Tag Archives: Round 6

Unpacking the Final Suzuka 1000km

At the crossover point of being as far removed from the 46th and final International Suzuka 1000km as we are to the approach of the penultimate round of the Autobacs Super GT Series, it’s as good a time as any to look back on a landmark event for the series.

Emotional upset victories. Star-making performances. Instances of triumph and heartbreak. And the one-off arrival of a game-changing superstar. It was all on display three weeks ago at Suzuka.

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Epson Nakajima Racing shock the world at Suzuka 1000km

The 46th International Suzuka 1000km was destined to be a classic – but few could have predicted the winner of the final 1000km endurance race at Suzuka Circuit.

The #64 Epson Modulo Honda NSX-GT of Bertrand Baguette and Kosuke Matsuura emerged as the unexpected winner of the final Suzuka 1000km, taking Honda’s eighth overall victory in the event, and ending a winless drought for Nakajima Racing that lasted nearly ten painful years – and did it in style, with a signature victory in the biggest race of the season.

It was the emotional climax to a race that was bound with a mix of exciting action, intrigue, heartache, and displays of indomitable spirit up and down the GT500 grid to close out the first era of the Suzuka summer endurance race.

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Suzuka 1000km Starting Drivers by Grid Position

GT500

24 – João Paulo de Oliveira
19 – Yuhi Sekiguchi
17 – Takashi Kogure
64 – Bertrand Baguette
46 – Katsumasa Chiyo
100 – Takuya Izawa
12 – Jann Mardenborough
37 – Nick Cassidy
16 – Daisuke Nakajima
36 – James Rossiter
6 – Andrea Caldarelli
23 – Ronnie Quintarelli
38 – Yuji Tachikawa
1 – Heikki Kovalainen
8 – Tomoki Nojiri

GT300

25 – Kenta Yamashita
18 – Yuhki Nakayama
5 – Natsu Sakaguchi 🔰
4 – Tatsuya Kataoka
51 – Yuichi Nakayama
60 – Hiroki Yoshimoto
10 – Hiroki Yosida
61 – Hideki Yamauchi
65 – Haruki Kurosawa
33 – Tomonobu Fujii
88 – Manabu Orido
50 – Morio Nitta
21 – Masataka Yanagida
30 – Kota Sasaki
31 – Rintaro Kubo
3 – Mitsunori Takaboshi
2 – Hiroshi Hamaguchi
9 – Jono Lester 🔰
11 – Björn Wirdheim
87 – Kimiya Sato
52 – Shogo Mitsuyama
111 – Keishi Ishikawa 🔰
55 – Sean Walkinshaw 🔰
26 – Shinnosuke Yamada
7 – Seiji Ara
117 – Yuji Ide
360 – Takayuki Aoki
48 – Masaki Tanaka
22 – Hisashi Wada
35 – Nattavude Charoensukhawatana 🔰

Oliveira & Kondo Racing take record-breaking Suzuka 1000km pole

This weekend’s 46th International Suzuka 1000km will be the swansong for the GT500 class at this event, and Brazilian star João Paulo de Oliveira made the final qualifying session for the GT500 cars at the Suzuka summer endurance race a memorable one.

Oliveira, Daiki Sasaki, and the #24 Forum Engineering Advan Nissan GT-R of Kondo Racing stormed to pole position – the first ever for Kondo Racing in their twelve years in GT500 – as Oliveira broke the course record for GT500 cars by over three-tenths of a season.

It is a lap that will likely stand for all time as the fastest lap by a GT car at the Suzuka summer endurance race, and it puts Kondo Racing in the best position to potentially win the final Suzuka 1000km on Sunday and turn around what has been a miserable season for the team thus far.

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