Round 3

STANLEY NSX-GT’s Yamamoto and Makino Lead the Points After Rescheduled Round 3

jp Suzuka Circuit

Round 3 of the 2021 SUPER GT Series was held at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie, over the August 21 - 22 weekend. Five NSX-GTs and three NSX GT3s ran in the GT500 and GT300 classes respectively.

STANLEY NSX-GT’s Yamamoto and Makino Lead the Points After Rescheduled Round 3

Originally scheduled for the last weekend in May, Round 3 was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and was held after Round 4 at Twin Ring Motegi.

Despite intermittent rain during the week, Qualifying started in dry conditions at 2:30pm on Saturday. Of the NSX-GTs, Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Hiroki Otsu), Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Ukyo Sasahara), ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nirei Fukuzumi) and Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Koudai Tsukakoshi) managed to proceed from Q1 to Q2, while STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Naoki Yamamoto) failed partly due to a 64kg “success ballast” and a higher fuel flow restrictor setting.

In Q2, Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Takuya Izawa) took pole position with Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Toshiki Oyu) close behind, giving the front row to NSX-GTs on Dunlop tires. ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Tomoki Nojiri) qualified fifth, and Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Bertrand Baguette) was sixth-fastest.

Weather had recovered to partly cloudy skies by the time the race started on Sunday. The two front-row NSX-GTs initially held their lead, but on Round 5, Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Izawa) ran off course at the chicane due to brake failure, ending his race.

Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Oyu) took over the lead, and on Lap 20 pitted for a driver change, tires and refueling. The team’s choice of tires for the second stint did not match the conditions, and Sasahara failed to reach his usual race pace, allowing other drivers to overtake the #16 car.

Tadasuke Makino, starting 11th on the grid after failing to proceed to Q2, drove his heavily weighted STANLEY NSX-GT #1 for one-third race distance before handing the car to Yamamoto. Feedback from Makino allowed Yamamoto to select the right specced tires, allowing him to move through the field to end the 52 lap race in fourth, the best NSX-GT result. Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Tsukakoshi / Baguette) and Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Sasahara / Oyu) finished seventh and ninth respectively, within the points. Finishing the first half of the season, Yamamoto leads the drivers’ championship, with Makino second.

Masahiro Saiki
Masahiro Saiki
HRC SGT Large Project Leader
We went into the weekend determined to win here, as we did not win Suzuka last year. We qualified first and second as we had hoped, but we couldn’t maintain our advantage. Nonetheless, the #1 car managed to finish fourth despite a heavy ballast, leading the championship as we enter the second half of the season. The #17 car has continued to add championship points, and is now ranked fifth (effectively fourth). On the other hand, #64 qualified well but retired due to brake failure, the #8 car didn’t have the pace despite a light handicap, and #16 lost pace late in the race. These are issues we need to get to the bottom of. The next round is Sportsland SUGO, which wasn’t held last year, making it the first time for us to race the FR-layout NSX-GTs at the track. We’ll do our best to prepare for the race.

Naoki Yamamoto
Naoki Yamamoto 1
On Saturday morning, the car’s balance wasn’t what we expected it to be, so we spent a lot of time making adjustments, and only qualified 11th. We went on to set up the car for the race, which paid dividends. Since the weather was unpredictable, we felt it was risky to start the race on hard tires, and although we knew they were the obvious choice, I insisted we used the soft tires for both Qualifying and the race. I’m sorry that it caused a lot of problems for Makino in the first half of the race, but his feedback removed any doubts we had with the hard compound tires, which gave us the pace in the second half. We weren’t on the podium, but we scored championship points, which is important.

Tadasuke Makino
Tadasuke Makino 1
We had a hard start to the weekend due to the fuel restrictor capping our top speed on the straights, but we proceeded to set up the car as best as possible. We were expecting more rain, so on that basis we chose tires for Q1. That didn’t go well, so we were 11th on the starting grid. We continued to work on the setup, but the tire selection was fixed at that point, so we had to go with the less optimum choice, making it a hard first half of the race. I gave Yamamoto as much information as I could, and raced while keeping a check on fuel consumption. He managed to gain pace, and finish fourth. It was a good result considering the championship. We’re going to have even heavier ballasts in the following races, so we’ll keep on doing our best.

