Tag Archives: real racing

Kobayashi fastest in Super Formula tests; Chiyo lands B-Max Honda drive

On Monday and Tuesday, the Japanese Super Formula Championship ran two days of pre-season testing at Suzuka Circuit, in preparation for the 2018 season which starts at the same venue on April 21-22.

Kamui Kobayashi, driving for carrozeria Team KCMG/Toyota, recorded the fastest lap of the two-day test before departing for France to test in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Toyota Gazoo Racing. Rookie Nobuharu Matsushita led the second day of testing for DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing/Honda.

During the test, one of the last two seats on the grid were filled, as B-Max Racing Team selected Katsumasa Chiyo to drive the #50 car, under the guidance of new team principal, and four-time Japanese Top Formula champion, Satoshi Motoyama.

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Lexus Team au TOM’s survive controversial clash to win at Autopolis

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.

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Lap records unofficially broken at Okayama and Suzuka tests

It was another week of two different tyre and manufacturer tests for the Autobacs Super GT Series, with Toyota Racing Development (TRD) testing at Okayama International Circuit on Wednesday and Thursday, and Honda headlining a similar manufacturer test at their home ground of Suzuka Circuit.

The final round of testing before the first official series test session saw lap records unofficially broken at both Okayama and Suzuka, with Lexus Team SARD’s LC500 turning in a lap of 1:17.824 on Wednesday at Okayama, and the Honda NSX-GT of Keihin Real Racing setting a blistering 1:45.456 on Friday morning at Suzuka.

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Will Honda return to form in 2017?

With the combination of a new car, a new team, a new project leader, yet mostly the same driver lineup from last season, Honda supporters are hoping that 2017 will be the year that they get back on par with Nissan and Lexus in the Autobacs Super GT Series.

2016 represented rock bottom for Honda’s Super GT project, going without a race win for the first time since 1997, occupying the bottom of the GT500 points table, and suffering the withdrawal of one of their newest flagship teams after just two seasons. But there’s a cautious optimism that Honda can turn it around, and return to their winning ways in 2017.

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