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Super GT 2010: Two GT-Rs Get Points and One Retires in Round 3

May 3, 2010

It was fine sunny conditions for racing on Sunday when round three of the 2010 SuperGT Championship kicked off at Fuji Speedway. The three GT-R competing teams this year had managed to secure their spots in the top 10 on the grid in qualifying. The #23 Nismo MOTUL Autech car was best placed of the bunch in 4th.

Come race time however it was the #12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R which would prove to perform best after driver Ronnie Quintarelli built his 9th place qualifying position into a 6th place finish by the end.

The #24 HIS ADVAN Kondo Racing GT-R was able also to reap some points from the round. They qualified in 8th place on the grid. A position they maintained to the checkered flag.

While hopes were pinned on the #23 NISMO MOTUL Autech entry for a podium finish, it was almost a non-starter with engine trouble. Two laps into the race however they were able to join the action but ultimately to no avail as they were forced to retire early when the car troubles returned.

It’s turning out to be the worst year for NISMO, now at the bottom of the championship ladder with just 6 points – the SC430 Lexus teams hold the top 4 spots. Highest GT-R team on the championship so far is Kondo Racing who’re placed 6th.

Let’s hope the season picks up with a few more GT-R wins toward the middle of the year!

Link: SuperGT Website
Link: Nissan Motorsports

[Race Results] 88 Laps
Pos  No   Car   Drivers Time
1 35 MJ KRAFT SC430 Hiroaki Ishiura/Kazuya Oshima 2:25’00.795
2 1 PETRONAS TOM’S SC430 Juichi Wakisaka/Andre Lotterer +4.741
3 6 ENEOS SC430 Daisuke Ito/Bjorn Wirdheim +22.875
4 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 Yuji Tachikawa/Richard Lyons +41.899
5 17 KEIHIN HSV-010 Toshihiro Kaneishi/Koudai Tsukakoshi +51.687
6 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli +1’11.940
7 18 Weider HSV-010 Takashi Kogure/Loic Duval +1’17.697
8 24 HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R J.P.de Oliveira/Hironobu Yasuda +1Lap
9 32 EPSON HSV-010 Ryo Michigami/Yuhki Nakayama +1Lap
10 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 Takuya Izawa/Naoki Yamamoto +1Lap
23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer +30Laps

Two NISSAN GT-Rs score points

– SUPER GT Round 3 Race Report –

May 2nd, Fuji Speedway (Oyama town, Shizuoka prefecture)
Under clear, sunny skies on Sunday, May 2nd, Fuji Speedway (1 lap: 4.563km) was the scene of Round 3 of this year’s SUPER GT. At a distance some 100kms longer than regularly contested, the 400km race necessitated 2 pit stops, bringing added dynamics to the event. Qualifying 9th, the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (#12 – Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli) put up a determined fight to finish in sixth. In addition, starting from 8th on the grid, the HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R (#24 – Joao Paolo de Oliveira/Hironobu Yasuda) completed the 88 laps to finish in the same spot it had started, eighth.

Held on the Sunday of the Golden Week holidays, more than 53,000 race fans gathered at the circuit for the big event. By the time the race got underway at 2pm, the grandstands were packed to the rafters with eager motorsport fans. Driving the #12 GT-R, Ronnie Quintarelli moved up to eighth place on lap 6. He stayed in this position for a little while before the car gained one more position at the 2nd round of pitstops, emerging in 7th. Passing the #18 HSV on lap 73, the machine advanced to sixth, a position it would keep until the chequered flag.

Meanwhile, netting seventh in the early stages, the #24 GT-R had Joao Paolo de Oliveira as starting driver. He maintained a solid pace, at one point running as high as 5th before the car made its first pit stop on lap 30. Teammate Yasuda then kept up the pressure for his stint, running in eighth until being passed by the #18 HSV at the first corner on lap 52, dropping the car to ninth. Oliveira then got back in the car for the final stint, returning the #24 GT-R to the track in 8th, a position he maintained to the finish, earning valuable championship points.

The most unfortunate story of the weekend belonged to the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (#23 – Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer). In qualifying, held on the day prior to the race, Treluyer set the audience alight with his skill in the time attack, vaulting the car to 4th place from an initial eighth position going into Super Lap. Having secured a strong starting position, trouble was uncovered with the #23 GT-R’s drive system in the warm-up session immediately prior to the race. The car would not line up on the starting grid, receiving repairs instead. The job was completed only moments after the race got underway, and the #23 GT-R entered the fray two laps behind the pack. Matching the pace of the race leader, Treluyer kept the hammer down until handing the car over to Satoshi Motoyama on lap 34. However, engine trouble dashed all efforts as the car came to a halt on lap 58, signalling retirement.

General Director of the NISSAN teams Kunihiko Kakimoto’s comment
“This time, GT-Rs scored 6th and 8th-place finishes, while against our expectations, the #23 machine retired. Because we are running a new engine this year, a variety of measures to improve reliability and performance have been taken. The trouble we’ve experienced with the engine this time will be put to good use in the future through rigorous testing. We will be relentless in our efforts to get back in the championship title fight in the remaining races. We ask for your continued and unwavering support.”