Despite a late-race charge from Jann Mardenborough’s #3 B-Max NDDP Nissan GT-R in the closing laps of the race, a bold pit strategy and a composed, defensive drive helped the #25 VivaC Team Samurai Toyota 86 MC of Takeshi Tsuchiya and Takamitsu Matsui win the GT300 class in the Buriram Super GT Race at Buriram United International Circuit in Thailand.
It was a much-needed first victory of the season for VivaC Team Samurai, from their third pole position of the 2016 season. But early on, it looked as if they were to suffer a repeat of their 2015 race misfortunes, as they quickly fell behind the #3 B-Max GT-R (Mardenborough/Kazuki Hoshino) and the #0 Gainer Tanax GT-R (Andre Couto/Ryuichiro Tomita).
That’s when VivaC Team Samurai elected to go for a fuel-only stop on lap 26, when Tsuchiya handed the car over to Matsui, and gained valuable track position over the B-Max GT-R with a lightning-fast 21 second pit stop. The B-Max GT-R pitted four laps earlier, with Hoshino yielding to Mardenborough. Unlike most of the other teams, they elected to take on fresh Yokohama tyres on their stop, and the chase began.
Continue reading VivaC 86 holds off B-Max GT-R to win in Thailand
At the site of the #25 VivaC Dome/Toyota 86 MC’s very first pole position, Takamitsu Matsui was driving in his own post code as he took GT300 class pole position for the Buriram Super GT Race in Thailand, the third pole position of the year for VivaC Team Samurai.
Matsui set a new GT300 lap record with his best lap of 1:32.102 in the second phase of qualifying, beating the next-fastest car by an impressive margin of 0.695 seconds, and the old lap record, held by current World Endurance Championship star Alexandre Imperatori, by 1.4 seconds.
“The car’s condition was good from the official practice,” said Matsui, “and considering the conditions, that meant you would have to say that in fact it was really good!” Continue reading VivaC 86 takes back-to-back Thailand poles
Yuhi Sekiguchi turned in the fastest lap of Saturday’s opening practice session at the Buriram Super GT Race in Thailand, heading up a Yokohama Advan 1-2 result in GT500 aboard his #19 WedsSport Lexus RC-F with Yuji Kunimoto.
Sekiguchi’s lap time of 1:24.929 was just two-tenths off of the course record at Chang International Circuit, and only 0.006 seconds faster than second-placed Daiki Sasaki in the #24 Forum Engineering Nissan GT-R.
In GT300, #25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC driver and championship contender Takamitsu Matsui shattered the old GT300 lap record at Buriram, going quicker by over a half-second than the rest of the field.
Continue reading WedsSport RC-F leads opening practice at Buriram
VivaC Team Samurai lead driver and team director, Takeshi Tsuchiya, will no longer be driving full-time for his organization after the conclusion of the 2016 Autobacs Super GT Series.
In an interview with Ryuji Hirano of AUTOSPORTweb, Tsuchiya was quoted as saying that he is stepping down from his full-time driving duties, in order to focus on the engineering and management side of the organization, while making room for the younger generation of drivers.
Staying true to that theme, Tsuchiya announced that Takamitsu Matsui and Kenta Yamashita will drive the #25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC full-time next season.
Continue reading Tsuchiya to stand down from full-time racing; Matsui, Yamashita to drive VivaC 86 in ’17