August 31, 2012
|2011 SUPER GT
FUJI GT 300km RACE
The sixth round of the 2012 SUPER GT series will be held on September 8 and 9 at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture. SUPER GT generally sticks to only one race per year at tracks in Japan and elsewhere, but in recent years has made an exception in order to hold two races annually at Fuji, the mecca of GT racing.
Fuji Speedway is known as a high-speed track, but it is in the circuit's third sector, with its numerous mid- and low-speed corners, that it becomes necessary to reduce drag and make optimal use of downforce. Also, in contrast to the last time the series visited the track, for Round 2 back in May, conditions including the weather and the race distance itself will be different, necessitating modified racing strategies. The race in May covered 500kms, with two mandatory pit stops, whereas this visit will see longer individual stints in a race distance of 300kms. With higher track surface temperatures expected for Round 6, it is easy to see that this race will be demanding on tyres.
At the previous round, held at Suzuka, the #1 MOLA NISSAN GT-R notched up its first victory of the season. Hopes have been raised for the entire GT-R lineup, which have shown sufficient speed throughout the first four races as well. Special attention will be focused on the #23 NISMO entry this time around. Also, in the official joint test that took place at Fuji on August 9 and 10, the #24 KONDO RACING entry scored the top time in two of the test sessions, bringing confidence that the car has found its speed again.
With Fuji being their home track, and the site of many outstanding performances in the past, the LEXUS-equipped entries are expected to shine, as are the Honda contestants, which will benefit from their relatively light amounts of success ballast. The season is also heading into the closing stages, and interest is therefore shifting to the overall championship, making this Fuji round all the more important as teams try to grab any available advantage as we near the final race of the season.
After grabbing its first victory recently at SUGO, NDDP Racing's #3 S Road NDDP GT-R kept up its promising form by placing second at Suzuka, moving into second place overall in the GT300 title chase. Extra interest will be paid to the young NDDP (Nissan Driver Development Program) drivers who will be pushing hard for a chance at the championship, particularly Daiki Sasaki, who will be making his first race appearance.