Round 7

ARTA NSX-GT Makes It Two Straight Wins

jp Mobility Resort Motegi

Round 7 of the 2021 SUPER GT Series was held at Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, over the November 6 - 7 weekend.

ARTA NSX-GT Makes It Two Straight Wins

Five NSX-GTs and three NSX GT3s ran in the GT500 and GT300 classes respectively. In this round with halved success ballasts, STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Naoki Yamamoto / Tadasuke Makino) carried 35kg, Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Ukyo Sasahara / Toshiki Oyu) 13kg, Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Koudai Tsukakoshi / Bertrand Baguette) 44kg, and Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Takuya Izawa / Hiroki Otsu) 5kg. In STANLEY NSX-GT’s case where the success ballast exceeded 50kg despite the halving, the fuel flow restrictor was eased by one rank, effective reducing ballast weight to 43kg.

The sun was shining as Qualifying began on Saturday. In the Q1 session, STANLEY NSX-GT #1 and Modulo NSX-GT #64 were knocked out, but for the three NSX-GTs that proceeded to Q2, ARTA NSX-GT #8 was third-fastest, Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 fifth, and Astemo NSX-GT #17 was eighth. Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Baguette) set the second-fastest time during a hot lap, which was not counted due to an off-track infringement, sending the team to the back of the grid. In GT300, UPGARAGE NSX GT3 #18 (Takashi Kobayashi / Teppei Natori) took pole position.

Clear skies continued into the next day, as the formation lap commenced at 1 pm. Once the race started, ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Fukuzumi) overtook the #24 car, moving up from third on the grid, but was soon overtaken by the #12 car, sending him back the third.

ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Fukuzumi) defended his spot despite two Full Course Yellows (FCYs), and after 23 laps pitted for fuel and a driver / tires change. At the wheel of the ARTA NSX-GT #8 car, Nojiri caught and overtook the #19 car as it returned to the track from the pits, moving the NSX-GT up to second on track.

The gap between Nojiri and the #12 car was 3 seconds on Lap 30, which he began to gradually close from around 10 laps later, and by Lap 50 was within a second of the race leader. Nojiri had difficulty getting any closer, however, due to Twin Ring Motegi being a hard track to pass on, and GT300 traffic to contend with, going into the final lap in second place with the gap holding at just under a second.

The #12 car suddenly lost pace, running out of fuel, coming out of Turn 2. ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nojiri) took the lead without incident, and went on the win the race, giving the team two straight victories. Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Tsukakoshi / Baguette) was fourth and Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Sasahara / Oyu) fifth, both within the points. Although STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Yamamoto / Makino) failed to gain championship points, the team held on to its overall lead (Yamamoto 60pts / Makino 57pts), while Nojiri / Fukuzumi moved up to second overall with 55 points each. Tsukakoshi / Baguette are third with 52 points each. NSX-GTs dominate the top four championship spots going into the final round.

Masahiro Saiki
Masahiro Saiki
HRC SGT Large Project Leader
The deciding factor in the second half of the 40-lap race was tire conservation and fuel economy. I’m glad that not only did the #8 car win, but #17 could also contended the traffic well. Three NSX-GTs lead the series going into the final round, but we’re not taking anything for granted, as it’s difficult to score even a single point in SUPER GT. We’ll go over the data for this race and prepare for the final round. We’d like to thank everyone for their support.

Tomoki Nojiri
Tomoki Nojiri 8
The #12 car’s pit stop was short, so I guessed they didn’t have much fuel and had some efficiency issues, giving me a chance to catch up if I pushed hard. Going into Turn 1 on the final lap, the #12 car looked like they were completely off the gas pedal, or were out of fuel, and didn’t accelerate out of Turn 2. I knew this was our race, and got ahead. I was told that we didn’t have fuel efficiency issues, but I nonetheless took care until the checkered flag. We’re going into the final round in contention to win the championship, but I’ll race it as if it is any other race. Winning the championship will be a bonus.

Nirei Fukuzumi
Nirei Fukuzumi 8
We didn’t perform well here at Twin Ring Motegi in Round 4, but our car’s setup based on the last round was much better, and the team worked solidly. I had a bit of a scare at the start when I was overtaken by the #12 car, and made a few mistakes, but I managed to close the gap by the time I pitted, and the rest was up to Nojiri. Today’s win was possible because of the support from everyone around us, for which I’m grateful. We didn’t even dream of winning the championship throughout the season, but with two straight wins, we now have a chance. There’s a lot we can still do, so I’ll work even closer with Nojiri and the team to prepare for the final round. 

GT500 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Laps Time/Gap
1 8 ARTA NSX-GT Tomoki Nojiri
Nirei Fukuzumi
63 1:50'50.741
2 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra Yuji Kunimoto
Ritomo Miyata
63 +18.807
3 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R Kazuki Hiramine
Nobuharu Matsushita
63 +19.905
4 17 Astemo NSX-GT Koudai Tsukakoshi
Bertrand Baguette
63 +25.939
5 16 Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT Ukyo Sasahara
Toshiki Oyu
63 +35.998
6 14 ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra Kazuya Oshima
Kenta Yamashita
63 +36.883
12 1 STANLEY NSX-GT Naoki Yamamoto
Tadasuke Makino
63 +53.336
13 64 Modulo NSX-GT Takuya Izawa
Hiroki Otsu
63 +1'21.482

GT300 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Laps Time/Gap
1 21 Hitotsuyama Audi R8 LMS Shintaro Kawabata
Takuro Shinohara
59 1:51'52.316
2 55 ARTA NSX GT3 Shinichi Takagi
Ren Sato
59 +1.850
3 56 Realize Nissan Automobile Technical College GT-R Kiyoto Fujinami
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
59 +13.059
4 88 JLOC LAMBORGHINI GT3 Takashi Kogure
Yuya Motojima
59 +13.540
5 25 HOPPY Porsche Takamitsu Matsui
Kimiya Sato
59 +23.390
6 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT Takuto Iguchi
Hideki Yamauchi
59 +24.422
12 34 Yogibo NSX GT3 Ryo Michigami
Shogo Mitsuyama
58 +1Lap
RT 18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3 Takashi Kobayashi
Teppei Natori
5 +54Laps

GT500 Standing

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 1 Naoki Yamamoto STANLEY NSX-GT 60
2 1 Tadasuke Makino STANLEY NSX-GT 57
3 8 Tomoki Nojiri
Nirei Fukuzumi
4 17 Koudai Tsukakoshi
Bertrand Baguette
Astemo NSX-GT 52
5 36 Yuhi Sekiguchi
Sho Tsuboi
au TOM'S GR Supra 44
6 12 Kazuki Hiramine
Nobuharu Matsushita
16 16 Ukyo Sasahara
Toshiki Oyu
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
2 56 Kiyoto Fujinami
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
Realize Nissan Automobile Technical College GT-R 49
3 55 Shinichi Takagi
Ren Sato
4 244 Atsushi Miyake
Yuui Tsutsumi
Takanoko-no-yu GR Supra GT 40
5 11 Katsuyuki Hiranaka
Hironobu Yasuda
6 88 Takashi Kogure
Yuya Motojima
23 34 Ryo Michigami
Shogo Mitsuyama
Yogibo NSX GT3 5
25 18 Takashi Kobayashi
Teppei Natori

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