Caldarelli and Couto leaders of Japanese Super GT Series
Italian Andrea Caldarelli and Portuguese Andre Couto are the leaders of their categories in Autobacs Super GT Series (Japanese Super GT Championship). After three rounds of championship Caldarelli and his team-mate Ryo Hirakawa are leading GT500 class, while Andre Couto is the leader of GT300 category.
Third round of championship was Buriram Super GT race last weekend at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit. In Thailand’s tropical heat #46 S Road Mola Nissan GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama and Masataka Yanagida take the GT500 class win. In the GT300 class race #3 B-MAX NDDP Nissan GT-R driven by Kazuki Hoshino and Mitsunori Takaboshi was victorious in Thailand for the second consecutive year.
In 66-laps race S Road Mola GT-R had won with comfortable margin ahead other cars. This was the team’s first win since the seventh round at Autopolis in 2012, the year it won the championship. For Motoyama this was his 16th GT500 class win, which brought him to a tie with Tachikawa for most wins by a driver. Finishing 2nd was the #6 Eneos Sustina Lexus RC F and in 3rd came Keihin Honda NSX Concept-GT, which meant that each of the makers had a car represented on the podium. In the drivers’ ranking, Caldarelli and Hirakawa maintained their lead by finishign sixth in #37 KeePer TOM’S Lexus RC F. Fifteen cars participated in the third round of championship.
In GT300 class grid was larger, with 23 cars of 12 manufacturers. The most successful in 61-laps race was #3 B-MAX NDDP Nissan GT-R with Kazuki Hoshino and Mitsunori Takaboshi. Second was Gainer Tanax Nissan GT-R driven by Andre Couto and Ryuichiro Tomita. With new 15 points Couto takes the championship lead.
Third placed team was #7 BMW Sports Trophy Team Studie with Jorg Muller and Seiji Ara at the wheel of BMW Z4 GT3. While in GT500 class we can see only three types of cars GT300 class offers much more. There were Nissan GT-R, Lexus RC F, Subaru BRZ, Honda CR-Z, Toyota 86 MC, BMW Z4 GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, Porsche 911 GT3 R, Audi R8 LMS ultra, Ferrari 458 GT3, Lotus Evora MC and Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX.
Except Japanese drivers there are many European racers, even ex-F1 drivers, in Super GT series. We mentioned some, others are Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira, Ronnie Quintarelli, James Rossiter, Oliver Turvey, Bertrand Baguette, Lucas Ordonez, Heikki Kovalainen, Bjorn Wirdheim, Alexandre Imperatori, Tomas Enge, Richard Lyons… Such a diversity makes racing more interesting and increases global popularity of this GT championship, so we will bring you regular news from Japan in the future. Championship continues in August at Fuji Speedway.