July 20, 2014


SUPER GT 2014 Round 4 Race Report

July 20, Sportsland SUGO (Murata, Miyagi Prefecture) - The final race for round 4 of the SUPER GT was held on July 20th at Sportsland SUGO where the 12th place qualifying #46 S Road MOLA GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama / Masataka Yanagida) finished 7th, the #12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R (Hironobu Yasuda / Joao Paolo de Oliveira) started 13th and passed the checkered flag in 9th, and the #24 D'station ADVAN GT-R (Michael Krumm / Daiki Sasaki), beginning from 9th on the grid, came home in 10th. All 3 were thus successful in taking home essential championship points.

Due to dense fog the qualifying sessions, which were scheduled to occur on Saturday, were cancelled and postponed until Sunday morning. The morning of the final race also started with rain and the winner of the previous round, the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda / Ronnie Quintarelli) qualified in 3rd to be able to start from the second row of the grid. The 3 other GT-Rs however, would be starting from further back in the pack. After this the rain temporarily let up and the road surface began to dry. However, as soon as the formation lap began at 2:00pm raindrops once again started to fall from the sky. Due to problems such as difficulties in arranging the racing column the formation lap would continue for 3 loops of the circuit. With the road surface beginning to get wet in various locations, each car struggled to maintain grip and, especially in the GT300 class, cars began fighting to enter the pits in order to change their tires. While in the GT500 class 7 machines, almost half of the pack, also pitted to change to treads, the other 8 vehicles decided to bear with slick tires for the initial stages of the race. This gamble proved to be a game changer when the rain let up a few laps later and the race line rapidly dried up to allow them to quickly pick up their pace. It was at this early stage that the #23 GT-R driven by Quintarelli gradually started to fall behind despite having started in 3rd place. Although he dropped down as far as 12th, as soon as the road surface began to improve he started to recover. On the other side was the Motoyama driven #46 GT-R which immediately jumped up to 4th when the race began. After this it continued to chase the top file at a fine pace to eventually climb up to 3rd before handing the wheel over to Yanagida. Yanagida also began to rhythmically check off laps but was dealt a 10 second penalty after being judged to have overtaken another vehicle while the yellow flag was out. This time loss forced them to lose a couple of places where they would remain until crossing the finish line at a respectable 7th.

By the time they pitted to change drivers, Quintarelli had managed a phenomenal recovery to temporarily bring the #23 GT-R back to 2nd place and raise hopes for the second half of the race. Unfortunately, though, after the car was handed over to Matsuda it began to rain again which exacerbated an already difficult road surface. After changing to wet tires the car started climbing up the order but towards the end of the race began to experience gearbox trouble at lap 75 which forced them into the pits where their race would unfortunately end.

After starting in an advantageous 5th place, Oliveira's composed driving ensured that the #12 GT-R remained in a top placing 4th. Yasuda also maintained this pace after the driver change but late in the game, as he was running in 7th, he slid off the course due to the rain that began to fall yet again. Although able to return to the race without damage, there was a need to return to the pits to replace the tires and so ultimately he finished in 9th but grabbed precious points. The #24 GT-R started the race in 14th with Sasaki at the helm and, despite having to navigate through a hectic race filled with spins and cars sliding off course, managed to come home in 10th and grab 1 important championship point.

In the GT300 class, the #3 B-MAX NDDP GT-R (Kazuki Hoshino / Lucas Ordonez) started from 13th and managed to cling onto the track throughout the tumultuous race to complete the race in 9th. Furthermore, within the private entry NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3s, the #67 STP TAISAN GAIA POWER GT-R (Naoki Yokomizo / Shogo Mitsuyama) finished an exemplary 5th in class.

Comment from Executive Team Director Kunihiko Kakimoto
“Although SUGO is said to be the “demon's lair” this race was most definitely one which came down to race management. The #23 wasn't able to attain sufficient tire grip following the start of the race, as well as after the driver change,@and sluggishly fell down the order. That the #12 was able to achieve a 9th place and grab points despite being laden with a significant handicap weight and restricted engine power should be highly commended. However, I feel I should apologize to the fans that came out to support us since Nissan as a whole really didn't live up to their expectations. I guarantee we will repay your support with the final results so please continue to give us your cheers.”

Click images above to see larger versions.


[ GT 500 class ] - 79 laps
Pos No. Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 1 ZENT CERUMO RC F Yuji Tachikawa / Kohei Hirate 1:47'49.984
2 37 KeePer TOM'S RC F Daisuke Ito / Andrea Caldarelli 1'20.016
3 17 KEIHIN NSX CONCEPT-GT Koudai Tsukakoshi / Toshihiro Kaneishi 1Lap
4 36 PETRONAS TOM'S RC F Kazuki Nakajima / James Rossiter 1Lap
5 6 ENEOS SUSTINA RC F Kazuya Oshima / Yuji Kunimoto 1Lap
6 39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD RC F Hiroaki Ishiura / Oliver Jarvis 1Lap
7 46 S Road MOLA GT-R Satoshi Motoyama / Masataka Yanagida 1Lap
8 18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT Naoki Yamamoto / Frederic Makowiecki 1Lap
9 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R Hironobu Yasuda / J.P.De Oliveira 2Laps
10 24 D'station ADVAN GT-R Michael Krumm / Daiki Sasaki 2Laps
14 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Tsugio Matsuda / Ronnie Quintarelli 4Laps
[ GT 300 class ] - 74 laps
Pos No. Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 88 MANEPA LAMBORGHINI GT3 Manabu Orido / Takayuki Aoki 1:48'43.207
2 65 LEON SLS Haruki Kurosawa / Tsubasa Kurosawa 1Lap
3 21 Audi R8 LMS ultra Richard Lyons / Tomonobu Fujii 1Lap
7 30 IWASAKI apr GT-R Yuki Iwasaki / Masami Kageyama 2Laps
9 3 B-MAX NDDP GT-R Kazuki Hoshino / Lucas Ordonez 2Laps
18 360 OKINAWA IMP-RUN UP GT-R Hiroki Yoshida / Ryuju Fuijta 5Laps
19 48 Snap-on DIJON Racing GT-R Hiroshi Takamori / Masaki Tanaka 6Laps

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