8 Aug 2018SGT

SUPER GT round 5 Fuji Speedway:The accelerator suddenly stops responding at lap 21

Round 5 of the SUPER GT series, the “Fuji GT 500 mile Race” was held on August 5th (Sun). The SUBARU BRZ GT300 began from 6th on the grid, as it did in the previous round at Thailand, and went into the race seeking to move up as many positions as possible but was forced to retire due to technical trouble.

Starting driver, Takuto Iguchi took the wheel for the start of the race which began at 1:30pm. During the chaotic opening minutes following the start of the race, the #61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT was overtaken by the #21, dropping it down one position, but then at around lap 7 it engaged in a fierce battle for 5th with the #21, #31 and the #2.

From that point on the fight for 5th continued but the #61 BRZ GT300 struggled to lift its speed on the straight and although it was running faster than the #21 it just wasn’t able to get passed as it continued to tick off laps. Although it finally managed to overtake the #21 on lap 13, it once again relinquished its position on the straight and gradually fell out of the fight for 5th place, ultimately falling back to 9th.

With the machine struggling to find pace, it wasn’t able to achieve the speed that it had displayed here in round 2 making it a tough race for the team, but in a marathon race like this there’s no telling what could happen. It was at this point that, as they were running in sector 3, the accelerator suddenly stopped responding and Iguchi was forced to use inertia to bring the car off course and to a stop.

-- Takuto Iguchi
“The accelerator seriously stopped responding all of a sudden without any warning and all I could do was use inertia to guide the car off course. After it was stopped I tried a number of checks but there was no absolutely no response so I got out of the car.”

Team Principal, Makoto Shibuya
“It’s hard to put into words. We were certain we had sorted out all the elements that could potentially cause problems, including managing the durability of the parts but it seems that there is still something we have overlooked. To have experienced trouble after only 20 laps, we can’t even really say we competed in the race. I have to apologize to all the fans who turned out to support us, as well as all involved with our team. At the moment we haven’t been able to identify the cause of the problem, but we think it was an electrical issue. While we obviously need to thoroughly investigate the cause of the problem, I think we will also have to review which components are not suited to managing durability. At the moment all I can do is offer my apologies.”

Round 6 of the SUPER GT will be held over September 15th (Sat) to 16th (Sun) at Sportsland SUGO, Murata, Miyagi Prefecture as a 300km race. Let’s hope that the team can wash away this misfortune in the coming round.