GT500 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Laps Time/Gap
1 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli 52 1:50'23.702
2 3 CRAFTSPORTS MOTUL GT-R Kohei Hirate/Katsumasa Chiyo 52 +11.362
3 24 Realize corporation ADVAN GT-R Mitsunori Takaboshi/Daiki Sasaki 52 +20.127
4 1 STANLEY NSX-GT Naoki Yamamoto/Tadasuke Makino 52 +25.214
5 36 au TOM'S GR Supra Yuhi Sekiguchi/Sho Tsuboi 52 +26.208
6 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R Kazuki Hiramine/Nobuharu Matsushita 52 +45.076
7 17 Astemo NSX-GT Koudai Tsukakoshi/Bertrand Baguette 52 +45.527
9 16 Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT Ukyo Sasahara/Toshiki Oyu 52 +47.175
11 8 ARTA NSX-GT Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi 52 +50.825
  64 Modulo NSX-GT Takuya Izawa/Hiroki Otsu 4 +48Laps

GT300 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Laps Time/Gap
1 244 Takanoko-no-yu GR Supra GT Atsushi Miyake/Yuui Tsutsumi 49 1:51'32.468
2 88 JLOC LAMBORGHINI GT3 Takashi Kogure/Yuya Motojima 49 +6.670
3 4 GOODSMILE HATSUNE MIKU AMG Nobuteru Taniguchi/Tatsuya Kataoka 49 +13.288
4 9 PACIFIC NAC CARGUY Ferrari Kei Cozzolino/Naoki Yokomizo 49 +33.641
5 5 MACHSYAKEN GTNET MC86 MACH GO Yuya Hiraki/Reiji Hiraki 49 +34.738
6 30 TOYOTA GR SPORT PRIUS PHV apr GT Hiroaki Nagai/Manabu Orido 49 +35.327
7 55 ARTA NSX GT3 Shinichi Takagi/Ren Sato 49 +35.576
13 34 Yogibo NSX GT3 Ryo Michigami/Shogo Mitsuyama 48 +1Lap
  18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3 Takashi Kobayashi/Teppei Natori DNS  

GT500 Standing

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 1 Naoki Yamamoto STANLEY NSX-GT 40
2 1 Tadasuke Makino STANLEY NSX-GT 37
3 14 Kazuya Oshima/Kenta Yamashita ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra 35
4 36 Yuhi Sekiguchi/Sho Tsuboi au TOM'S GR Supra 32
5 17 Koudai Tsukakoshi/Bertrand Baguette Astemo NSX-GT 30
6 3 Kohei Hirate/Katsumasa Chiyo CRAFTSPORTS MOTUL GT-R 28
11 8 Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi ARTA NSX-GT 13
14 16 Ukyo Sasahara/Toshiki Oyu Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT 10
16 1 Hideki Mutoh STANLEY NSX-GT 3
17 64 Takuya Izawa/Hiroki Otsu Modulo NSX-GT 2

GT300 Standing

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 244 Atsushi Miyake Yuui Tsutsumi Takanoko-no-yu GR Supra GT 34
2 56 Kiyoto Fujinami Joao Paulo de Oliveira Realize Nissan Automobile Technical College GT-R 27
3 65 Naoya Gamou Togo Suganami LEON PYRAMID AMG 25
4 11 Katsuyuki Hiranaka Hironobu Yasuda GAINER TANAX GT-R 25
5 60 Hiroki Yoshimoto Shunsuke Kohno SYNTIUM LMcorsa RC F GT3 23
6 2 Hiroki Katoh Ryohei Sakaguchi muta Racing Lotus MC 23
11 55 Shinichi Takagi Ren Sato ARTA NSX GT3 15
18 18 Takashi Kobayashi Teppei Natori UPGARAGE NSX GT3 3

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