NISSAN GT-R takes point-scoring 8th place - SUPER GT 2008 Round 5 Race Report
Round 5 of SUPER GT, the "SUGO GT 300km RACE" was decided on Sunday, July 27th at Sportsland SUGO (lap: 3.707km) in Miyagi prefecture. After starting 13th, the "WOODONE ADVAN Clarion GT-R" (#24 –Joao Paolo de Oliveira, Seiji Ara) took 8th and was awarded three championship points for their efforts. In the four events since the opening round of the season, the NISSAN GT-R has taken three wins. As a result, a Special Performance Adjustment was levied on the cars. The undulating up-down nature of the SUGO track meant a hard fight was expected.
Among the GT-R runners, the highest-placed machine was the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (#22 – Michael Krumm, Masataka Yanagida) starting in eighth place after qualifying. On the opening lap of the race, the car was pushed from behind by another competitor, and sent off track. As a result, the car fell to the back of the pack. Despite running a good pace, it was difficult to recover much ground. Starting driver Krumm handed the wheel over to Yanagida on lap 44. Yanagida also had difficulty making up places as he battled all the way to the end. He managed to get up to 13th after higher-placed cars went out, and successfully made it to the flag in that position.
Running an identically massive weight, the "XANAVI NISMO GT-R" (#23 – Satoshi Motoyama, Benoit Treluyer) saw ace driver Motoyama start from 10th place. In the early stages, he settled into 14th place, before handing the car over to Treluyer on lap 42. With only the smallest of gaps between them, he followed his teammate in the #22 machine home in 14th place.
After taking the win at the last race in Sepang, the "WOODONE ADVAN Clarion GT-R" (#24 – Joao Paolo de Oliveira, Seiji Ara) had an additional 50kgs handicap weight added, making it a difficult weekend for the team. However, right from the start of the race, Oliveira gradually moved up the order. Taking charge on lap 42, Ara waited for the chance to advance further than his starting position of 10th. After successfully battling with another car while running ninth on lap 63, he advanced to eighth. It was a position he would keep to the flag.
Running in the middle of the GT-R entries in a comparatively heavy car, the "CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R"(#12 – Tsugio Matsuda, Sebastien Philippe) was without driver Matsuda due to ill health. The team thus had the abundantly experienced GT500 driver Dominik Schwager (Germany) as a stand-in. Sebastien Philippe took the race start after qualifying the car 14th. Driving a rhythmical race, Philippe steadily moved up the order. In the middle stages, contact was made with another car. The accident resulted in a 10-second stop-and-go penalty. In the second half of the race, Schwager took the wheel, starting the final lap in 11th. However, at the final corner, his car stopped abruptly, causing him to lose one position. He finished the event in 12th place.
The #3 "YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli, Naoki Yokomizo) qualified 15th. On the final lap they swapped positions with the #12 car, ending the race in 11th position.
KONDO Racing Team Manager Masahiko Kondo's comment: "We did everything we could here today. I think it's a great result to take home points despite the heavy weight on the car. Looking towards the next event, we were able to undertake good race management because it had been our objective to get into the top ten and take as many points as possible. These three points are sure to act as a body blow for us in the second half of the season. Looking to the races in the second half of the season, I will steadfastly unite the team. I wonder where we can take another victory."
Due to the ill health of NISMO Director Yoshitaka Iijima, Mr Kunihiko Kakimoto acted as Team Manager on this occasion.
NISMO Team Director Kunihiko Kakimoto's comment: "Many thanks to everybody for your support. We were hoping for a position closer to the front, but the heavy weight on the cars prevented us from fulfilling this aim. Since the opening round of the season, the GT-R has taken three wins from four races. This time we faced the most severe conditions yet. We are looking forward to slightly better conditions at the next round, the 1,000kms at Suzuka. We appreciate your continued support."
|Pos||No||Machine||Driver||Time / Behind|
|1||18||TAKATA DOME NSX||Ryo Michigami / Takashi Kogure||1:50'12.743|
|2||35||Houzan KRAFT SC430||Peter Dumbreck / Tatsuya Kataoka||+19.751|
|3||38||ZENT CERUMO SC430||Yuji Tachikawa / Richard Lyons||+30.585|
|4||25||ECLIPSE ADVAN SC430||Takeshi Tsuchiya / Hiroaki Ishiura||+41.136|
|5||100||RAYBRIG NSX||Yuji Ide / Shinya Hosokawa||+1'08.330|
|6||39||DENSO DUNLOP SARD SC430||Toranosuke Takagi / Andre Couto||+1'18.817|
|7||6||ENEOS SC430||Akira Iida / Bjorn Wirdheim||+1'35.059|
|8||24||WOODONE ADVAN Clarion GT-R||Joao Paulo De Oliveira / Seiji Ara||+1Lap|
|9||17||REAL NSX||Katsutomo Kaneishi / Toshihiro Kaneishi||+1Lap|
|10||36||PETRONAS TOM'S SC430||Juichi Wakisaka / Andre Lotterer||+1Lap|
|11||3||YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R||Ronnie Quintarelli / Naoki Yokomizo||+1Lap|
|12||12||CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R||Sebastien Philippe / Dominik Schwager||+2Laps|
|13||22||MOTUL AUTECH GT-R||Michael Krumm / Masataka Yanagida||+2Laps|
|14||23||XANAVI NISMO GT-R||Satoshi Motoyama / Benoit Treluyer||+2Laps|
|1||18||TAKATA DOME NSX||Ryo Michigami / Takashi Kogure||53|
|2||38||ZENT CERUMO SC430||Yuji Tachikawa / Richard Lyons||47|
|3||23||XANAVI NISMO GT-R||Satoshi Motoyama / Benoit Treluyer||46|
|4||36||PETRONAS TOM'S SC430||Juichi Wakisaka / Andre Lotterer||39|
|5||22||MOTUL AUTECH GT-R||Michael Krumm / Masataka Yanagida||37|
|6||35||Houzan KRAFT SC430||Peter Dumbreck / Tatsuya Kataoka||35|
|7||24||WOODONE ADVAN Clarion GT-R||Joao Paulo De Oliveira / Seiji Ara||33|
|8||100||RAYBRIG NSX||Yuji Ide / Shinya Hosokawa||22|
|9||12||CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R||Tsugio Matsuda / Sebastien Philippe||20|
|10||25||ECLIPSE ADVAN SC430||Takeshi Tsuchiya / Hiroaki Ishiura||19|
|11||1||ARTA NSX||Ralph Firman / Takuya Izawa||18|
|18||3||YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R||Ronnie Quintarelli / Naoki Yokomizo||4|