AUTOPOLIS, Japan (1 November 2015) – One of the most important races in determining who will be the champion, Round 7 of the Super GT Championship was held on November 1st at Autopolis, Oita Prefecture, Japan.
Here, after a white-knuckled head-to-head battle that spanned over two hours, the #1 MOTUL AUTECH Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 (Tsugio Matsuda / Ronnie Quintarelli) came out on top, having started the race from third on the grid.
Following behind in second was polesitter, the #12 Calsonic IMPUL Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 (Hironobu Yasuda / Joao Paolo de Oliveira), making it a 1-2 finish for the Nissan GT-R in the GT500 class.
Not only that, in the GT300 class the #3 B-MAX NDDP Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 (Kazuki Hoshino / Mitsunori Takaboshi) grabbed the win, with the #10 GAINER TANAX Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 (Andre Couto / Katsumasa Chiyo) tailing in second to make it the GT-R’s second double 1-2 finish of the season.
Starting from fourth on the grid, the #24 D’station ADVAN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 (Daiki Sasaki / Michael Krumm) was ticking off laps at a solid pace early on in the race but gradually began picking up marbles from the track, resulting in a loss of grip, which forced them to pit early.
After changing drivers from Krumm to Sasaki, they experienced some electrical troubles that resulted in them crossing the finish line in 15th. Starting from a 10th place qualification, the #46 S Road MOLA Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 (Satoshi Motoyama / Masataka Yanagida) carried out a tenacious race in the early stages, and picked up their speed towards its close to pass rivals in the top group. In the end they passed the chequered flag in a commendable sixth place.
The Nissan GT-R was also able to claim a 1-2 finish in the GT300 class. This was the second win of the season for the #3 GT-R, following on from Round 3 in Thailand, and also sees the #10 GT-R’s Couto securing the 2015 Super GT GT300 Driver’s Championship without having to wait for the final round.
Tsugio Matsuda, #1 MOTUL AUTECH Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500
“Ronnie did a great job of closing in on Oliveira and I knew that my only chance of overtaking the #12 would be on their out-lap,” said Matsuda.
“Fortunately I was able to rapidly warm-up the tyres and catch the #12. When rain began falling in the middle of my stint I thought the heavens were playing a joke on me. I want to ride this momentum into the final round at Motegi.”
Ronnie Quintarelli, #1 MOTUL AUTECH Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500
“I had some concerns before the race but, as soon as I started, the car felt a lot better than I expected and was able to run at an equal pace to the two machines in front of me,” said Quintarelli.
“The pit-work from the crew was perfectly implemented and Tsugio’s performance was amazing, which enabled us to get this result. It’s fantastic.”
RESULTS: Autopolis (Round 7)
1. #1 Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli 65 laps (#1 MOTUL AUTECH Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500)
2. #12 Hironobu Yasuda/JPL De Oliveira (#12 CALSONIC IMPUL Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500)
3. #17 Koudai Tsukakoshi/Hideki Mutoh
4. #38 Yuji Tachikawa/Hiroaki Ishiura
5. #36 Daisuke Ito/James Rossiter
6. #46 Satoshi Motoyama/Masataka Yanagida (#46 S-ROAD MOLA Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500)
7. #15 Takashi Kogure/Oliver Turvey
8. #6 Kazuya Oshima/Yuji Kunimoto
9. #19 Juichi Wakisaka/Yuhi Sekiguchi
10. #64 Daisuke Nakajima/Bertrand Baguette
15. #24 Daiki Sasaki/Michael Krumm 46 laps (#24 D’STATION ADVAN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500)
1. #3 Kazuki Hoshino/Mitsunori Takaboshi 60 laps (#3 B-MAX NDDP Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3)
2. #10 Andre Couto/Katsumasa Chiyo (#10 GAINER TANAX Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3)
3. #7 Jorg Muller/Seiji Ara
2015 Super GT Championship
GT500 Driver’s Points Standings after Round 7 of 8
1. #12 Hironobu Yasuda/JPL De Oliveira 66 points (#12 CALSONIC IMPUL Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500)
2. #1 Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli 64 points (#1 MOTUL AUTECH Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500)
3. #38 Yuji Tachikawa/Hiroaki Ishiura 53 points
4. #46 Satoshi Motoyama/Masataka Yanagida 50 points (#46 S-ROAD MOLA Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500)
5. #100 Naoki Yamamoto/Takua Izawa 49 points
6. #36 Daisuke Ito/James Rossiter 49 points
7. #37 Andrea Caldarelli/Ryo Hirakawa 36 points
8. #17 Koudai Tsukakoshi/Hideki Mutoh 36 points
9. #24 Daiki Sasaki/Michael Krumm 31 points (#24 D’STATION ADVAN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500)
10. #6 Kazuya Oshima/Yuji Kunimoto 30 points
1. #10 Andre Couto 89 points (#10 GAINER TANAX Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3)
2. #10 Katsumasa Chiyo 69 points (#10 GAINER TANAX Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3)
3. #3 Kazuki Hoshino/Mitsunori Takaboshi (#3 B-MAX NDDP Nissan GT-R NISM GT3)