamo Kenta Yamashita from taking defending GT300 champions VivaC Team Tsuchiya to pole position in the biggest race of the 2017 Autobacs Super GT Series.
Despite the ballast penalty, Yamashita took his very first Super GT pole position for the 46th International Suzuka 1000km with a new course record, which will put him and his co-drivers Takamitsu Matsui and Tsubasa Kondo right at the front of the field for tomorrow’s final running of the Suzuka 1000km.
They lead a lockout of the top three places of the grid by the Toyota 86 MC by Dome, with the #18 Upgarage Bandoh 86 of Yuhki Nakayama & Shintaro Kawabata qualifying second.
Continue reading VivaC 86 sets Suzuka course record en route to GT300 pole
With the right combination of determined driving, a little luck, and the right tyres for the conditions on the road, the #11 Gainer Tanax Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Björn Wirdheim was able to dig deep, and come back from starting 17th on the grid in Sunday’s Sugo GT 300km Race at Sportsland SUGO to win the GT300 class.
The GT300 race was one that saw a number of incidents in predominantly wet conditions, and the chaos of three Safety Car interventions during the race helped create a surprise runner-up in the #50 INGING & Arnage Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Akihiro Tsuzuki and Morio Nitta, who finished second ahead of the GT300 Championship leaders, the #25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC of Takamitsu Matsui & Kenta Yamashita.
Continue reading Gainer Mercedes-AMG charges through the pack to win at Sugo