Preview – Super GT Round 3 : Fuji GT 400km Race

The Autobacs Super GT Series heads to the Fuji International Speedway on the 1st of May 2010 for the 3rd round of the championship. The Fuji International Speedway is famous for its 1.5 km long straights, one of the longest straight in any racing circuits, while Mount Fuji provided one of the most beautiful scenery in the background.

Last year, in the GT500 Class the race was won by the No. 1 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer ahead of the No. 36 PETRONAS TOM’S SC430 pairing of Andre Lottere and Juichi Wakisaka. Starting from pole, Motoyama headed the field into the 1st turn, only to be overtaken by the No. 24 HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R of Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira on the 1st turn on lap 9. However, after the 1st routine pitstop, both of the leaders were overtaken by the No. 36 PETRONAS TOM’S SC430 after Andre Lotterer made some brilliant fast laps before pitting later than the leading pair.

On the end of lap 58, Wakisaka at the wheel of the No. 36 PETRONAS TOM’S SC430 pitted for the 2nd routine pitstop, and a lap later the No. 1 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Treluyer pitted and regained the lead after a brilliant pitstop enabled them to jump ahead. With Motoyama at the wheel, the No. 1 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R took the chequered flag to clinch their first victory of the season. The No. 24 HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R struggled for pace in the middle stint and couldn’t keep up with the leaders, and was overtaken by the No. 8 ARTA NSX (above) of Ralph Firman on lap 69 for the final podium place.

In the GT300 Class, the No. 43 ARTA Garaiya (below) of Morio Nitta and Shinichi Takagi took their first win of the 2009 season. And this victory extended Morio Nitta’s record for most career wins in the GT300 class to 17. Taking 2nd place in the race was the No. 81 DAISHIN ADVAN Ferrari of Takayuki Aoki and Tomonobu Fujii. By coming home 3rd, the No. 7 M7 MUTIARA MOTORS AMEMIYA SGC 7 Nobuteru Taniguchi and Ryo Orime team mounted the podium for the third consecutive race.

2009 Fuji 400km Race GT500 winner Benoit Treluyer / Satoshi Motoyama and GT300 winner Morio Nitta / Shinichi Takagi

Daisuke Ito and Bjorn Wirdheim heads into Round 3 at Fuji as leaders in the GT500 driver point ranking with 21 points, but with the heaviest handicap of 42 kg.

Ahead of this year’s race at Fuji, the Weider HSV-010 pairing of Loic Duval and Takashi Kogure are looking very strong in the GT500 Class, with 1 win and 2 pole positions so far. 2nd in the drivers point ranking, they have the chance to take the top step from the ENEOS SC430 pairing of Daisuke Ito and Bjorn Wirdheim.

Can the Weider HSV-010 take its 3rd successive pole this year at Fuji?

PETRONAS TOM’S SC430 (above) drivers, Juichi Wakisaka and Andre Lotterer is only 2 points behind the leader with 19 points. But with all the leaders on weight penalties after finishing on podium in the earlier rounds, the one to look for was the NISMO GTR (below) of Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer. With only 6 kg of weight handicap, this could play into their hands and relaunch them back into the fight for the championship. The first 4 driver pairings on the drivers point ranking are on 42 kg, 40 kg, 38 kg and 40 kg respectively.

Photo : supergt.net / Masaaki Kitagawa

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