Race
SUPER GT 2021
Round 6

ARTA NSX-GT First Win of the Season by Wide Margin

jp AUTOPOLIS

Round 6 of the 2021 SUPER GT Series was held at the Autopolis International Racing Course in Oita, over the October 23 - 24 weekend. Five NSX-GTs and three NSX GT3s ran in the GT500 and GT300 classes respectively.

ARTA NSX-GT First Win of the Season by Wide Margin

As last year’s Kyushu round was canceled due to the coronavirus, this was the first time for the Class-1 FR-layout NSX-GTs to race under the new regulations at Autopolis.

Qualifying on Saturday proceeded under clear skies. Free practice in the morning was red-flagged several times, pushing the start of Qualifying to 1:55 pm. Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Toshiki Oyu), Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Hiroki Otsu), ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nirei Fukuzumi) and Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Koudai Tsukakoshi) proceeded from Q1 to Q2, with Oyu and Otsu setting lap records along the way. Top-ranked STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Naoki Yamamoto), carrying the heaviest success ballast of 100 kg, found the elevation changes of the track problematic, and unable to proceed to Q2, qualified P13.

In Q2, Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Ukyo Sasahara) set the fastest time, taking pole position. Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Takuya Izawa) was third-fastest, ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Tomoki Nojiri) was fourth, and Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Bertrand Baguette) was seventh on the starting grid. This was the first time that the Sasahara / Oyu team had taken pole.

The race started at 1:30 pm under clear skies, although conditions were cooler than the previous day. Although the #14 car, starting from P2, led the start of the race, it would be penalized for changing engines before the race, making Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Oyu) the actual race leader. Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Izawa) and ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Fukuzumi) moved up one place from theirgrid positions to second and third respectively, giving the NSX-GTs the top three in the early stages of the race.

On Lap 5, the #14 car pitted from its race-leading position to serve its engine penalty, handing the top three spots on the track to the NSX-GTs. On Lap 18, however, after a full-course yellow (FCW) and a safety car, race leader Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Oyu) lost its right rear tire, and was out of the race. Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Izawa) was handed the lead, with ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Fukuzumi) now up to second place.

Oyu’s incident prompted the safety car once again onto the track, one-third of the race complete by this stage. As the race restarted on Lap 24, cars began to enter the pits for new drivers. Once Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Otsu) left the pits on Lap 29, ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nojiri) who had pitted three laps earlier was right behind. On colder tires, the #64 NSX-GT not only relinquished the lead, but was sent back a few more places to fourth.

Once the tires had heated up, Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Otsu) regained pace, and by Lap 32 had taken back two spots, and was challenging race leader ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nojiri). The two cars increased their gap to the rest of the field as the battled for the win, but on Lap 40, Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Otsu) had lost pace due to tire wear, and moved further down the field.

ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nojiri) on the other hand maintained a comfortable lead to win the 65-lap race. This was the first time since 2007 (ARTA NSX (Daisuke Ito / Ralph Firman)) that Honda had won at Autopolis. STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Naoki Yamamoto / Tadasuke Makino) finished sixth from P13, and Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Tsukakoshi / Baguette) eighth, both scoring championship points. Yamamoto kept his lead and Makino second place in the drivers’ championship, as they head into Round 7 Twin Ring Motegi where success ballasts will be halved.


Masahiro Saiki
Masahiro Saiki
Honda R&D Co., Ltd. Honda GT Project Leader
For a long time, Honda could be on pole, but had not won at Autopolis, so we really wanted to win this year. We finally managed to win in front of our Kyushu fans. The #8 car’s win is important for the championship, but so is the championship-leading #1 car’s sixth place due to an excellent pit strategy. As top speed is vital at Fuji Speedway for the last round and we don’t have an advantage there, we’ll aim to score as many points as we can in the next round at Twin Ring Motegi where the success ballast is half, making it easier for us to win the championship in the final round.

Tomoki Nojiri
Tomoki Nojiri 8
ARTA
We had difficulties getting results so far, but I think we managed to win today because after the previous race, we held countless meetings and worked hard to become a better team. We performed well in the race, but had problems before that, so the drivers will also play a more integral part in raising the car’s potential alongside the engineers. When I saw Otsu closing in, I knew he would take any opportunity he had, so I made sure he couldn’t take the inside line, although my driving may have seemed a bit rough. The car wasn’t set up for a sprint, so I had to maintain a consistent pace.

