Round 5

ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT(#16) and UPGARAGE NSX GT3 Win the GT500 and GT300 Races, Respectively

jp Suzuka Circuit

August 26 (Sat) - 27 (Sun) ― The fifth round of the 2023 SUPER GT series was held at Suzuka Circuit (Mie Pref.) and five NSX-GT cars of the 2023 spec and two NSX-GT3 cars participated in each of the GT500 and GT300 class.

ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT(#16) and UPGARAGE NSX GT3 Win the GT500 and GT300 Races, Respectively

The race is to 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.

Tadasuke Makino (#100 STANLEY NSX-GT), in the wake of the accident he was involved in the previous race, was still under medical observation being prescribed a week’s rest despite that there was nothing wrong with his physical condition. For that reason, he refrained from any kind of participation on Saturday including official qualifying sessions. An irregular arrangement was introduced for this special case as to have only his team mate, Naoki Yamamoto, take his part in the Q1 session.

Qualifying sessions held under the clear sky began with the predominance of the NSX-GT force. All five NSX-GT cars went into Q2 where #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Nirei Fukuzumi/Hiroki Otsu) captured pole position, #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Koudai Tsukakoshi/Nobuharu Matsushita) and #64 Modulo NSX-GT (Takuya Izawa/Kakunoshin Ohta) 3rd and 4th, then #8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Toshiki Oyu) and #100 STANEY NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) 7th and 8th. #100 STANLEY NSX-GT in Q2 was recorded as “No Time” due to the omission of Makino’s participation.

On the following day, the 27th (Sun), the race was started under the cloudless sky. #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Otsu) looked a little tardy in launching from the pole position and was pushed hard by #23 MOTUL AUTECH Z from behind, however, after Lap-2 when tires came to temperature, it began running away from the pursuers. On Lap-11, just before Full Course Yellow (FCY) was demanded, #16 car made its early stop for refueling.

In the mean time, #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Matsushita) opted for a late stop and thus climbed up to the leading position, but this was not a commendable strategy. After its first stop on Lap-27, #17 car dropped down to 8th on a lap later.

#16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Otsu) resuming the top position made its second stop on Lap-44 for a fresh set of tires and refueling, and was handed over to Fukuzumi who kept on running away steadily towards the checkered flag to win the 77-lap race. It was NSX-GT’s first victory at Suzuka since the third round of the 2018 Super GT series, and also the first GT-500 class win in this season.

The scrutineering conducted after the race revealed some technical violations on the 2nd finishing car which was consequently eliminated from the result. Therefore, the finishing order of #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) was elevated to 4th, on down, #100 STANLEY NSX-GT (Yamamoto/Makino) to 7th and #64 Modulo NSX-GT (Izawa/Ohta) to 8th. A total of four out of five NSX-GTs scored corresponding points at each. Fukuzumi/Otsu team, the best among the NSX-GT entrants, is now placed 3rd in the over all drivers ranking.

As for the GT-300 class, #18 UPGARAGE NSX-GT (Takashi Kobayashi/Shun Koide) achieved the season’s second victory after winning R-1 this year.

The next race, R-6, will be held at Sportsland Sugo (Miyagi Pref.) on September 16 (Sat) and 17 (Sun).

Masahiro Saiki
Masahiro Saiki
HRC SGT Large Project Leader
There continued seberal races at Suzuka that had almost come our way but actually not in the end. Today, we could finally break such a jinx, and achieved the season’s first win. So, I feel some relief right now, honestly. I also have the feeling that the performance has just gotta be making suitable results.
As we had all cars make way to Q2 yesterday, it’s quite logical for us to aim at winning the race as well as making all cars score points. For that purpose, our strategy naturally focused on how we, as a team, could keep the top-ranked rivals from scoring points.
#8 car sadly ended up zero point, however, I think we could attain the desired end. We’d like to further raise our game towards the latter half of the season so that we can give more pressure to our rivals. We appreciate continuous supports from our fans. Thank you.

Nirei Fukuzumi
Nirei Fukuzumi 16
We’ve got a fantastic car for this round thanks to the team and everyone working in it. We’re the quickest yesterday in the qualifying sessions. So, we could start the race at the forefront, and that brought us this victory as big as it gets. Fantastic drive from Otsu-san, plus flawless teamworks, enabled me to keep my head perfectly cool for we had already built 15-sec. gap when it came my turn to drive.
I’d like to say, “Maiden win! Congratulations!” to Otsu-san. For me, it’s been long time since, so, I’m very happy too. This win, just at the returning point of the series, brought up our point ranking, but I think our performance has always been at the deserved level.
We’ll have more success weight from the next round, and yet, we have a very good chance to win the title, and we’ll go for it, for sure.

