Rd.2 Fuji Speedway 28 - 29 Apr

Promising indications in testing mean expectations are high for the GT-Rs

“At the opening round, we were aiming for a result sufficient to bring a good omen in order to take a third straight championship title. However, we dropped the ball in a race we seemed destined to win, and for this, I must apologize to you, the fans. The #23 car slowed its pace after collecting tire rubbings which caused to became lack of grip related to the rapidly lowering track surface temperatures and from this, we were unable to recover. However, the battle with the pair of HSV-010s was fair, and our performance no doubt left plenty of GT fans breathless as they sat glued to the on-track action. In last year's opening round, GT-R entries finished fourth (#23 machine), eighth (#1 car), tenth (#12), so this year brought better results with 3rd, 6th and 10th-place finishes. For Yanagida and Ronnie, finishing third is probably a tolerable result after having started eighth.

“We now head to Fuji Speedway for the second round of the season. It is a high-speed circuit, with characteristics distinctly different from Okayama. While the HSV performs well at tracks with plenty of tight corners like Okayama and the SC430 performs optimally at faster circuits, the GT-R is an optimizing machine. Unlike regular rounds, this upcoming race is significantly longer at 500kms, and with weight handicaps still light, is a place where strategy and pit work come to the fore. It is a race I believe we have a better chance of winning than Okayama. Until last year, the SC was quick on the straights, but this year, we have new low-drag spec. aerodynamics on the car. Although I feel we lost out on the maximum speed, we can confirm that the difference on the straights at Okayama was getting close, mitigating the drivers' dissatisfaction.

“At the Fuji test in March, long runs went well, particularly for the #23 car, which was very quick; but also for the #12 machine, which performed encouragingly. At the opening round, Sekiguchi in the #1 car showed with his mistake that he's a rookie. With that in mind, the Saturday morning session at Fuji will be one where he won't be behind the wheel. That part will be left up to Motoyama, who, as an ace driver, will no doubt carry out the task as required. The #24 car also posted quick times in the test. With Nissan cars running on three different tire brands, I believe we'll be able to show our strength no matter what situation arises in the race.

“Finally, the GT300 class, where at Okayama, Chiyo in the #48 machine performed exactly as was expected of him. For Fuji, we expect him to carry out his work in exactly the same manner. In the #3 machine, Sasaki made a mistake, but after that he should receive guidance from Director Hasemi, we feel that his performance at Fuji will be strong, and he'll demonstrate his skill as he has many experience at the track. In the #7 car, Ide will be behind the wheel from the Fuji round. Although he has, up to now, been the recipient of some misfortune, for a driver with his merits and results, I feel that this is good opportunity. We expect him to do well.”