Super GT Japan: Defending champions win the season-opening race

  • 2016 Super GT Japan, Nissan GT-R, Matsuda, Quintarelli

Defending Japanese GT500 champions Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli started the 2016 Super GT Series season with the victory in the season-opening race at the Okayama International Circuit. The #1 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R, which started third on the grid, wins the race ahead of the #37 KeePer Tom’s Lexus RC F of James Rossiter and Ryo Hirakawa, who earned the pole in the Saturday’s qualifying.

The Nissan’s and Nismo’ stuff had one more reason for celebration, as the #46 GT-R of Satoshi Motoyama and Katsumasa Chiyo finished third in the 82-lap race at the 3.7-km circuit. Chiyo was attacking the #37 Lexus during the closing laps of the race but Hirakawa resisted and took the second place.

Super GT Japan, GT500, Okayama

Two Nissan’s crews earned the podium at Okayama: Chiyo, Motoyama, Quintarelli and Matsuda

The #6 Wako’s Lexus RC F of Kazuya Oshima and Andrea Caldarelli finished fourth, battling against the #12 Calsonic Impul Nissan GT-R of Hironobu Yasuda and Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira. Three more Lexus crews (#38 Zent Cerumo, #39 Denso Kobelco SARD and #8 au TOM’s) finished the race in the same lap as the winners. The best placed Honda was the #100 Raybrig NSX Concept-GT on tenth place. Fifteen GT500 teams participated in the season-opening race.

Check the results of the GT500 class

1-2 victory for Mercedes in GT300 class

In the GT300 class Haruki Kurosawa and Naoya Gamou scored first Japanese victory for brand-new Mercedes-AMG GT3. The #65 Leon Racing’s car crossed the finish line with 12sec gap ahead of the #4 Goodsmile Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Nobuteru Taniguchi and Tatsuya Kataoka. The podium with three German cars are completed with the #7 BMW M6 GT3 of Team Studie, driven by Jorg Muller and Seiji Ara.

The #11 Gainer Tanax Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished fourth, ahead of #51 LMcorsa Ferrari 488 GT3.  The best placed Japanese car was the #25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC of Takeshi Tsuchiya and Takamitsu Matsui, who started from pole and finished sixth.

GT300 Okayama pole position Vivac Toyota

Tsuchiya and Matsui didn’t defend the pole position and they finished sixth

Twenty-seven cars started the race. The #21 Hitotsuyama Audi R8 LMS, #0 Gainer Tanax Nissan GT-R GT3, #88 Manepa Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and #10 B-Max NDDP Nissan GT-R GT-3 completed top ten positions and scored points. The defending GT300 champion Andre Couto finished eighth.

The second round of the Japanese Super GT Series is scheduled for May 3-4 at Fuji International Speedway.

Check the results of the GT300 class


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