SUPER GT Round 2 Fuji Speedway: race results
SUBARU BRZ GT300 completes a race for the first time this year
Round 2 of SUPER GT ‘FUJI GT 500km RACE’ was held on a national holiday on Thursday 4, May at Fuji Speedway. Starting the race from 6th on the grid after the qualifier, the SUBARU BRZ GT300 driven by Takuto Iguichi and Hideki Yamauchi completed 101 laps and finished 13th.
STI struggled with the speed of rivals on straights
During the long ‘Golden Week’ national holidays in Japan, Fuji Speedway attracted a lot of spectators, and the race got underway with an ambient temperature of 19℃ and track surface temperature of 29℃. Following the season opener, Yamauchi took the wheel of the SUBARU BRZ GT300 first. With a race distance of 500km this time, two pit stops were to be expected, and as such, the team worked out an in-depth strategy before the race on the timing of pit stops and the number of tires to be replaced during these times.
Yamauchi got off to a good start but with the competitors also being quick off the mark, he dropped down to as low as 12th early in the race. However after a persistent and stable drive lap after lap, he got back to 8th after Lap 32 before he came back to the pit. After all the tires had been replaced and the car refueled, the team then sent Iguchi back to the middle part of the race.
Iguchi behind the wheel of the SUBARU BRZ GT300 got back to the race in 24th and recorded stable times almost like Yamauchi did as the race progressed. He also passed the car in front with some levelheaded braking and with some of the front runners returning to their pit or falling behind so he moved to 8th after 67 laps.
He came back to the pit. At this pit stop the team only changed 2 tires in addition to refueling in order to save time. As a result, they succeeded in sending Yamauchi back to the track after a minimum pit stop time. SUBARU BRZ GT300 got back to the race in 17th. As the last runner, Yamauchi ran a clean race for more than 30 laps and climbed from 17th to 13th. As a result, the team completed the race for the first time this season.
Challenges were identified yet confidence was felt in a tough race
General Team Manager Hideharu Tatsumi looked back on the day and said, “It was a difficult race. We have a problem with refuelling time. An attempt to generate much power with a 2-liter engine puts us into a difficult situation with fuel consumption. The good news was that we did not have any problems with the stability and controllability of the car. With these in mind, we would like to further improve our speed for the next rounds at Autopolis and SUGO”.
Yamauchi who started and finished the race commented with a determined tone. “I have to do my best within the rules. I must try hard to do what I can do and what I should do. The car was stable and I was able to catch up with the others on corners. However I think we need the speed to go beyond that. I tested on the Autopolis circuit the other day and I believe that a higher level will be required there, so I would like to review the weakness we had in this race to prepare for Autopolis.”
Iguchi is motivated to run his home race in the next round for the first time since 2015 and said, “I am disappointed in the result of this race, but I have to accept it seriously and will keep working on improvement. The next races will be on our favorite circuits so I hope we can receive the checkered flag in a good mood. As the next round at Autopolis is my home race and it was cancelled last year due to the effect of the earthquake, I would like to showcase fine driving to people in the region. I will thoroughly prepare in order to get a good result”.
The next stop for SUPER GT is Round 3 at Autopolis in Oita, Japan. The event will take place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21, May. We would like to ask readers and fans for their support for the SUBARU BRZ GT300 run by our enthusiastic team.