Super GT: Nissan conquers both classes at Fuji
Nissan Nismo takes victories in both classes of the Japanese Super GT Series in the second round of the 2016 season at Fuji Speedway. Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli triumphed in GT500 class with #1 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R Nismo while Jann Mardenborough and Kazuki Hoshino win GT300 class race with #3 B-Max NDDP Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.ž
De Oliveira retired while leading with just three laps to go
Last year’s vice-champions Joao Paulo de Oliveira and Hironobu Yasuda announced their winning intensions with best lap time in the qualifying, ahead of #46 S Road Craftsports Nissan GT-R and #38 Zent Cerumo Lexus RC-F. De Oliveira remained in the lead after critical opening laps and after that comfortably handed over to Yasuda.
After driver changes, all leading position were the same as on the start, but not for long because #38 Lexus felt down in the order while #46 Nissan lost second place after drama on Lap 75. During the Safety Car period pits were closed but Katsumasa Chiyo had to pit because his car would run out of fuel. Chiyo and his teammate Satoshi Motoyama were penalized and lost few more places.
After second driver change, Ronnie Quintarelli gets out of pits as a new leader, just in front of #12 Nissan of De Oliveira. On Lap 95 De Oliveira attacked and took over his previous position. And then, when everything was prepared for the celebration, with only three laps to go, the tire issue ended De Oliveira’s race. The defending champions Quintarelli and Matsuda take his second win in a row after they won at Okayama season-opener.
After all dramas and position changes, two Lexus crews completed the podium. The #39 Denso Kobelco RC F of Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate takes second place, the #37 KeePer TOM’s RC F of James Rossiter and Ryo Hirakawa finished third.
Jann Mardenborough’s maiden Super GT win
Jann Mardenborough started fifth on the grid in his second Super GT race in a career. He made a fantastic progress during his first 50-lap stint and handed the car to his teammate Kazuki Hoshino as the leader. Hoshino defended their lead and increased the advantage ahead of rivals. Mardenborough was again in the cockpit for last 30 laps and he comfortably took his maiden Super GT victory.
Photos: Nissan Nismo,