August 28, 2013


2013 SUPER GT Round 6 Preview

Round 6 of the 2013 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, the Fuji GT 300km Race, will be held at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka prefecture on September 7th and 8th. Fuji Speedway is the holy land of GT racing and, despite its general rule of 1 circuit per tournament, the SUPER GT series, with its numerous races at major circuits at home and abroad, has in recent years added a second early Autumn race in September to their Golden Week race at Fuji.

Fuji Speedway is known as an ultra high-speed course due to its nearly 1.6km long main straight. A complete renovation of the circuit took place from 2003 to 2005, resulting in a complete renewal of the latter half of the circuit, dubbed the “3rd Sector.” The layout now consists of the first half being a high-speed section with the second half as a technical section. As a result, vehicle setup completely changed and a high level of balance between low drag (air resistance) and strong downforce (the force keeping the vehicle on the road) became essential.

Data from the first Fuji race of the year, held at the end of April, can in no way be applied to this second visit to the track due to atmospheric and road temperatures being relatively low, as well as the 500km length of the race. However, with official tests held in early August, a month before the race, each team has surely acquired sufficient data for their respective cars' setup.

Starting next year, the Technical Regulations (vehicle rules) will be completely revised in the GT500 class. Therefore, after Fuji, the current-spec machines in this series have only 3 races remaining. The #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R and #12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R, occupying the top two positions in the points' standings, have been saddled with severe weight handicaps and are predicting a tough battle ahead. Conversely, the #1 REITO MOLA GT-R and the #24 D'station ADVAN GT-R, with their lighter weight handicaps, are expected to excel in the upcoming race. Expectations are particularly high for the #24 machine due to it recording some of the best times among the GT-R entries at the official test session, held at the circuit in August.

GT-R rivals are also gunning for the final title with the current cars. Naturally, attention is being paid very closely to the Lexus teams, after their display of unparalleled speed at the previous visit to Fuji, and because the circuit is their home track; as well as to the Honda teams, who have been riding on the momentum of consecutive victories from the midpoint of the season.

In the GT300 class, the FIA GT3-spec cars have thus far often played second fiddle to the JAF-GT machines. However, a performance upgrade is anticipated after the BoP (Balance of Performance) review, and expectations are high for the #3 S Road NDDP GT-R as the vanguard of the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3-equipped teams.

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