Race
SUPER GT 2021
Round 2

Astemo NSX-GT #17 Clinches Win From 11th Grid

jp Fuji Speedway

Round 2 of the 2021 SUPER GT Series was held at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka, over the May 3-4 long weekend. Five NSX-GTs and three NSX GT3s ran in the GT500 and GT300 classes respectively.

Astemo NSX-GT #17 Clinches Win From 11th Grid

The 500km round was longer than most by 200km, with two pits including driver changes required.

Qualifying began at 2:30 pm on the sunny Monday afternoon. NSX-GTs had difficulties performing in Q1, with ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Tomoki Nojiri /Nirei Fukuzumi) being the only NSX-GT to proceed to Q2. In the second qualifier, the #8 car set a 1 min 26.499 s lap, the second-fastest of the session, just 0.003 s shy of pole position, giving the NSX-GT a spot on the front row.

Sunny weather continued into Tuesday, with the 110 lap, 500 km race beginning at 2:30 pm. ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Fukuzumi) accelerated ferociously once the lights turned green, and was first to the first turn from the outside, setting up a commanding lead for the remainder of the lap,

After the safety car came on track on Lap 3, ARTA NSX-GT #8 was overtaken on the restart, and was in second position. Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Koudai Tsukakoshi), who started from 11th on the grid after an unsuccessful fast lap, pitted early on Lap 31, handing the car to Bertrand Baguette. The new FCY (Full Course Yellow) rule was then invoked to remove a stopped car from the track, and due to most cars except for the #17 NSX-GT pitting at this time, Baguette found himself the de facto race leader. By the time all GT500 cars had pitted and changed drivers on Lap 44, Astemo NSX-GT #17 was in the lead.

Baguette maintained a commanding lead, and on Lap 68 sensing fading tire grip, came into the pits for new tires and a driver change. During this time, ARTA NSX-GT #8 with Fukuzumi behind the wheel from Nojiri regained the lead, the #17 car chasing. As the race drew to a close, Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Tsukakoshi) was unable to improve his pace, and was overtaken on Lap 87.

On Lap 97 the third FCY was declares, and the race restarted with 13 laps remaining. The car running second retired due to mechanical issues, giving the NSX-GTs the top two places once again. ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Fukuzumi) was given a drive-through penalty for ignoring a yellow flag, giving the lead to Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Tsukakoshi), who fended off challenges to reach the checkered flag first, winning the race by 0.831 s.

STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Naoki Yamamoto / Tadasuke Makino), who started the race from the back of the GT500 grid after a disastrous Qualifying, made a comeback to finish fourth. ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nojiri / Fukuzumi) were set back to eighth after the drive-through penalty. Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Takuya Izawa / Hiroki Otsu) were tenth, within the points.


Masahiro Saiki
Masahiro Saiki
Honda R&D Co., Ltd. Honda GT Project Leader
It’s good that we managed to win the second race. The #17 was lucky to pit when it did because of the FCY, but Tsukakoshi put in a determined race after that as well. Overall, we once again saw how SUPER GT is difficult, with the results depending on how well the selected tires performed according to changes in track conditions. We’re slower on the straights than the competition, so we’ll be looking into catching up. We won this race, but there are issues that we need to address.

Koudai Tsukakoshi
Koudai Tsukakoshi 17
Astemo REAL RACING
I made a mistake in Qualifying, so we were far back on the grid, but we pitted at a lucky time. I don’t have many fond memories from previous 500km races, and Qualifying didn’t go well either. I couldn’t find the pace during the race due to traffic. The timing of the FCY was pure chance, but we made the most of it. We didn’t have the speed, but we had the grit to win. We’ll aim to win with speed at the next race.

