Unable to duplicate Nissan’s 2008 GT500 GT-R debut race victory, Honda must settle for third position after the Suzuka GT 300km race held this Sunday at Suzuka Circuit, Japan. Victory went to the Kondo Racing team in their #24 HIS ADVAN GT-R who battled it out from way way back on the starting grid, qualifying 10th when they suffered a severe crash during the second qualifying round.
Fortunately for them, they were able to work through the night to repair the car and in front of a crowd of 31,000 spectators began the race, but in fairly slippery conditions on a cold track with occasional rain.
After four laps they had already gained two positions and were looking competitive. On lap 10 the Safety Car was called out after an accident at turn one and it stayed out for five full laps before the race could resume. By now the drizzle had set in and the conditions on the track worsened.
Despite the lack of grip, GT-R battled along and found itself in a three way tussle for position with the #6 and #1 Toyota SC430’s. The race was now down to strategy and endurance and the mid-race driver change pit stop would either make or break their race.
The team decided to forgo a tire change and have Yasuda go out on the same tires, it was a gamble but it paid off and they were even able to use the clear air to build a bigger gap to finish ahead of second place #6 ENEOS SC430 by 9.3 seconds.
Team Nismo’s luck wasn’t so great, after a spin at the first corner cost them dearly in time that they just weren’t able to make back and were stuck back in 10th place. After the driver change 2008 champion Motoyama fought hard to claw back two more places and finish in 8th place. Nismo are happy that this position means they at least earn points for the round.
Talking about luck, Team IMPUL suffered the worst of it unfortunately with their #12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R. After also spinning in the rain early on the car suddenly lost power on lap 10, they were unable to restart it and had to retire. This means zero points for them which is not a great way to begin the season.
We have an absolutely massive photo gallery after the jump so hit it up for some more photos from this weekends racing…
Photos: Copyright 2010 NISMO
||Time / Diff.
||HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R
||PETRONAS TOM’S SC430
||DENSO DUNLOP SARD SC430
||MJ KRAFT SC430
||MOTUL AUTECH GT-R
||ZENT CERUMO SC430
||Calsonic IMPUL GT-R
Motor Racing, Super GT