Fuji round of confusion, ARTA NSX-GT wins after taking the chequered flag in third place
May 3 (Tue)-4 (Wed) — The 2nd round of the 2022 Super-GT series was held at Fuji Speedway (Shizuoka Pref.), and five NSX-GT 2022 models and two NSX-GT3 cars participated in the GT500 and GT300 class respectively.
The race distance of this event is to be 450km that is much longer than any other event in the series and thus has two mandatory refueling stops, which means a different race management and tactic are required.
Tuesday morning (May 3) saw some puddles on the track surface that were left from the heavy rain on the day before, but the rising sun soon vaporized them all, and qualifying sessions took place under the dry condition.
In the Q1 session, Nirei Fukuzumi (#8 ARTA NSX-GT), Ukyo Sasahara (#16 Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT), Nobuharu Matsushita (#17 Astemo NSX-GT), Hiroki Ohtsu (#64 Modulo NSX-GT), Tadasuke Makino (#100 STANLEY NSX-GT) took up the first stint. As the result, Fukuzumi (#8 NSX-GT — 3rd fastest) and Makino (#100 NSX-GT — 6th fastest) got through to the Q2 session where Tomonori Nojiri brought #8 NSX-GT to 5th grid (the highest among the NSX-GT runners) and so did Naoki Yamamoto #100 NSX-GT to 7th grid. The #8 and #100 NSX-GT car carry 2kg and 30kg “Success-weight” respectively each of them incurred from the previous result.
Fine weather at Fuji Speedway on the race day seems to be secured all day from the morning till afternoon, and at 2:30 p.m., green lights for the formation lap was given to start the race. The #8 NSX-GT (Fukuzumi) lost a place in the opening lap and was followed by #100 consort car (Yamamoto), and now the long afternoon battle was set to unfold.
The initial stages of the race was led by 3-car train with #37 GR Supra at the top, then #36 GR Supra and #3 Z. 3-seconds behind the leading trio, #100 (Yamamoto) passed #8 (Fukuzumi) and the NSX-GT duo begun chasing the front runners.
On 27th lap, #100 NSX-GT (Yamamoto) came in to the pit for fresh tires and refueling, and Makino took over the steering. #8 NSX-GT (Fukuzumi), on the other hand, did ten more laps and made its first stop on 37th lap, and Nojiri, replacing driver, rejoined the track just in front of #100 NSX-GT (Makino).
On 43rd lap, an accident induced a FCY (Full Course Yellow) which was soon upgraded to SC (Safety Car), and then on 49th lap, the red-flag was waved to suspend the race. At this point, #8 NSX-GT (Nojiri) and #100 NSX-GT (Makino) sat on 5th and 7th place respectively.
Soon after the race was restarted on 53rd lap, two GR Supras (#36 and #37) fighting for the top got tangled at Turn-1, which made #36 car overshoot the track and #8 NSX-GT (Nojiri) climb up to 4th. While Nojiri was catching up the leading 3-car pack pushing hard each other, on 58th lap, at the main straight, #3 Z running 2nd by Mitsunori Takaboshi sereved and crushed extremely hard onto the guardrail. #8 NSX-GT at the hand of Nojiri narrowly evaded obstacles, however, the race was red-flagged yet again. #8 NSX-GT was now on 3rd place at this point.
The guardrail heavily damaged by the crush was repaired somehow, and the race was restarted at 18:10 p.m. with the safety car preceding the motorcade only to cease action due to the sunset time limit set at 18:20 p.m. The checkered flag was solemnly waved, and #8 NSX-GT (Nojiri) crossed the finish line at 3rd and so did #100 NSX-GT (Makino) at 7th.
A couple of surprise twists awaited thereafter: the top two finishers, #39 GR Supra and #37 GR Supra, were both imposed 40-second penalty for the misconduct of each own, which brought #8 NSX-GT to the winner’s slot and #100 NSX-GT up to 5th place. The 9th place of #17 NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi) and 10th of #16 NSX-GT (Oyu) were the other Honda point scorers, albeit half points due on the provision of the “less than 75% race distance” rule.
GT500 Race Result
|1||8||ARTA NSX-GT||Tomoki Nojiri
|2||36||au TOM'S GR Supra||Sho Tsuboi
|3||12||CALSONIC IMPUL Z||Kazuki Hiramine
|4||23||MOTUL AUTECH Z||Tsugio Matsuda
|5||100||STANLEY NSX-GT||Naoki Yamamoto
|6||19||WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra||Yuji Kunimoto
|9||17||Astemo NSX-GT||Koudai Tsukakoshi
|10||16||Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT||Ukyo Sasahara
|11||64||Modulo NSX-GT||Takuya Izawa
GT300 Race Result
|1||10||TANAX GAINER GT-R||Ryuichiro Tomita
|2||34||BUSOU raffinee GT-R||Masataka Yanagida
|3||61||SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT||Takuto Iguchi
|4||11||GAINER TANAX GT-R||Hironobu Yasuda
|5||88||Weibo Primez LAMBORGHINI GT3||Takashi Kogure
|6||96||K-tunes RC F GT3||Morio Nitta
|13||18||UPGARAGE NSX GT3||Takashi Kobayashi
|-||55||ARTA NSX GT3||Hideki Mutoh
|ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra||23|
|MOTUL AUTECH Z||15|
|au TOM'S GR Supra||12.5|
|CALSONIC IMPUL Z||9.5|
|Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT||0.5|
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
|REALIZE NISSAN MECHANIC CHALLENGE GT-R||22|
|TANAX GAINER GT-R||15|
|UPGARAGE NSX GT3||15|
|LEON PYRAMID AMG||11|
|SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT||9.5|
|PACIFIC hololive NAC Ferrari||8|