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Nissan Z takes 2nd place finish and 2nd in Teams' Championship

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Round 7 of the SUPER GT Series was held at a bright and sunny Twin Ring Motegi (4.801km/lap) on Sunday, September 9. The MOTUL AUTECH Z (#22) with drivers Michael Krumm and Tsugio Matsuda started the race from 4th place and came home 2nd, promoting the team to 2nd place in the championship.

A total of 38,000 spectators witnessed the start of the formation lap for the 300km race at 2:00pm. The temperature exceeded 30ºC, much warmer than usual for September and the race turned out to be very hard on both the cars and drivers. Matsuda started the #22 Z from the second row, immediately attempting to latch onto the tail of the leader on the opening lap. With the #32 NSX having spun, he was up to 3rd by the time he crossed the control line for the first time. Matsuda secured his position, driving carefully so as not to abuse his tires before passing the car over to Michael Krumm on lap 28. Krumm took over for the rest of the race, maintaining their pursuit of the #38 SC430 ahead while avoiding the #6 SC430 approaching from behind. It seemed as if there were to be no more position changes to the end, until the #38 SC430 stopped with only 5 laps to go. Krumm was now in 2nd place, and he crossed the line to receive the checkered flag in that position at the end of 63-lap event.

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Starting from 11th place after qualifying, the XANAVI NISMO Z (#23) of Satoshi Motoyama and Richard Lyons began the race with Lyons at the wheel. He successfully avoided the accident at the start, quickly moving up to 6th. Lyons then maintained this position at the head of a train of cars, possibly because at Motegi there are very few opportunities to overtake. The cars continued in this formation until lap 8 when the #6 SC430 decided to leave the group for good. Lyons held his position until returning to the pits on lap 24, handing the car over to his teammate Motoyama. Motoyama was on a strategy to pressure the cars ahead of him towards the end of the race. He kept close to his archrival in the championship, the #8 NSX, and made sure he held them down. However, on lap 43, the #8 car decided to take its chances and both cars ended up in the gravel after making contact. The pair of machines managed to return to the race, but the stewards imposed a drive through penalty on the #23 Z, accusing it of pushing another competitor out of competition. The #23 Z had lost any chance of winning the race, and dropped its ranking in the championship. Finishing the race in 13th place, the #23 Z went home without any points for their efforts, falling to 4th in the driver's championship - and are now sitting 4th in the Teams' ranking as well. On the other hand, the #22 Z's 2nd-place finish promoted the car to 3rd in the Driver's and 2nd in the Teams' championship rankings.

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The YellowHat YMS Moba HO! TOMICA Z (#3) of Sebastian Philippe and Masataka Yanagida were 5th fastest for the start and held on to their position well in the early stages of the race. However, contact from a GT300 machine on lap 12 caused the car to run off track. The machine dropped to 14th at this point; but clawed its way back up to eventually finish the race in 11th place.

Kazuki Hoshino was the starter in the #12 Calsonic Impul Z (driver partner Benoit Treluyer), but got caught up in an accident on lap 10 involving cars in front of him. The car crashed heavily and then caught fire after being pulled off track, the blaze quickly being extinguished by marshals. That was it for them this weekend.

Joao Paulo de Oliveira started the race for the 16th-place starting WOODONE ADVAN Clarion Z (#24). He managed to keep the car free from the accidents that were taking place around him until passing the car over to teammate Seiji Ara. A trouble-free run saw the machine take 5th at the flag, only 0.5 seconds behind the 4th place finisher.

Yoshitaka Iijima, NISMO Team Director:
"Richard did a great job in taking the car up to 6th from 11th at the very start. Our strategy was to push hard toward the end, but with the #8 NSX, neither of us could pull back. I think it was unfortunate that both cars ended up in the gravel. Moreover, we were the ones who took the penalty. It was a good weekend for the #22 car, and very satisfying to see it finishing in 2nd place.
Copyright © NISMO 
In the Teams' championship, we are only 10 points behind the leaders and we still have a good chance of winning the championship. We hope for more good results and will be doing our very best again at the next round. Also, we are always grateful for the support from our fans."

Driver of the #22 Z, Michael Krumm:
"We were trying to win, so it was little disappointing." He added, "It was a tough race and the battle was fierce. I would like to thank our fans for cheering for us from around the track. I thank you always."


Rd. 7 MOTEGI GT 300KM RACE [ 14:00 - 63Laps fine / dry ]
Sunday,09 September, 2007 - Twin Ring Motegi

Pos No Car name Driver Time / Diff
1 18 TAKATA DOME NSX Ryo Michigami
Takashi Kogure
2 22 MOTUL AUTECH Z Michael Krumm
Tsugio Matsuda
3 6 Forum Eng. SC430 Tatsuya Kataoka
Biorn Wirdheim
4 32 EPSON NSX Loic Duval
Fabio Carbone
5 24 WOODONE ADVAN Clarion Z Joao Paulo De Oliveira
Seiji Ara
6 1 Houzan TOM'S SC430 Juichi Wakisaka
Andre Lotterer
7 17 REAL NSX KatsutomoKaneishi
Toshihiro Kaneish
8 25 ECLIPSE ADVAN SC430 Takeshi Tsuchiya
Manabu Orido
9 35 BANDAI DUNLOP SC430 Sebastien Philippe
Masataka Yanagida
10 39 DENSO SARD SC430 Andre Couto
Katsuyuki Hiranaka
11 3 YellowHat YMS MobaHO! TOMICA Z Sebastien Philippe
Masataka Yanagida
13 23 XANAVI NISMO Z Satoshi Motoyama
Richard Lyons
R 12 CALSONIC IMPUL Z Kazuki Hoshino
Jeremie Dufour