16 November 2016SGT

SUPER GT Round 8 Motegi: qualifying and race results,The SUBARU BRZ concludes the season with a 13th place finish

Round 8 of SUPER GT ‘MOTEGI GT GRAND FINAL’ was held on Sunday 13, November at Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan with the SUBARU BRZ GT300 driven by Takuto Iguichi and Hideki Yamauchi finishing the race in 13th. With that, the team ended the 2016 SUPER GT season in 6th in both the team and driver rankings.

Aiming at a high position from 7th on the grid
All grid positions for the race were determined by one qualifying session. The session for the GT300 class started at 08:40 and lasted 15 minutes. It was a fine day from the morning in the Motegi area and the session began with an ambient temperature of 11℃ and road surface temperature of 14℃. Among the cars going onto the circuit one after another was the SUBARU BRZ GT300 driven by Yamauchi, and it was run over laps to warm the tires.

As other competitors started recording their best times in the second half of the qualifying session, Yamauchi also began his attempt. However with low track surface temperatures, his tires could not be fully warmed up in the short 15-minute session, and with a lap time of 1’47.135, he had to settle for 7th on the grid for the race, from where the team would have to fight for a high position. After the qualifying Yamauchi talked about his determination for the race and said, “The surface temperatures were a little low and it was tough on the tires. We changed the car settings from yesterday’s, so I expect that damage to the tires will be less severe in the race. I will try to correctly judge any changes to achieve the best result”.

Completing the season finale in 13th
The starting driver Yamauchi sprinted from the get go to overtake 2 cars and leapfrogged to 5th on the opening lap. He kept climbing up the field, passing one car after the next to reach 2nd and came back to the pit to hand the car over. The team replaced only 2 tires on the left side of the car to save time and sent Iguchi back onto the track. Joining the field in 13th, Iguchi got it back up to 9th but without being able to improve his times as he had expected, he finished the race in 13th.

General Team Manager Hideharu Tatsumi looked back at the race and commented in frustration, “I think that we damage tires. A lack of power must be forcing some parts of the car to work too hard and this is the result of it. Some cars can complete the race without replacing tires, which means that we are behind them with our technology because we have not reached that level yet. We would like to further improve this part and aim at a higher level”.

Looking back at the race, Yamauchi commented, “The tires lasted longer than yesterday thanks to the changes made to the car, but it still felt difficult today. We need to identify the cause of being unable to bring out grip”. Yamauchi also addressed to his supporters saying, “I feel disappointed at not being able to score points in front of our supporters, but I appreciate your support throughout the season which has made it possible for us to achieve 3 consecutive podium positions. If an opportunity arises I would like to drive receiving your support again. Thank you very much.”

Iguchi commented on his stint in the second half of the race and thanked the supporters. “We did not lose any time at the pit stop and I believe that our tactics to change only the left tires were right. However I was not able to bring out the advantage of it and suffered from imbalance of the car towards the end of the race. To our supporters, I am extremely sorry for not being able to score points in the last 2 races. As Yamauchi says, had it not been for your support, we would not have been able to do well in the middle of the season or to continue races until the end without giving up. Your support has encouraged us through the season. Thank you very much.”

The 2016 SUPER GT season has concluded its race schedule with Round 8. We would like to thank the readers and fans for their support throughout the year. We would also like to ask for their continuous support for SUBARU in SUPER GT as well as other motor sport categories.