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SuperGT 2010: Nissan GT-R Has Victory Snatched Away at SUGO

July 27, 2010

In a solid display of skill by Benoit Treluyer at SUGO Sportsland, the #23 NISMO Motul Autech Nissan GT-R qualified best by almost half a second during Saturday’s Super Lap qualifying round to begin round 5 of the SuperGT 2010 Championships this weekend from pole position. A pace and energy that he managed to maintain in Sunday’s practice and on to Sunday’s final.

Remarkably Treluyer was in such amazing form that he had built up a 3 second lead on second position after just 1 racing lap and continued to pull away until finally handing the car over to teammate Satoshi Motoyama at the 50th lap. Motoyama returned to the lead after the stop, and while rain started to fall continued to battle strongly. At lap 74 with only 8 laps left, victory was felt to be almost certain.

That’s when it all came to a halt, literally as the #23 GT-R suddenly lost power with an electrical problem. Motoyama was able to start the car after a period of time but by that time the GT-R had already lost valuable time. NISMO finished the race in 6th place.

The day wasn’t so bad for underdogs team IMPUL Calsonic with their #12 GT-R weighed down with 66kgs of success ballast from last round’s win. They qualified in 6th place but managed to improve it to as high as 2nd throughout the race. In the end they finished an extremely respectable 4th place. Great work guys!

Finally, the HIS ADVAN Kondo Racing #24 GT-R also had an interesting run. While they only qualified in 11th, the race day performance of Hironobu Yasuda was what counted and he managed to improve their position to a 5th place finish.

For the full race report, hit up the red Read More link below…

Source: Nissan
Images: Copyright 2010 Nissan and NISMO

NISSAN GT-Rs finish 4th, 5th and 6th
— SUPER GT Round 5 Race Report —

July 25th, Sportsland SUGO (Miyagi prefecture)
Round 5 of SUPER GT took place on Sunday, July 25 at Sportsland SUGO (Miyagi prefecture, 1 lap – 3.704kms). Winners the last time out, the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (#12 Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli) took 4th. Qualifying 11th amongst a field of 13 cars, the HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R (#24 Joao Paolo de Oliveira/Hironobu Yasuda) finished fifth. Starting from pole, the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (#23 Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer) built up a big gap to 2nd place, leading the race until lap 74 when electrical problem saw them fall to 6th place by the finish.

Topping the timesheets from GT500 qualifying was the #23 GT-R. In the previous day’s Super Lap qualifier, Benoit Treluyer was 0.4 seconds away from his nearest rival in 2nd place as he secured pole position. He set the top time once again in the free practice session, held on the morning of race day. Despite temperatures of 35 degrees in the morning, as the formation lap got underway at 2pm, clouds filled the sky above the circuit and the heat had decreased to 32 Celsius.

Once the race started, Treluyer maintained a very quick pace in the #23 GT-R, crossing the start/finish line after the first lap some three seconds ahead of the 2nd-placed car. After that, he built up the gap with every lap, and had a margin of over 30 seconds by the time he pitted on lap 50 to hand the car over to his teammate Satoshi Motoyama. On a circuit that sees its fair share of accidents, the #23 GT-R protected its position to run trouble-free, even when rain started to fall at the halfway point and other competitors went off track or made contact with backmarkers. With 31 laps remaining, if he set stable lap times, the probability of victory was thought to be high. However, on lap 74, with over 90% of the race run, Motoyama suddenly stopped on track. Until he restarted, time was being lost. According to Motoyama, “The engine’s main power died suddenly. Turning on the switch a little while later, the power came back on and the car restarted.”

Winners of the last round, the #12 GT-R was saddled with a massive 66kgs’ success ballast, and driver Matsuda would start from 6th on the grid. An accident at the start saw the car quickly rise to 4th, and then increase its position to third, and eventually 2nd. Pitting on lap 45, Quintarelli took over, returning to the race in fifth place. Due to the trouble that befell the #23 GT-R, the #12 machine finished in fourth. In regards to the title, Team Director Hoshino clasped the hands of his drivers and shared some words of appreciation.

The HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R (#24 Joao Paolo de Oliveira/Hironobu Yasuda) qualified and started the race in 11th. However, with the car working perfectly, it passed two rivals on the opening lap. The car then moved up to 7th place on lap 3. Start driver Oliveira then experienced a moment of brain fade, but he held on to run fifth. Teammate Yasuda returned to the race in 6th position, and through a mistake-free run, increased that to score fifth by the flag.

– #12 GT-R driver Tsugio Matsuda’s comment:
“Despite some regret at finishing fourth, in terms of the championship we’re in good shape, so that is good. Also, Ronnie drove excellently in his stint. As for the races in the series’ second half, we plan on persevering for the title. As a first step, we’d like to take a major points-haul at the next round, the Suzuka 700 kms.”

– #12 GT-R driver Ronnie Quintarelli’s comment:
“I’m happy that in such a heavy car we were able to finish fourth, and move up to third in the rankings. At Suzuka, the pair of us will be aiming to take as many points as possible, and to really push in the two remaining races. Throughout a very hot yesterday and today, I’d like to say thanks to all our fans for their support. Please continue your powerful support for us at Suzuka.”

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