Hiroki Otsu
Hiroki Otsu 16
I’ve been participating in this series since 2018, in GT300 class at first, and had never won till today. I changed the team this year, and could finally win to my utmost gratitude.
Today, we started with the tires of a harder compound, and anticipated at the start that, “It’ll take time to put heat in the rubber.” I could hung on for the opening lap, and then, tires got wormed on Lap-2, I could pull away the gap from #23 car running 2nd.
My pit-in timing was just right upon FCY period, however, there’s a little shortage in refueling, so I had to do the fuel driving. As I still had a plenty of margin, concentrated on maintaining the position, it’s like eking out savings, and then, handed the car over to Fukuzumi-san. I think I’d done what I ought to do.

Takashi Kobayashi
Takashi Kobayashi 18
Car was good in the qualifying sessions, but we couldn’t go to Q2 because of some mechanical trouble. The 16th grid ain’t what we wanted, so, I was a little down last night. The team did a terrific job over the night and remedied the car for the race.
As far as the race tactics concerned, the pit-in timing was almost perfect with the FCY period, and the team did impeccable job all the way through to the end. I’m so grateful for them all. I think I was full of confidence and ready to drive at pace even before I started the race. On Lap-20 or so, I noticed something strange with the tires. That’s why I decided to come in earlier and switched to Koide. He did excellent drive, taking care of the tires for the rest of the race, and brought the best possible result for us.

Syun Koide
Syun Koide 18
It’s tough, if I put it one word. I didn’t do the qualifying run yesterday due to the machine trouble, which made us start the race from far back end. But, without any logical reason, I was thinking that we’d repeat something similar what we did in the season opener.
Kobayashi-san did the first stint pretty fine; his pace was good and made a lot of progress in the race order too before he came in. I knew my stint would be a long one, so I took very good care for tires. The timing of my pit-stop was more than perfect. I mean, I was headed for the pit lane when the safety car was deployed. I found myself running at the top when I returned the race, and all I had to do was to save the tires and receive the checkered flag. I’m very glad and relieved that I could do that.

GT500 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Time
1 16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT Nirei Fukuzumi
Hiroki Otsu
2 39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra Yuhi Sekiguchi
Yuichi Nakayama
3 14 ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra Kazuya Oshima
Kenta Yamashita
4 17 Astemo NSX-GT Koudai Tsukakoshi
Nobuharu Matsushita
5 1 MARELLI IMPUL Z Kazuki Hiramine
Bertrand Baguette
6 38 ZENT CERUMO GR Supra Yuji Tachikawa
Hiroaki Ishiura
7 100 STANLEY NSX-GT Naoki Yamamoto
Tadasuke Makino
8 64 Modulo NSX-GT Takuya Izawa
Kakunoshin Ohta
14 8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT Tomoki Nojiri
Toshiki Oyu

GT300 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Time/Gap
1 18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3 Takashi Kobayashi
Syun Koide
2 87 Bamboo Airways Lamborghini GT3 Kosuke Matsuura
Natsu Sakaguchi
3 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT Takuto Iguchi
Hideki Yamauchi
4 88 JLOC Lamborghini GT3 Takashi Kogure
Yuya Motojima
Tatsuya Kataoka
6 31 apr LC500h GT Koki Saga
Kazuto Kotaka
Yuki Nemoto
9 27 Yogibo NSX GT3 Yugo Iwasawa
Reimei Ito

GT500 Standing

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 3 Katsumasa Chiyo
Mitsunori Takaboshi
Niterra MOTUL Z 49
2 36 Sho Tsuboi
Ritomo Miyata
au TOM'S GR Supra 45
3 16 Nirei Fukuzumi
Hiroki Otsu
4 14 Kazuya Oshima
Kenta Yamashita
5 100 Naoki Yamamoto
Tadasuke Makino
6 17 Koudai Tsukakoshi
Nobuharu Matsushita
Astemo NSX-GT 29
11 64 Takuya Izawa
Kakunoshin Ohta
Modulo NSX-GT 19
13 8 Tomoki Nojiri
Toshiki Oyu

GT300 Standing








Takashi Kobayashi
Shun Koide





Seiji Ara

Studie BMW M4




Joao Paulo de Oliveira
Teppei Natori





Masataka Yanagida

Studie BMW M4




Yuui Tsutsumi
Hibiki Taira

muta Racing GR86 GT









Yugo Iwasawa
Reimei Ito

Yogibo NSX GT3


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