SUPER GT 2023 Review: NSX-GTs Won Two Wins in the Second Half of the Season, and ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT(#16) Took 4th Place in the Ranking

At the midterm point of the 2023 season, #100 STANLEY (Naoki Yamamoto/Tadasuke Makino) standing at the top of the Honda NSX-GT corps was placed 3rd in the overall point ranking, 22-points behind the point leader, with #17 Astemo REAL RACING (Koudai Tsukakoshi/Nobuharu Matsushita) following 6th.

SUPER GT 2023 Review: NSX-GTs Won Two Wins in the Second Half of the Season, and ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT(#16) Took 4th Place in the Ranking

>Click here for 2023 Super GT series midterm review

The second half of the series (R-5) began at Suzuka Circuit (Mie Pref.) on August 26 (Sat) - 27 (Sun). The turbulent consequences for NSX-GT were not over yet. #100 STANLEY NSX-GT’s driver, Makino, was suspended from driving for a week due to the accident he was involved in a Super Formula race held a week ago which made his partner, Yamamoto, take an irregular way of qualifying, sole time attack only for Q1 that is.

The entire Honda GT500 corps made way to Q2, and #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Nirei Fukuzumi/Hiroki Otsu) captured pole position. The race held on 27 (Sun) under the clear sky saw #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT immediately running away from the pack, then Fukuzumi taking over the car from Otsu stretched out the gap even further and sailed on to win the 77-lap race. It was the first victory for NSX-GT in the year and also the first at Suzuka since the 3rd round of the 2018 season. As the results, Fukuzumi/Otsu duo climbed up to 3rd overall and inherited the leading role in the Honda GT500 squad from Yamamoto/Makino duo.

Nirei Fukuzumi, Hiroki Otsu / Rd.05 Suzuka
Nirei Fukuzumi, Hiroki Otsu / Rd.05 Suzuka

The 6th round of the series was held at Sportsland SUGO (Miyagi Pref.) on September 16 (Sat) - 17 (Sun). Toshiki Oyu driving #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT set a new course record in the fickle road surface condition due to rainfall, and duly seized the pole position, second in a row for NSX-GT.

On 17 (Sun), the race was started under a gloomy sky. #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri) launching from pole position accumulated lap after laps while maintaining the top slot, however, #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) pitted a lap later than #8 car robbed its top position benefitted by a fraction shorter time loss in the pit work.

#100 STANLEY NSX-GT (Yamamoto) crashed heavily at the exit of the last corner after being pushed by another car, and the race was immediately red-flagged. The battle between #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi) and #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Oyu) continued after the restart and finally the former managed to hold on the upper hand as they crossed the finish line.

Things went cruelly wrong for #17 Astemo NSX-GT, though. The post-race scrutineering detected its skid block having fallen short of the stipulated thickness due to excessive wear to which the disqualification was pronounced. The judgment brought an unexpected but not necessarily fully welcome victory to #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Nojiri/Oyu) because the Honda camp looking for the major upset would have to reconsider the plan towards the final stage of the series.

#8 ARTA NSX-GT/ Rd.06 Sportsland SUGO
#8 ARTA NSX-GT/ Rd.06 Sportsland SUGO

The 7th round of the series was held at Autopolis International Race Course (Oita Pref.) on October 14 (Sat) - 15 (Sun). For the first time at the venue known as one of the toughest tracks for tires, the race distance was stretched out from 300km to 450km, which forced every team to renew each strategy.

Qualifying sessions took place on 14 (Sat) saw Fukuzumi driving #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT, the winner of R-5 at Suzuka, set a new course record and captured pole position. As Yamamoto who had been injured in the previous race (R-6) was absent, new and up coming Iori Kimura was appointed as the substitution.

On 15 (Sun), the race was started under obscured sky. #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Fukuzumi) left from pole position steadily pulling away each lap and established comfortable lead already in the early phase. After a 59-lap stint with a stop for new tires and refueling in between, Fukuzumi handed the race-leading car over to Otsu.

