April 30, 2013
Fuji Speedway, Shizuoka prefecture (April 29, 2013) - On April 29th, SUPER GT's annual 3-hour, 500km race took place at Fuji International Speedway. In the semi-endurance event, Tsugio Matsuda and Joao Paolo de Oliveira brought the #12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R home in fifth place.
#12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R
#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R
The customary Golden Week SUPER GT Race Weekend was favored with fine weather on both days of the event, drawing more than 80,000 racing fans over the two days. In the official qualifying sessions held on the 28th, the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Masataka Yanagida/Ronnie Quintarelli) finished third, carrying the expectations for the NISSAN GT-R into the race itself. The air temperature was 20 degrees at the start of the race, while the track surface measured 30 degrees Celsius, ideal conditions for racing tires. Quintarelli took the wheel of the #23 GT-R at the start, maintaining his position through the opening stage of the race, momentarily falling into fourth place, and looking for a chance to recover. However, at the first corner on the 19th lap, the driving force suddenly cut out, and he was left stopped on the course. Returning to the race would have presented significant difficulties, so the decision was made to withdraw. Upon his return to the pit, Quintarelli wore a disappointed expression, explaining, “The trouble happened when I braked at the first corner. It's very unfortunate, but we did plenty of testing during the winter for the next round at Sepang, and our handicap weight is light, so I think we will have a chance to win there. We'll shake this off and do our best.”
The top NISSAN GT-R then became the #12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R. Oliveira, the first driver, started the race from sixth in the grid. On lap 19, he rose to fifth place with the withdrawal from the race of the #23 GT-R, and his replacement Matsuda was able to maintain their pace, before passing the wheel back to Oliveira for the final stint. In the closing stages of the race, their rival Lexus drivers were closing in, but Oliveira fended them off to maintain his position, finishing in fifth place. The #1 REITO MOLA GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama/Yuhi Sekiguchi) was seventh in qualifying, and started with Motoyama at the wheel, who entrusted the middle laps of the race to Sekiguchi. Sekiguchi pressed the drivers ahead of him with his characteristic aggressiveness, creating many exciting moments for the spectators. However, getting past back markers took up valuable time, costing the pair their position. In the final stint, Motoyama was able to recover their lost ground little by little, crossing the finish line ninth, and earning two championship points.
The #24 D'station ADVAN GT-R (Michael Krumm/Hironobu Yasuda) came 13th in qualifying, and Yasuda climbed into 10th place in the opening stage of the race. He fell back later on, but maintained a strong pace before handing over to Krumm, and took the wheel again for the final stint, finishing 12th.
In the GT300 class, the #3 S Road NDDP GT-R (Kazuki Hoshino/Daiki Sasaki) finished seventh in the qualifying session, and in the race, Hoshino created a highlight in his third lap by climbing to second place. However, he suddenly slowed on lap 15. Five tours later on lap 20, he made a pit stop to have a flat tire replaced. When the tire was punctured, the suspension also sustained damage, and never fully recovered, necessitating several subsequent pit stops for repairs, and the pair ended up with no result. In the NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 camp, the #7 OGT Bonds Racing GT-R (Igor Sushko/Yuji Ide) placed highest in fifth.
Nissan Teams Director Kunihiko Kakimoto's comment:
“In this race, we were totally defeated, both in terms of power and speed. The only saving grace is that the #12 (Calsonic IMPUL GT-R) managed to stay in the top 5. Even the #12 was involved in a collision in the first stint, and lost time during the pit stop when refuelling. But even without that, I don't think they would have won. For the next race at Sepang, we want to regroup. I regret that a lot fans came to cheer us to the end, but we still weren't able to produce good results. We promise to rally in the next race so that they can enjoy it.”
|Pos||No||Machine||Driver||Time / Behind|
|1||36||PETRONAS TOM'S SC430||Kazuki Nakajima / James Rossiter||+2:56'05.647|
|2||38||ZENT CERUMO SC430||Yuji Tachikawa / Kohei Hirate||+3.373|
|3||6||ENEOS SUSTINA SC430||Kazuya Oshima / Yuji Kunimoto||+20.075|
|4||39||DENSO KOBELCO SC430||Juichi Wakisaka / Hiroaki Ishiura||+24.320|
|5||12||CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R||Tsugio Matsuda / Joao Paulo De Oliveira||+41.542|
|6||37||KeePer TOM'S SC430||Daisuke Ito / Andrea Caldarelli||+42.964|
|7||100||RAYBRIG HSV-010||Takuya Izawa / Takashi Kogure||+1'32.512|
|8||8||ARTA HSV-010||Ralph Firman / Kosuke Matsuura||+1'33.447|
|9||1||REITO MOLA GT-R||Satoshi Motoyama / Yuhi Sekiguchi||+1Lap|
|10||18||Weider Modulo HSV-010||Naoki Yamamoto / Frederic Makowiecki||+1Lap|
|12||24||D'station ADVAN GT-R||Hironobu Yasuda / Michael Krumm||+1Lap|
|23||MOTUL AUTECH GT-R||Masataka Yanagida / Ronnie Quintarelli||+92Laps|
|Pos||No||Machine||Driver||Time / Behind|
|1||31||Panasonic apr PRIUS GT||Morio Nitta / Koki Saga||2:57'27.210|
|2||16||MUGEN CR-Z GT||Hideki Mutoh / Yuhki Nakayama||+17.403|
|3||86||CRYSTAL CROCO LAMBORGHINI GT3||Kouji Yamanishi / Shinya Hosokawa / Yuya Sakamoto||+1Lap|
|5||7||OGT Bonds Racing GT-R||Igor Sushko / Yuji Ide||+1Lap|
|11||48||DIJON Racing IS GT-R||Hiroshi Takamori / Katsumasa Chiyo||+2Laps|
|360||RUN UP GROUP GT-R||Takuya Shirasaka / Atsushi Tanaka||+50Laps|
|3||S Road NDDP GT-R||Kazuki Hoshino / Daiki Sasaki||68Laps|