12 November 2017SGT

SUPER GT Round 8 Twin Ring Motegi: race result

The SUBARU BRZ GT300 retires from the season finale
The final race of the 2017 SUPER GT season, Round 8 ‘MOTEGI GT GRAND FINAL’ took place on Sunday 12, November. Driven by Takuto Iguchi and Hideki Yamauchi, the SUBARU BRZ GT300 started the race from 13th on the grid to move up to 3rd, only to be forced to drop out of the race after going off the track due to a mechanical problem.

A lasting problem leads to disappointing results
On a sunny day, more spectators than on the previous day turned out to watch the final race of the year at Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan, while SUBARU fan seats were also packed out with fans. The SUBARU BRZ GT300 ran steady laps in the warm-up session from 11:55 but brake problems continued to hamper the team from the previous day. The team worked hard until the last moment to fix the issue, but they had to start the race without being able to record expected lap times in the build-up to the race.
Sitting first behind the wheel of the SUBARU, Yamauchi kept up at the same pace as others in the group and maintained his position despite continuing brake problems. While other cars came back to the pit one after another, the SUBARU BRZ GT300 stayed on track and had gradually climbed up the field to reach 3rd position by the time the car was handed over to Iguchi after the 20th lap. In the pit stop, the Subaru team only replaced the rear tires, and thanks to their quick work, they managed to send Iguchi back onto the track ahead their rivals, only to suffer a worsened problem during Iguchi’s stint. He persistently drove his laps while suffering from the problems but went off the track at Corner 3 on the 26th lap. Although the SUBARU BRZ GT300 managed to get out of a gravel trap with the help of race officials and got to return to the pit, it was finally forced to retire from the race.

“It has been a tough year. I feel really sorry for the fans who have supported us.”
Later, Yamauchi looked back on the race and said, “The brake problems did not improve in the race either. Even so, I was able to drive at the same pace as others around me, so I really regret thinking that we might have been able to drive faster if there had not been a problem. We have had constant setbacks this year, but I think I have done the best I could in such an environment. I just feel really sorry for the fans who have supported us. What distresses me the most is not being able to respond to their support. SUBARU fans are generally warm-hearted and had it not been for their support, I would not have been able to try hard today with the problem”.

Iguchi, who was in charge of the second half of the race said, “I set out for the last stint after having 2 tires replaced, but it was difficult. I adjusted brake balance while driving, but the problem did not get any better and I went off the track”. He also commented on this season. “We have had many problems this year and in such a situation, I did everything I could, but we could not finish with a good result. Although we did not win at all, our fans have encouraged us with their support. We have received lots of kind words from them and we have seen them waving the blue flag.”

“What we do from now will prove decisive.”
General Team Manager Hideharu Tatsumi commented after the race, “We replaced the brake calipers after the problem yesterday, but it did not really fix the issue at all. The car had been running without any problems and no errors were found in the data. In this race, we did our best and this is the result of that. As for this past season, we have introduced a transaxle, and we have had many problems because of it. In qualifiers we can get a single digit position on the grid thanks to our drivers’ skills, but that does not always lead to good results in a race. We have repeatedly said that this year. The result of this season proves that our car is fast but we could not eradicate the problems. Although the season has ended, I think what we do from now will prove decisive to prevent any recurrence of the problem. We wanted to win at least once in the season but we fell short and our best result was 2nd. I feel very sorry for the fans because they have been supporting us for many years. We will not give up and we will take a serious approach to the work in the close season so that we can get our speed back next year. I would like to ask our fans for their continuous support”.

After Round 8 ‘MOTEGI GT GRAND FINAL’, SUPER GT drew a curtain on its 2017 season. The team and its SUBARU BRZ GT300 finished the year in 9th both in drivers’ and team rankings.
We would like to thank our fans and readers who have supported SUBARU throughout the year. Please look forward to SUBARU’s good showing next season.