The final race of Round 6 of SUPER GT took place on Sunday, 8 September in a 300km race at Fuji Speedway. R&D SPORT's SUBARU BRZ GT300 driven by Tetsuya Yamano and Kota Sasaki finished in 9th.
The final race day began in unstable weather, with clouds overcasting Fuji Speedway and heralding some intermittent drizzle for the day. But despite the bad conditions, 30,000 enthusiastic race fans flocked to Fuji from near and far. Meanwhile, the forecast had predicted that the weather would get better by the start of the race in the afternoon. Actually blue sky prevailed and it became quite warm during the Grid Walk before the race.
The formation lap of the final race got underway at 2:00pm before the start of the actual competition on the next lap. Tetsuya Yamano started the race in the BRZ GT300 from 4th on the grid, but with a heavy handicap weight, he wasn't able to pick up speed early in the race, momentarily dropping to 8th in the class. Although he moved up to 6th later, the Safety Car came on after an accident on Lap 20. After the restart of the race, Yamano came back to the pit to hand the car over to Sasaki who would take charge of a long stint of about 40 laps. An additional weight normally has an impact on tyres and fuel consumption. Sasaki therefore tried to save the car and tyres while he climbed up to 5th at an early stage and kept his position towards the end of the race. However, in the final stretch of the race, the tyre grip deteriorated due to severe wear and the lower temperature of the track surface caused by the rain. Sasaki pushed hard to keep the trailing cars at bay, but let 4 cars pass him before the end to come out in 9th.
Back at the pit, a frustrated Sasaki said, “I am disappointed that I couldn't hold out, especially because I was passed by our biggest rival - #16 CRZ on the final lap”. STI General Team Manager Hideharu Tatsumi followed, “If you drive for such a long stint with a heavy weight, something unexpected can happen. In the next race we will have less difference in weight from others and I will tell our drivers to drive all out. So, I hope that our fans will continue to give us support”.
● Race Results - Round 6
● Photo Gallery - Round 6