SUPER GT Round 7 Thailand: race result
The SUBARU BRZ unfortunately retires from the race
Round 7 of SUPER GT ‘BURIRAM SUPER GT RACE’ was held on Sunday 9, October at Chang International Circuit in Buriram in Thailand. The SUBARU BRZ GT300 driven by Takuto Iguichi and Hideki Yamauchi started the race from 11th on the grid but the team were forced to retire halfway through due to an accident. In the wake of this result, the team will be aiming to win both of the remaining races of the season to turn the tables and become champions.
Perfectly prepared for the race
The race day on Sunday the 9th was a clear day and the ambient and track surface temperatures were higher than Saturday. The team checked the tires and operation procedure during the free practice in the morning to fully prepare for the coming race.
The race started at 15:00 with an ambient temperature of 33℃ and a track temperature of 44℃. First up for the team was Iguchi. Right after the word go, he fell back to 18th when he got held up by a stalled car but eventually managed to climb back up the field. Despite some difficulties to pass the front cars at times, he persistently drove lap after lap, and with some cars making pit stops as well, he moved up to 4th before passing the car over to Yamauchi.
Putting this set back behind to get ready for Twin Ring Motegi
The team saved time by only changing the rear tires to send Yamauchi quickly onto the track. Back in the field in 18th, Yamauchi chased rivals in front of him. However, he went off the track at a high-speed right hand corner on the 33rd lap and hit a guardrail. Fortunately, he was unhurt but the SUBARU BRZ GT300 sustained damage and the team had to retire from the race. This was the first retirement for them since Round 7 in 2015 at Autopolis in Oita, Japan.
Iguchi spoke on his performance after the race, “The start was not bad, but I was in a weak position. I was also blocked by other cars and could not pick up speed on the straights, so others passed me by. Although I recorded a time faster than 1’35, I remained unable to take advantage of my speed, so it was a difficult race for me. The whole team including the drivers will put this race result behind them and just prepare for the final event. There will be 2 races on Saturday and Sunday and we will do our best to win both to be champions,” said an enthusiastic Iguchi.
Yamauchi, who crashed the car, said after the race, “It was completely my fault. I drove over a curb at the exit of a high-speed corner and the skid block touched the curb. That completely lifted the car in the air and I crashed, losing control. I was pushing to improve my time because I was a little slower than others around me. I caused some people trouble but I would like to put this behind me and try hard at Motegi in the next round.” Yamauchi is determined to fight on a new note in the next event.
General Team Manager Hideharu Tatsumi looked back at the race and commented, “This is a disappointing result, but that is how it is. We were fast enough to compete even with a 94kg ‘weight handicap’ because we recorded a time faster than 1’35. In the next round at Motegi, we will be running with a similar weight handicap to that at Suzuka (47kg). Although Motegi is not the best match for us, our car has improved a lot since last year, so we will have to devise a good way to do well”.
The next and last stop of the 2016 SUPER GT is Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan with a substitution race of Round 3 Autopolis held on Saturday 11 and Round 9 on Sunday 12, October. Watch this space, as the team will do their best with their SUBARU BRZ GT300 to take the top spot and become champions.