Bertrand Baguette
Bertrand Baguette 17
Astemo REAL RACING
I’m glad to race another 500km round. It’s also great that although limited, there were spectators this time. It’s always great to drive in front of the fans. I think I drove a solid stint. The timing of Tsukakoshi pitting was lucky and I was in the lead, but we had a tough race until then. I pushed during my stint, but my tires suddenly lost grip, and there was not much more I could do. I called in saying we needed to change tires quickly, so Tsukakoshi took over the car with a different compound, and he went on to drive really well to give us the victory.

GT500 Race Result

Pos.

Num.

Machine

Driver

Time/Gap

1

17

Astemo NSX-GT

Koudai Tsukakoshi/Bertrand Baguette

3:03'07.846

2

14

ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra

Kazuya Oshima/Kenta Yamashita

+0.831

3

37

KeePer TOM'S GR Supra

Ryo Hirakawa/Sena Sakaguchi

+1.117

4

1

STANLEY NSX-GT

Naoki Yamamoto/Hideki Mutoh/Tadasuke Makino

+1.552

5

3

CRAFTSPORTS MOTUL GT-R

Kohei Hirate/Katsumasa Chiyo

+34.102

6

39

DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra

Heikki Kovalainen/Yuichi Nakayama

+36.390

8

8

ARTA NSX-GT

Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi

+45.083

10

64

Modulo NSX-GT

Takuya Izawa/Hiroki Otsu

+1'20.667

11

16

Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT

Ukyo Sasahara/Toshiki Oyu

+1'26.826


GT300 Race Result

Pos.

Num.

Machine

Driver

Time/Gap

1

60

SYNTIUM LMcorsa GR Supra GT

Hiroki Yoshimoto/Shunsuke Kohno

3:04'16.736

2

61

SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT

Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi

+0.712

3

55

ARTA NSX GT3

Shinichi Takagi/Ren Sato

+1.286

4

65

LEON PYRAMID AMG

Naoya Gamou/Togo Suganami

+21.580

5

10

GAINER TANAX with IMPUL GT-R

Kazuki Hoshino/Keishi Ishikawa

+1 Lap

6

88

JLOC Lamborghini GT3

Takashi Kogure/Yuya Motojima

+1 Lap

9

18

UPGARAGE NSX GT3

Takashi Kobayashi/Teppei Natori

+1 Lap

19

34

Yogibo NSX GT3

Ryo Michigami/Shogo Mitsuyama

+2 Laps


GT500 Standing

Pos.

Num.

Driver

Machine

Pts

1

14

Kazuya Oshima/Kenta Yamashita

ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra

35

2

17

Koudai Tsukakoshi/Bertrand Baguette

Astemo NSX-GT

26

3

37

Ryo Hirakawa/Sena Sakaguchi

KeePer TOM'S GR Supra

23

4

36

Yuhi Sekiguchi/Sho Tsuboi

au TOM'S GR Supra

15

5

39

Heikki Kovalainen/Yuichi Nakayama

DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra

13

6

1

Naoki Yamamoto/Hideki Mutoh

STANLEY NSX-GT

11

7

1

Tadasuke Makino

STANLEY NSX-GT

8

9

8

Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi

ARTA NSX-GT

7

13

64

Takuya Izawa/Hiroki Otsu

Modulo NSX-GT

1


GT300 Standing

Pos.

Num.

Driver

Machine

Pts

1

56

Kiyoto Fujinami/Joao Paulo de Oliveira

Realize Nissan Automobile Technical College GT-R

24

2

60

Hiroki Yoshimoto/Shunsuke Kohno

SYNTIUM LMcorsa GR Supra GT

23

3

65

Naoya Gamou/Togo Suganami

LEON PYRAMID AMG

23

4

61

Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi

SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT

16

5

55

Shinichi Takagi/Ren Sato

ARTA NSX GT3

11

6

52

Hiroki Yoshida/Kohta Kawaai

SAITAMA TOYOPET GB GR Supra GT

11

14

18

Takashi Kobayashi/Teppei Natori

UPGARAGE NSX GT3

2



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