2019.05.04 - 2019SUPER GT Round 2 Fuji Speedway - Race：SUBARU BRZ GT300 completes race in 28th place
Round 2 of SUPER GT, the "FUJI GT 500km Race," was held on May 4 (Sat) at Fuji Speedway, Oyama-cho, Shizuoka Prefecture. Customarily held during the Golden Week vacation, this year consisted of an historically long holiday of 10 consecutive holidays, and so the event attracted over 90,000 people.
The SUBARU BRZ GT300 placed 11th in qualifying, held the previous day, and so the team’s aim for the race was to regain a top placed position. The morning of race day met with fine May weather, seemingly a great day to watch a race, but from around 2pm, when the race was set to get started, the clouds began to look ominous, and it began to rain from 2:30pm when it came time for the rolling start. For this reason, they began the race with wet tires.
The race began with a rolling start led by the safety car, and on the third lap the SC left the track and the green lamp was lit. Starting driver, Takuto Iguchi was behind the wheel of the BRZ GT300. As a red flag cancellation cut the opening round at Okayama short before Iguchi could get a chance to drive, this race would act as his own personal season opener.
In the early stages, he dropped one position to 12th, but a red flag interruption was called on lap 13 due to an increase in the heavy rainfall. After that they waited for the weather to recover, and the race resumed at 3:33pm on a wet road surface. The SC took the lead once again, and the green light was lit on lap 19, restarting the race.
The SUBARU BRZ GT300 ticked off laps in positions ranging from 11th to 14th, but after each team began pitting at around lap 33, the BRZ GT300 also went into the pits in lap 38, where they changed drivers to Hideki Yamauchi. At this time, they also changed to slick tires. Yamauchi returned to the course in 16th place, but when each team's pit had been completed, he moved up to 10th place.
After that, he continued to tick off solid laps, climbing to 9th place on the 50th lap, 8th place on the 52nd lap, and 7th place on the 56th lap. His lap times dropped off slightly for about the next 6 laps, but he maintained 7th place, and on the 72nd lap, went in for the second pit stop.
Here, Takuto Iguchi once again took the wheel. They lost 3 positions due to the pit and returned to the track in 10th place. Iguchi engaged in a fight back in order to raise them up as many positions as possible in the remaining laps. However, at that moment, at the end of the straight on lap 77, as he tried to pull into the front side of a rival machine, the engine suddenly became heavy and belched white smoke. Iguchi was forced to stop on the outside of the first corner and exit the machine. However, after the race, the BRZ GT300, having completed over 70% of the total number of laps set by the winning car, was recorded as finishing in 28th place.
Team Principal, Shibuya
"I am very sorry to the fans who supported us today. I think that the machine had powertrain issues, but in three weeks we have the third round in Suzuka. By that time, I would like to find out the cause, take the appropriate measures, and make Suzuka, which has been a good track for us, a battle where we can wipe out this disappointment."
The next race will be held at Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture from May 25th (Sat) to 26th (Sun) as a 300km race. The season started well with a 4th place in the opening round, so we can hope for a victory at Suzuka where the team is usually strong. The support of all the fans drives the team forward so, by all means, please continue to lend your support to the SUBARU BRZ GT300.