Round 8

ARTA NSX-GT, STANLEY NSX-GT Finish 2021 Second and Third

jp Fuji Speedway

Round 8 of the 2021 SUPER GT Series was held at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka, over the November 6 - 7 weekend.

ARTA NSX-GT, STANLEY NSX-GT Finish 2021 Second and Third

Five NSX-GTs and three NSX GT3s ran in the GT500 and GT300 classes respectively. In this final round of the season, all success ballasts were reset to zero, allowing teams to compete purely on their cars’ performance.

In the GT500 class, NSX-GTs dominated the championship with one race to go. STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Naoki Yamamoto) led the overall points. Teammate Tadasuke Makino was second (as he had missed a round earlier in the season), ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Tomoki Nojiri / Nirei Fukuzumi) were third, and Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Koudai Tsukakoshi / Bertrand Baguette) were fourth. Fuji Speedway’s long straights was not the best venue for a showdown, as the NSX-GTs were more suited to navigating tight turns. 

Although the sun was shining, the cold front brought chilly weather, with low air and track temperatures. In Qualifying on Saturday, STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Yamamoto / Makino) and ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nojiri / Fukuzumi) performed well qualifying second and sixth respectively, but Astemo NSX-GT #17 (Tsukakoshi / Baguette), Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 (Ukyo Sasahara / Toshiki Oyu) and Modulo NSX-GT #64 (Takuya Izawa / Hiroki Otsu) were tenth, 12th and 15th on the starting grid. 

The last race of the season started at 1:00 pm on Sunday. Points-leader STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Makino), unable to keep up with his competitors with faster straight-line speed, dropped down to fourth by the first turn. They could still win the championship in their current position. Makino held his ground, pitting at the earliest allowed time on Lap 22 to give the car to his teammate.

 STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Yamamoto) was one place behind on track, but by Lap 33 when all cars had pitted, he was back up to fourth, lapping consistently to win the season. With 15 laps left, at Turn 1 on Lap 51, Yamamoto was hit by a GT300 car on the inside, damaging his right front, forcing a pit stop. 

ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Fukuzumi) was struggling with pace since the race started, but managed to move up one position to fifth by the time he pitted. There were problems in the pits, however, costing the team ten second, sending the #8 car down to tenth. ARTA NSX-GT #8 (Nojiri) charged hard, overtaking one car after another, and finished sixth, the best performing NSX-GT. The team’s points were not quite enough to catch the #36 car that won the final round and the championship. ARTA NSX-GT #8 finished the season second overall.

 After repairing the car, STANLEY NSX-GT #1 (Yamamoto) was back on the track but out of contention, finishing the race seven-laps down in 14th. The team could not defend its championship title, finishing the season third.

Masahiro Saiki
Masahiro Saiki
HRC SGT Large Project Leader
Thank you for this year. The #1 car was heading steadily towards winning the championship, but was involved in an unavoidable incident, which is disappointing. The #8 car’s pace wasn’t bad, but they had an unfortunate issue in the pits. Although we didn’t win the championship which was within our reach, but there are positives. The NSX-GTs had no serious problems all season, and they were on the Fuji Speedway front row despite no success ballasts. The NSX-GTs will come back stronger next season. 

Tomoki Nojiri
Tomoki Nojiri 8
Qualifying was disappointing because I was aiming for pole position. On the other hand, I wasn’t on pole for the previous two races either, so as long as we raced well, we could still win. In fact, we had a good chance today, but we lost a lot of positions in the pits. I tried everything to move through the field after I got back on track, but the tires faded and I had to slow down. I believe that overcoming tough spots is how real champions are made, so I’ll be trying even harder next season. I know I can overcome these issues. Thank you for your support this season. 

Nirei Fukuzumi
Nirei Fukuzumi 8
From free practice, I felt we had small issues that had to be fixed. The same problems persisted in Qualifying, and in Q2, which I drove, my times weren’t as good as I expected, and we ended up sixth on the grid. Anything can happen at Fuji, though, so I spent time on Saturday night with the engineers considering how to set the car up for a long stint. We managed to solve some of the problems, but some remained. I managed to move up one spot on the first stint, but couldn’t do more by the time I handed the car to Nojiri. We had problems in the pits, but Nojiri clawed back and finished sixth, giving us second overall. We nearly won, but the competition was fierce, so I’ll work hard to come back stronger next season. 

GT500 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Laps Time/Gap
1 36 au TOM'S GR Supra Yuhi Sekiguchi
Sho Tsuboi
66 1:48'02.596
2 37 KeePer TOM'S GR Supra Ryo Hirakawa
Sacha Fenestraz
66 +4.689
3 14 ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra Kazuya Oshima
Kenta Yamashita
66 +7.203
4 39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra Heikki Kovalainen
Yuichi Nakayama
66 +23.596
5 38 ZENT CERUMO GR Supra Yuji Tachikawa
Hiroaki Ishiura
66 +25.012
6 8 ARTA NSX-GT Tomoki Nojiri
Nirei Fukuzumi
66 +27.146
10 16 Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT Ukyo Sasahara
Toshiki Oyu
66 +1'29.891
12 64 Modulo NSX-GT Takuya Izawa
Hiroki Otsu
65 +1Lap
14 1 STANLEY NSX-GT Naoki Yamamoto
Tadasuke Makino
59 +7Laps
RT 17 Astemo NSX-GT Koudai Tsukakoshi
Bertrand Baguette
4 +62Laps

GT300 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Laps Time/Gap
1 60 SYNTIUM LMcorsa GR Supra GT Hiroki Yoshimoto
Shunsuke Kohno
61 1:48'17.889
2 65 LEON PYRAMID AMG Naoya Gamou
Togo Suganami
61 +14.705
3 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT Takuto Iguchi
Hideki Yamauchi
61 +18.585
Tatsuya Kataoka
61 +19.642
5 56 Realize Nissan Automobile Technical College GT-R Kiyoto Fujinami
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
61 +20.546
6 25 HOPPY Porsche Takamitsu Matsui
Kimiya Sato
61 +28.160
11 34 Yogibo NSX GT3 Ryo Michigami
Shogo Mitsuyama
61 +1'18.049
24 55 ARTA NSX GT3 Shinichi Takagi
Ren Sato
46 +15Laps
RT 18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3 Takashi Kobayashi
Teppei Natori
25 +36Laps

GT500 Standing

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 36 Yuhi Sekiguchi
Sho Tsuboi
au TOM'S GR Supra 64
2 8 Tomoki Nojiri
Nirei Fukuzumi
3 1 Naoki Yamamoto STANLEY NSX-GT 60
4 1 Tadasuke Makino STANLEY NSX-GT 57
5 14 Kazuya Oshima
Kenta Yamashita
6 17 Koudai Tsukakoshi
Bertrand Baguette
Astemo NSX-GT 52
16 16 Ukyo Sasahara
Toshiki Oyu
18 64 Takuya Izawa
Hiroki Otsu
Modulo NSX-GT 5
19 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 55
3 60 Hiroki Yoshimoto
Shunsuke Kohno
SYNTIUM LMcorsa GR Supra GT 49
4 55 Shinichi Takagi
Ren Sato
5 244 Atsushi Miyake
Yuui Tsutsumi
Takanoko-no-yu GR Supra GT 44
6 65 Naoya Gamou
Togo Suganami
23 34 Ryo Michigami
Shogo Mitsuyama
Yogibo NSX GT3 5
25 18 Takashi Kobayashi
Teppei Natori

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