August 5 (Sat) - 6 (Sun) — The fourth round of the 2023 SUPER GT series was held at Fuji Speedway (Shizuoka Pref.) and five NSX-GT cars of the 2023 spec and two NSX-GT3 cars participated in each of the GT500 and GT300 class.
While a record-breaking heat wave was staying in the region, this round at Fuji run on a 450km long-distance format that is one-and-a-half times longer than the standard 300km. For that reason, at least two refueling stops are mandated in the race.
As for #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Toshiki Oyu), Iori Kimura was appointed as the third driver to fill in any stint if Oyu previously incurring minor injury on his training felt unwell during the race.
The race week at Fuji Speedway saw an extremely harsh condition for both ambient and road surface temperature endlessly hiked up from Friday, the sending-in day for the event, and on Saturday, the sky stayed clear as ever under which qualifying sessions were to take place.
Q1 session started at 3：53 p.m. when the gleaming sun begun to slant, and in the 10-minutes trial, #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Nirei Fukuzumi/Hiroki Otsu) reproduced the top form that has been conspicuous since the morning free practice sessions, and eventually marked the fastest time in the session. Further more, all five NSX-GT cars made way to Q2 session scoring top-8 clocks.
The results of Q2 session： #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Fukuzumi/Otsu) captured 2nd grid, did on down, #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Nojiri/Oyu/Kimura) 3rd, #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Koudai Tsukakoshi/Nobuharu Matsushita) 5th, #100 STANLEY NSX-GT (Naoki Yamamoto/Tadasuke Makino) 6th and #64 Modulo NSX-GT (Takuya Izawa/Kakunoshin Ohta) 8th gird.
Next day, Sunday, dawned blight and cloudless yet again, however, the forecast in the afternoon suggested a sudden change in the weather for the worse, and it became clear for everyone that the race is going to be a very difficult one. As was anticipated, the rain begun to fall just before the race start which made all cars shod with rain tires and departed behind the safety car in a heavy spray of water.
Both #16 and #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GTs left from 2nd and 3rd grid each got sluggish in the early part, losing their positions one after another. In the meantime, the road surface was quickly drying as the rain eased off, and as from Lap-10, most of the teams opted for dry tires that brought the field order into a complete mess. After the Lap-17 point, when all the GT500 cars changed to dry tires, #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT was running at the top despite the stagnation in the early laps.
In the race presented a sort of chaotic state because of the weather for a start, then of a number of incidents/accidents followed, including a fire broke out on a GT300 car that induced safety car, the entire NSX-GT brigade committed to the solid pace-making with the fuel consumption in mind.
After the halfway point when the leading car run on Lap-66, yet another fire broke out on a GT300 car, and it was much bigger and longer one for this time that led to the red flag. As the rain started falling again during the fire-extinguishing operation, all cars lined up on the grid were allowed to switch rain tires prior to the restart they await for rather impatiently.
At 4：30 p.m., when the race was restarted, #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT soon begun assaulting on the cars in front and overtook it one by one.
As some of the top runners were in need for fuel stop, #16 car made its placing up to 2nd on Lap-83, and a little further back in the field, #100 STANLEY NSX-GT and #64 Modulo NSX-GT also increased its pace and followed #16 car, thus the NSX-GT trio kept on going in the same 3-car formation and finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th, albeit tentatively.
After the race, so-called “faulty conduct of tire change while refueling” was confirmed on #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT and #100 STANLEY NSX-GT and a 40-sec time penalty was imposed to both cars. Therefore, the official results were settled as to raise #64 Astemo NSX-GT to 2nd place, and #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT was relegated 3rd.
GT500 Race Result
|1||3||Niterra MOTUL Z||Katsumasa Chiyo
|2||64||Modulo NSX-GT||Takuya Izawa
|3||16||ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT||Nirei Fukuzumi
|4||36||au TOM'S GR Supra||Sho Tsuboi
|5||38||ZENT CERUMO GR Supra||Yuji Tachikawa
|6||100||STANLEY NSX-GT||Naoki Yamamoto
|7||17||Astemo NSX-GT||Koudai Tsukakoshi
|14||8||ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT||Tomoki Nojiri
GT300 Race Result
|1||11||GAINER TANAX GT-R||Ryuichiro Tomita
|2||7||Studie BMW M4||Seiji Ara
|3||6||DOBOT Audi R8 LMS||Yoshiaki Katayama
Roberto Merhi Muntan
|4||56||REALIZE NISSAN MECHANIC CHALLENGE GT-R||Joao Paulo de Oliveira
|5||31||apr LC500h GT||Koki Saga
|6||61||SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT||Takuto Iguchi
|17||18||UPGARAGE NSX GT3||Takashi Kobayashi
|20||27||Yogibo NSX GT3||Yugo Iwasawa