Super GT Japan: Quintarelli and Matsuda winners at Autopolis
Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli in #1 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R are the overall winners of the Super GT race at Autopolis. It was the seventh and penultimate round of Autobacs Super GT series, the final round will be held at Motegi for two weeks. Championship leaders Hironobu Yasuda and Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira, who started from pole in #12 Calsonic Impul GT-R, finished second at Autopolis and remained in the lead. Ahead of the final race, six teams still have a chance to clinch the title.
In GT300 class Andre Couto became a new champion. Couto and Katsumasa Chiyo in #10 Gainer Tanax Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 finished second at Autopolis, behind #3 B-Max NDDP GT-R of Kazuki Hoshino and Mitsunori Takaboshi. After seven races Couto collected enough points to celebrate the title, ahead of his team-mate Chiyo.
Championship leader J.P.L. de Oliveira started from pole at 4674 metres long circuit. Brasilian in #12 Nissan had a good start and went through the first turn ahead of #38 Zent Cerumo Lexus RC F of Yuji Tachikawa and #1 Nissan of Ronnie Quintarelli. The early stages of the race saw some fierce battling between De Oliveira and Tachikawa, but a mistake by Tachikawa sent him off of the track at one point, dropping him back in the order. This made the battle for the lead a contest between two GT-R machines.
The Motul Autech was the first to make its routine pit stop while running in 2nd position. Then the Calsonic Impul made its pit stop and at returning to the track we saw an incredible wheel-to-wheel battle of two GT-Rs. To be more interesting, rain began to fall on and off, making the track increasingly slippery. Matsuda took the lead, but Yasuda followed him and at the end of the race, the gap was only 0.348 seconds. Koudai Tsukakoshi and Hideki Mutoh in #17 Keihin Honda NSX Concept-GT completed the podium.
For the Motul Autech GT-R it was the second win of the season, following its victory at Fuji in round two. For Tsugio Matsuda, this was his 16th career GT500 win, which puts him in a tie for most GT500 wins by a driver with Yuji Tachikawa and Satoshi Motoyama.
In the GT300 class race, the 2nd-place grid starting #31 Toyota Prius apr GT suffered from machine trouble that caused it to have to start from the pit. In the early stages of the race, the pole-starting #2 Syntium Apple Lotus Evora of Kazuho Takahashi and Hiroki Katoh ran strongly in the lead, and held that lead through the routine pit stop. But in the latter half, they retired.
#3 B-Max NDDP GT-R of Kazuki Hoshino and Mitsunori Takaboshi, which started from 7th on the grid, made a strong progression through the field and scored its second win of the season. Also showing an amazing charge to the front from its 14-position start was the #10 Gainer Tanax GT-R, which eventually finished the race in 2nd place. This result clinched the driver’s championship title for Andre Couto. It also gave the Gainer team its first-ever team title.
Check all the results at SnapLap result pages.