Super GT - Motegi: GT500 win for Kondo Racing, maiden GT300 win for Audi
Kondo Racing’s #24 Nissan GT-R and Audi Team Hitotsuyama’s #21 Audi R8 LMS are the winning cars of the first race in the season’s finale of the Japanese Super GT Series at Twin Ring Motegi. For Kondo Racing’s Daiki Sasaki and Masataka Yanagida this is the second GT500 win of the season. In GT300 class, Richard Lyons and Tomonobu Fujii score the first ever victory for Audi Team Hitotsuyama in of the Japanese Super GT. For Audi, it was the first wins since 2012.
Ahead of Sunday’s final race of the season, eight teams are still in a contention (at least mathematically) for the GT500 title while seven teams can reach the title in GT300 class.
Pole, P2 and championship lead for Kovalainen, Hirate
The GT500 class has a new championship leaders after Saturday’s race – Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate in the #39 Denso Kobelco Lexus RC-F. After securing pole position for the first race in Motegi’s double-header event, Kovalainen and Hirate finished in the second place in the race, just 0.239 seconds behind the winners. Nick Cassidy and Daisuke Ito (#36 Lexus) completed the podium at Motegi, beating Kazuya Oshima and Andrea Caldarelli (#6 Lexus) for 0.324 seconds
Previous leaders Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli, finished 9th in the Saturday’s race, collecting two points. They are second in standings, three points behind Kovalainen/Hirate (61-58). With 21 points in the game (20 for a win plus one for pole), eight teams theoretically can reach the title, although realistically the title contenders are among Top 5. The third-placed drivers are Oshima and Caldarelli (54 points), ahead of Yuji Tachikawa/Hiroaki Ishiura (50 points) and Yuhi Sekiguchi/Yuji Kunimoto (47 points).
Tsuchiya and Matsui still in the GT300 lead
In the GT300 class, top teams are much closer, with 19-points gap between leaders and P7. The Race 1 winners Lyons and Fujii jumped to the third place in the standings. They are tied in the points (49) with Nissan’s Jann Mardenborough and Kazuki Hoshino, who scored no points in today’s race, finishing 13th. The GT300 championship-leading duo Takeshi Tsuchiya and Takamitsu Matsui, in the #25 Toyota 86 MC, finished seventh today and increased their lead to nine points.
Jorg Bergmeister and Naoya Yamano scored sensational second-place finish for #33 Excellence Porsche 911 GT3 R, ahead of #88 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Manabu Orido and Kazuki Hiramine. For both crews, that were first podiums finishes this season.
Photos: Super GT World,