SUPER GT Round 4 Chang International Circuit：Perhaps caused by an accident, the SUBARU BRZ GT300 retires due to machine trouble
Round 4 of the SUPER GT series, the “Chang SUPER GT RACE” was held on July 1st (Sun) at Chang International Circuit. With the mid-summer sun blazing down the 66-lap race began at 3:00pm.
The SUBARU BRZ GT300 began from 6th place on the grid and the team made the decision to start with the same tires that they used during the second qualifying session. The team had brought two types of tires to Thailand this year, medium and soft, and both were selected on the assumption that the road surface temperature would be quite high. It was felt that both tire types were also capable of carrying out long stints. However, as they anticipated that a number of teams would be implementing strategies that involved not changing tires, the SUBARU BRZ GT300 also headed into the race with the aim of carrying out a similar strategy as much as possible.
Immediately prior to the race, Takuto Iguchi stated, “The understeer was pretty strong yesterday but it’s better today, so I think that if we can drive solidly and not put too much stress on the tires we should be able to get a good result.” This was fairly positive information indicating that the machine’s condition had improved. Serving as starting driver was Hideki Yamauchi. However, immediately after the start of the race, it met with an accident that saw it shoved by another car which damaged its rear diffuser. Yamauchi stated, “Being pushed from behind is one thing, but we were also pushed from diagonally to the rear and implemented a counter attack on the straight, making it a pretty precarious situation. However, it was probably possible to overtake the #96 in front by utilizing the shove from behind and so the fact that I couldn’t do that… it’s an area where I could definitely work on.”
After that they were hit again diagonally from the rear at the first corner of lap 19 and they were unable to avoid spinning out. Yamauchi went on to say, “Since I was plowed into diagonally at the exit of the corner there was nothing I could do. I was able to recover from the spin and launch back into the chase but after that a strange noise started to come from the car. I felt like it could be the driveline or the engine, and when I killed the clutch the engine stopped, so I had to pull the car off the course.”
With the machine unable to return to the race the team was forced into a regrettable retirement. Although the specific cause of the problem is still unclear, it is hoped that all the necessary measures will be taken to counter it in order to achieve a good result in the next round at Fuji.
Team Principal, Makoto Shibuya
“This is the second year in a row that we have retired here, and we were really determined this year so it’s very regrettable that we couldn’t come away with a good result. Although we were embroiled in a few accidents, in the end we had machine trouble, so we need to solidly determine what the problem is before the next race.”
Team Principal, Makoto Shibuya
“Iguchi endured the tough situation with the tires in the second half and was able to pass the #0 with the briefest of chances, so I think everything really went well today. We were considering only changing the rear two tires right from the beginning and our intention was to change all four if the front tires degraded significantly. However, Yamauchi drove well, and I think only changing two tires enabled us to grab this podium finish.”
The next round will be a marathon 500-mile race to be held over August 4th (Sat) to 5th (Sun) at Fuji Speedway. Let’s hope for a good performance from the BRZ GT300 with its improved aerodynamics and increased top speed.