The Honda camp that had narrowly missed the second successive title in 2021 switched the base car for the new Super GT contender to Type-S in order to accomplish a “stronger NSX,” both in name and reality.
The first half of the race, in which points were accumulated amidst a series of difficult courses
The second engine introduced in the latter half of the previous season was a power-up version through the refinement of combustion chamber, and it performed as was expected. But, when the development team reexamined the engine after the 2021 season, some uncertainties of reliability were found in it. For that reason, the first engine used in the early rounds in the 2022 season was slightly power-degraded in exchange for a more reliable specification.
Another aspect new to the Honda camp was the modified race calendar providing in the initial stages of the series with fast tracks that NSX-GT was not very much good at. This naturally resulted in the Honda’s strategy to be more committed to the latter half of the season in which the circuits with more technical layout, therefore much more suited to NSX-GT, would take place.
The NSX-GT force achieved the first and only win in the first half of the season by #8 ARTA NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi) in R-2 (Fuji Speedway) which was shortened much due to the accidents. #100 STANLEY NSX-GT (Naoki Yamamoto/Tadasuke Makino) placed 5th with the total of 23-points, 8 behind the point leader, and #8 NSX-GT (Nojiri/Fukuzumi) placed 7th, 10-points behind the same, coming into the latter half of the season with high hope.
Astemo NSX-GT Moves into the Title Race
The second half of the series was opened at Suzuka by R-5 which was fought on 500km, one-and-a-half times longer than the usual race distance. #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Kodai Tsukakoshi/Nobuharu Matsushita) took the lead once in a while, however, it had to pace down due to the fuel shortage caused by refueling trouble. As the result, #17 NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) surrendered top position to #12 CALSONIC IMPUL Z (Kazuki Hiramine/Bertrand Baguette) to end up finishing 2nd, and yet climbed up to 4th overall by culminating well-deserved points.
At the mercy of SUGO's rain
The venue hosting R-6, Sportsland SUGO is the track that NSX-GT has performed constantly well, and Honda, in the hope of a fightback during the latter half of the season, introduced the second engine from this race. Unfortunately though, things went against the NSX-GT brigade much attributable to Typhoon Nanmadol approaching untimely at the weekend.
In the race, #100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) started from 4th grid, the utmost front among the consort cars, running superbly up to 2nd place, then the rain came and stopped, drying the tarmac again in a short time of period. Under such an hectic situation, #16 Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT (Ukyo Sasahara/Toshiki Oyu) that had made its stop best possible timing finished 3rd. On the other hand, #100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) had to accept lowly 8th, and two other NSX-GT entrants saw the even worse; #17 (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita), point leader of the Honda camp, and #8 (Nojiri/Fukuzumi) both ended up without point.
Dramatic Victory Overcoming the Crash
R-7 held at Autopolis in which the success weight was cut down half as stipulated in the regulation saw a rather stormy development. #17 NSX-GT (Matsushita) running extremely well but went off abruptly and incurred damages to the car.
In the qualifying, #100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) got the front-row by marking 2nd fastest time. #17 NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) promptly repaired by the team carried out the time attack with its body-painting unfinished yet, and achieved 4th fastest to the team’s great relief.
The race took place under fine weather. #100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) took lead utilizing an opportune timing of pit work and driver change. #17 NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) having been on a sort of probation after the yesterday’s crash steadily moved up as well, then took over the leading position from #100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) by cutting off the loss time of pitstop, and finally seized the race with Honda’s 1-2 finish.
Pole to Win at Motegi
The very last race of the series was held at Mobility Resort MOTEGI. On this particular occasion, much suitably for the championship-deciding race, the Super GT sporting regulation allows the entire runners run completely free of the success weight. As for the point standings of the NSX-GT brigade, #17 NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) staying on 3rd, 4-points behind from the top, and #100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) on 4th, 17-points behind, both still had the chance to get the series title.
#100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) captured the pole position as planned, however, #17 NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) could not raise its pace partially due to the relatively low temperature in the weekend, and recessed contrarily back on 10th grid. The final race that had a SC (Safety Car) period in between saw #100 NSX-GT serenely controlled the little messy progress through nursing fuel consumption and the gap from the car behind, and finally achieved the pole-to-win.
The championship title went to #12 Z (Hiramine/Baguette) that finished 2nd and nullified the hope of NSX-GT to comeback to the throne. #100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino), the winner of the final race, placed 3rd overall, the highest among the Honda camp, followed by #17 NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) in 4th at the very end of the 2022 Super GT season.
|CALSONIC IMPUL Z||70.5|
|CRAFTSPORTS MOTUL Z||66|
|ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra||49|
|KeePer TOM'S GR Supra||43|
|Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT||16.5|
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
|REALIZE NISSAN MECHANIC CHALLENGE GT-R||52|
|SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT||49.5|
|3||10||Riki Okusa||TANAX GAINER GT-R||49|
|4||52||Kohta Kawaai||SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT||48|
|5||52||Hiroki Yoshida||SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT||47|
|6||10||Ryuichiro Tomita||TANAX GAINER GT-R||45|
|UPGARAGE NSX GT3||34|
|ARTA NSX GT3||26|