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SuperGT 2009: Round 3 Full Report and High Res Photos Gallery

May 7, 2009


Courtesy of Nissan, enjoy these huge wallpaper size high res images from the most recent round of the SuperGT 2009 championship series at Fuji Speedway. Fuji is a fantastic race circuit for taking great photos like the above.

Check out the rest in the gallery below and hit up the read more link for the race report.

Source: Nissan

NISSAN GT-R takes lights-to-flag victory
– SUPER GT 2009 Round 3 Race Report –

Round 3 of SUPER GT was held on Monday, May 4th at Fuji Speedway (4.563km/lap) in Oyama-chou, Shizuoka prefecture. Starting the 88-lap race from pole position, the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (#1 Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer) took their first victory of the season.

Round 3 of SUPER GT has become an established Golden Week tradition. In slightly cloudy weather, this year’s race saw over 50,000 fans – many of them families, gather on a warm, calm day. Though SUPER GT events are regularly 300kms, this race was 400kms. With this longer distance, two pit stops were mandated for all participants, and various strategies were refined throughout.

In official qualifying, held on the previous day, Satoshi Motoyama in the #1 GT-R did just what he had done in the last round at Suzuka by taking pole position, and was designated starting driver. From the first lap Motoyama built up a lead, despite his rivals’ attempts to reverse the situation. In the middle of the confusion in the early stages, the HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R (#24 Joao Paolo de Oliveira/Seiji Ara) was able to get past on lap 9. Until its pit stop on lap 20, the #24 GT-R held onto that position. However, swifter pit work got the #1 GT-R back out on track first, taking the fight to the race-leading #36 Lexus SC430. After the driver switch, Treluyer in the #1 GT-R waited for his chance to pass the SC430, never allowing the gap to widen throughout the latter half of the event.

On lap 60, the car came in for its second stop, the team’s rapid work once again getting it back out quickly, to successfully take over the race lead with a margin of approximately 6 seconds. From that point, Motoyama ran the remaining laps, maintaining a gap to the car behind with his stable lap times. Towards the end, the #36 SC430 actively tried to recapture the position, very nearly catching the GT-R. In addition, delays caused by other GT500 class machines meant the gap had narrowed to a mere 0.2 seconds by the final lap, but the car reached the goal without ever letting its rival past.

Springing up from its starting position of eighth, Oliveira in the #24 GT-R took over the top spot in the early stages, the car retuning from the first pit stop in third place. The same machine that won the opening round in Okayama had racked up a handicap weight of 46kgs, but in true GT-R spirit, attention was focused on the running despite it being the heaviest. The aggressiveness of the driver who took the wheel for the middle stint skillfully overtook cars ahead at every opportunity, going into its second pit stop in third place. Oliveira was also impressive as he completed the remaining laps in the #24 GT-R. However, the fierce pace of the #8 NSX meant that the car fell to 4th place. A monumental tail-to-nose battle for the position then ensued, but Oliveira prevailed, netting 4th at the flag, maintaining the team’s lead in the points’ battle.

Qualifying 7th, the HASEMI TOMICA EBBRO GT-R (#3 Ronnie Quintarelli/Hironobu Yasuda) saw Quintarelli take the start. Though the car fell to 10th in the confusion early on, rookie Yasuda took over the wheel at the first pit stop, immediately setting a blistering pace and advancing to 7th by the end of his session. After this, Quintarelli took the wheel for the third part, posting steady times to reach the chequered flag in seventh.

Setting the 4th-quickest time in official qualifying, the IMPUL CALSONIC GT-R (#12 Tsugio Matsuda/Sebastien Philippe) was a victim in the frenzy of the opening lap, making contact with another car at the hairpin after start driver Matsuda was left with no place to go. Damage to the front of the car meant an immediate trip to the pits. After repairs, the machine returned to the track, but a subsequent drive-through penalty meted out after the earlier accident meant further a time loss. Adding insult to injury, a flat tyre and then drive train trouble saw the car end its race on lap 63.

– NISMO team director Yutaka Suzuki’s comment:
“Somehow, through the encouragement sent directly from all of our fans, we were able to win. Thank you very much indeed. In both the opening round and at the second race at Suzuka our misfortune was really piling up. Replacing that feeling, we came into this event with an attitude of certain victory. Because the desire to win at any cost had spread throughout the entire team, I think everyone worked exceptionally well. I’m really very pleased.”

– #1 GT-R driver Satoshi Motoyama’s comment:
“Everybody, I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I think it’s a case of third time lucky this time, and the fact that we wanted to get points no matter what – and if possible, to win the event. It’s a feeling of relief and real joy to have taken this result.”

– #1 GT-R driver Benoit Treluyer’s comment:
“Only with the support of all our fans and the hard work of our staff was it possible to take the win today. Thank you all very much.”

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