The ambient temperature was going down in the second half of the race that impeded the pace of #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Otsu) who eventually dropped to 2nd after allowing #36 GR Supra thrust inside at the 2nd hairpin on Lap-87, and received the checkered flag in that position. #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Fukuzumi/Otsu), despite missing out on a win, added 16-points including an extra point for the pole position, and was ranked 3rd overall, the highest of the NSX-GT entrant, before going into the final round.


The final round of the 2023 Super GT series (R-8) was held at Mobility Resort Motegi (Tochigi Pref.) on November 4 (Sat) - 5 (Sun). As Honda Racing is planning to switch the base model of the GT500 class entry to CIVIC Type R-GT, this is to be the last run for the NSX-GT that has a long history competing in the Super GT series including its predecessor, the Japan GT Championship (JGTC).

Ceremony Before NSX-GT Last Race / Rd.08 Motegi
Ceremony Before NSX-GT Last Race / Rd.08 Motegi

On 4 (Sat), qualifying sessions run in fine weather deployed #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) on 2nd grid but #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Fukuzumi/Otsu) that still had chance for the title sank as low as 9th grid due to the wrong tire choice unfit for the condition.

The race was started in the weather threatening late-autumn rain. #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Matsushita) maintained its 2nd position for a while but lacked in speed, and then dropped down gradually. There came rain as expected in the final phase of the race when #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi) and #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Nojiri) ventured to switch to wet tires and started fierce late charge. By this stake all spurt, #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi) finished the season's last race in 3rd, and #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Nojiri) in 5th.

Astemo NSX-GT / Rd.08 Motegi
Astemo NSX-GT / Rd.08 Motegi

#16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Fukuzumi/Otsu), the lone NSX-GT that had had the chance for the series title, was not able to hold its own pace through to the end, and finished outside the point in 12th. While maintaining the leading position in the Honda GT500 troop as it placed 4th overall in the series point ranking, the hoped-for title bid at the last appearance of NSX-GT was not materialized unfortunately.

■Masahiro Saiki (HRC SGT Large Project Leader)

Although we’ve confirmed the potential of NSX-GT early in the season, various inevitables and/or unforeseeable things got into our way, so that we couldn’t play our own game. That’s why we had to settle in the positions that weren’t up to expectations. I think we could show our speed in the second half of the season because the track characters were getting easier for us as the round went on, however, the cogs did not mesh in many ways and we’re forced to struggle all through to the end. We really wanted to round off the last race of NSX-GT with victory, but the championship title was a bit too far for us to reach. Taking this opportunity, I’d like to express our sincere gratitude for the long and earnest support for NSX-GT, and also thank in advance for the continuous support to our new challenge with CIVIC Type R.

GT500 - Ranking

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 36 Sho Tsuboi / Ritomo Miyata au TOM'S GR Supra 89
2 3 Katsumasa Chiyo / Mitsunori Takaboshi Niterra MOTUL Z 63
3 23 Tsugio Matsuda / Ronnie Quintarelli MOTUL AUTECH Z 56
4 16 Nirei Fukuzumi / Hiroki Otsu ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT 53
5 1 Kazuki Hiramine / Bertrand Baguette MARELLI IMPUL Z 46
6 17 Koudai Tsukakoshi / Nobuharu Matsushita Astemo NSX-GT 45
8 8 Tomoki Nojiri / Toshiki Oyu ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT 38
10 100 Tadasuke Makino STANLEY NSX-GT 34
11 100 Naoki Yamamoto STANLEY NSX-GT 31
14 64 Takuya Izawa / Kakunoshin Ohta Modulo NSX-GT 19
17 100 Iori Kimura STANLEY NSX-GT 3

GT300 - Ranking

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 52 Hiroki Yoshida / Kohta Kawaai SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT 74
2 2 Yuui Tsutsumi / Hibiki Taira muta Racing GR86 GT 53
3 56 Joao Paulo de Oliveira / Teppei Natori REALIZE NISSAN MECHANIC CHALLENGE GT-R 50
4 65 Naoya Gamou / Takuro Shinohara LEON PYRAMID AMG 44
5 18 Takashi Kobayashi / Syun Koide UPGARAGE NSX GT3 43
6 7 Seiji Ara Studie BMW M4 43
20 27 Yugo Iwasawa / Reimei Ito Yogibo NSX GT3 10

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