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SuperGT 2010: NISMO Second on Podium for Suzuka 700 Enduro Round 6

August 25, 2010

Team NISMO were able to recover from a potentially race ending spin to pull off a 2nd place finish for round 6 of the SuperGT Championship series of 2010 last weekend. On the scorching hot Suzuka Circuit, NISMO were able to use pit stops/driver changes effectively and take advantage of the cooling conditions as night came to push the GT-R into second place and keep it there.

Engine and drivetrain issues hampered the HIS ADVAN KONDO Racing and the CALSONIC IMPUL teams race efforts and both teams had to retire early from the race. A dissapointment for both teams, especially team IMPUL who had a good shot at moving up the championship ladder this week.

For the full race report hit up the read more link below…

Images: (C) NISMO

NISSAN GT-R Takes 2nd Step on the Podium
— SUPER GT Round 6 Race Report —

August 22nd, Suzuka Circuit (Mie prefecture)
The Super GT Round 6 of the Suzuka 700-km took place at Suzuka Circuit (Mie prefecture, 1 lap: 5.807km) on Sunday August 22nd with the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (#23 Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer) scoring the second step on the podium. As the endurance race got underway, the ambient temperature stood at 34 degrees Celsius, while the track surface was measured at a scorching 49 degrees.

The four-hour plus race totalling 700kms started at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The starting driver of the #23 GT-R, Satoshi Motoyama put in stable lap times in the early stages on the blisteringly hot track. He came in to hand the car over to teammate Treluyer on lap 27, dropping very little time in the process. Treluyer continued right on the pace, delivering stable lap times and ensuring the car didn’t lose positions. However, while running 2nd and protecting the gap to the leader, contact was made with a GT300 machine, resulting in a spin. Thankfully no positions were lost. On lap 61, the car came in for its second stop, Motoyama getting back behind the wheel. He protected 3rd position whilst also maintaining the car and tyres as the car headed for the race’s final stages.

With 3 hours, 10 minutes run, the ‘Lights On’ signboard was displayed shortly after 6pm, denoting the night section of the race. Immediately after, on lap 88 the #23 GT-R made its third and final stop, alternating once more to Treluyer. By this point, both the ambient and track temperatures had dropped, and Treluyer saw a chance to move up, setting the fastest lap of the race with an extreme push. As a result, on lap 99 he passed the #100 HSV, rising to 2nd. After that, the rival tried to take back the position, but was never given the opportunity and the #23 GT-R finished the 121-lap race in 2nd place.

Starting the race from 12th on the grid, the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (#12 Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli) dropped to 13th on the opening lap, afterwhich Matsuda gradually improved his position to run 10th by lap 22 until contact with the #1 SC430 on lap 24 netted a drive-through penalty, dropping the car back down the order. Following this, the car was handed over to Ronnie Quintarelli before Matsuda took over for the final stint on lap 80, shortly before trouble with the engine occurred. After running at a reduced pace, the car made another visit to the pits, and had to abandon its attempt to continue.

Beginning in 13th place, the HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R (#24 Joao Paolo de Oliveira/Hironobu Yasuda) made an unscheduled stop on lap 8 after drive system trouble developed. The car went out once more, but with the problem persisting, ended in retirement.

– NISMO Team Director Yutaka Suzuki’s comment:
“To all the many fans who came to support us today, I apologize for not being able to provide a win. I think I was able to effectively change our strategy with track engineer Yoshida, and was well able to take advantage of the overall flow. Also the work of the pit crew, making stops of just over 30 seconds demonstrated absolutely perfect pit work. After a long while, I think the full power of NISMO was once more in evidence. There’s still a chance at the title and it’s with the intent of winning that we head to the next round at Fuji.”

– #23 GT-R driver Satoshi Motoyama’s comment:
“Thanks to the support of all our fans, we were able to secure a 2nd-place finish in this longest of races. While it’s unfortunate we didn’t win, the car, tyres and team all worked extremely well. We also had some issues so to finish 2nd is really a good result. We’re looking for victory in the next race so please continue your support.”

– #23 GT-R driver Benoit Treluyer’s comment:
“Although it’s unfortunate we didn’t win today, I think it was a really good race. Moreover, I think the car has made great strides in performance, though we’re still about 20 seconds away from the top. I want to thank all our fans from the bottom of my heart. Thank you very much.”