Nirei Fukuzumi
Nirei Fukuzumi 8
ARTA
There were many times this season where we could have won, but we couldn’t due to mistakes I made, which was depressing and disheartening. I wasn’t too confident for this race either, but I was helped along by Nojiri, who became the SUPER FORMULA champion last weekend. I’m still not happy with my performance, and there are areas of the car that can be improved, so I’ll be more involved in preparing for the next race. Honda has done a lost of research and work on the finer details of this year’s NSX-GT, so I think that’s an advantage for us. I’m grateful for everyone’s support.

GT500 Race Result

Pos.

Num.

Machine

Driver

Laps

Time/Gap

1

8

ARTA NSX-GT

Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi

65

2:04'50.793

2

38

ZENT CERUMO GR Supra

Yuji Tachikawa/Hiroaki Ishiura

65

+28.548

3

23

MOTUL AUTECH GT-R

Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli

65

+33.469

4

3

CRAFTSPORTS MOTUL GT-R

Kohei Hirate/Katsumasa Chiyo

65

+40.700

5

39

DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra

Heikki Kovalainen/Yuichi Nakayama

65

+43.636

6

1

STANLEY NSX-GT

Naoki Yamamoto/Tadasuke Makino

65

+44.080

8

17

Astemo NSX-GT

Koudai Tsukakoshi/Bertrand Baguette

65

+54.458

12

64

Modulo NSX-GT

Takuya Izawa/Hiroki Otsu

65

+1'21.749

RT

16

Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT

Ukyo Sasahara/Toshiki Oyu

17

+48Laps


GT300 Race Result

Pos.

Num.

Machine

Driver

Laps

Time/Gap

1

31

TOYOTA GR SPORT PRIUS PHV apr GT

Saga Koki/Yuki Nakayama

61

2:04'54.908

2

96

K-tunes RC F GT3

Morio Nitta/Sena Sakaguchi

61

+10.946

3

61

SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT

Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi

61

+16.980

4

52

SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT TOYOTA GR Supra

Hiroki Yoshida/Kohta Kawaai

61

+17.279

5

11

GAINER TANAX GT-R

Katsuyuki Hiranaka/Hironobu Yasuda

61

+18.256

6

4

GOODSMILE HATSUNE MIKU AMG

Nobuteru Taniguchi/Tatsuya Kataoka

61

+35.805

16

18

UPGARAGE NSX GT3

Takashi Kobayashi/Teppei Natori

60

+1Lap

20

55

ARTA NSX GT3

Shinichi Takagi/Ren Sato

60

+1Lap

22

34

Yogibo NSX GT3

Ryo Michigami/Shogo Mitsuyama

60

+1Lap


GT500 Standing

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 1 Naoki Yamamoto STANLEY NSX-GT 60
2 1 Tadasuke Makino STANLEY NSX-GT 57
3 17 Koudai Tsukakoshi/Bertrand Baguette Astemo NSX-GT 44
4 36 Yuhi Sekiguchi/Sho Tsuboi au TOM'S GR Supra 41
5 23 Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli MOTUL AUTECH GT-R 37
6 3 Kohei Hirate/Katsumasa Chiyo CRAFTSPORTS MOTUL GT-R 36
8 8 Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi ARTA NSX-GT 35
16 16 Ukyo Sasahara/Toshiki Oyu Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT 13
17 64 Takuya Izawa/Hiroki Otsu Modulo NSX-GT 5
18 1 Hideki Mutoh STANLEY NSX-GT 3

GT300 Standing

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 61 Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT 50
2 56 Kiyoto Fujinami Joao Paulo de Oliveira Realize Nissan Automobile Technical College GT-R 38
3 244 Atsushi Miyake/Yuui Tsutsumi Takanoko-no-yu GR Supra GT 36
4 11 Katsuyuki Hiranaka/Hironobu Yasuda GAINER TANAX GT-R 32
5 55 Shinichi Takagi/Ren Sato ARTA NSX GT3 30
6 52 Hiroki Yoshida/Kohta Kawaai SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT TOYOTA GR Supra 30
22 34 Ryo Michigami/Shogo Mitsuyama Yogibo NSX GT3 5
25 18 Takashi Kobayashi/Teppei Natori UPGARAGE NSX GT3 3


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