10 Sep 2019SGT

Subaru BRZ GT300 retires for the first time this season due to transmission trouble

Round 6 of the SUPER GT Series, the “AUTOPOLIS GT 300 km Race,” was held on September 8th (Sun) at Autopolis, Hita City, Oita Prefecture, where 29 vehicles competed in the 65-lap race. The SUBARU BRZ GT300 started from 4th place on the grid but was forced to retire in the early stages due to machine trouble.

In the pre-race warm-up session, the vehicle’s height had been raised slightly to match the rain that was forecast to fall, and its specifications were altered to prevent hydroplaning. Furthermore, the rear wing was raised, and the angle changed to increase downforce. Furthermore, as Autopolis is a track that is significantly hard on the tires, the team headed into the race fully prepared to carry out several strategies including changing all 4 tires, just the left front and rear tires, and so on.

The race began at 2:30pm. Hideki Yamauchi served as starting driver. Immediately after the start, Yamauchi pulled in front of the preceding #7 Aston Martin before the first corner. This moved them up one position and he completed the opening lap in 3rd place.

The safety car was dispatched on the third lap when the #1 GT500 car crashed. While all the cars were at a slow speed, something occurred within the SUBARU BRZ GT300. Yamauchi communicated over the radio that he was unable to change gears. He was driving slowly with the gear locked in 4th gear, but after receiving instruction from the GTA, it was decided he should return to the pits so they could address the problem.

Team Principal, Makoto Shibuya “We haven’t identified the cause yet, but it’s possible the problem occurred in the sensor that sends the electrical signal to change gears or in the air shift compressor. The gear was stuck in 4th and could not be shifted up or down. We’ve been using this transmission for quite a few years and have never had any trouble until now so it’s perplexing.''

Hideki Yamauchi
“I was able to pass the #7 by the first corner immediately after the start, which took us up to 3rd, and was keeping my cool under the conditions. After that, though, when the safety car entered on the third lap and I had to reduce our pace, I lost the ability to change gears and, unable to do anything about it, had to return to the pits. I want to immediately overcome this disappointment and set my sights on SUGO to carry out a race there that the fans who support us will want to see.”

Team Principal, Makoto Shibuya
“To the fans who supported us, I am truly sorry. The next race is at SUGO, where we won last year, so we will try to make it two years in a row.”

The next round of the Super GT, the “2019 SUPER GT SUGO GT 300km Race” will be held on September 21st (Sat) to the 22nd (Sun) at Sportsland SUGO in Shibata-gun, Miyagi. Thank you to the fans for supporting the Subaru BRZ GT300. The team will be aiming to achieve two consecutive wins following on from last year.