Round 8

Astemo NSX-GT finishes NSX-GT's last race on the podium in third place

jp Mobility Resort Motegi

November 4 (Sat) - 5 (Sun) --- The eighth round of the 2023 SUPER GT series was held at Mobility Resort Motegi (Tochigi Pref.) and five NSX-GT cars of the 2023 spec and two NSX-GT3 cars participated in each of the GT500 and GT300 class.

Astemo NSX-GT finishes NSX-GT's last race on the podium in third place

As Honda Racing is planning to switch the base model of the GT500 class entry to CIVIC Type R-GT as from the 2024 season, this will be the very last race for NSX-GT that has long been competing in the series including its predecessor, the Japan GT Championship (JGTC).

Naoki Yamamoto who has been under medical care since his accident in R-6 decided not to drive for this round again by way of precaution, and as same as in the previous race, Iori Kimura was appointed as the substitution along with Tadasuke Makino who was registered as an acting A-driver. The 300km-long race for this round is to have all the success weights so far accumulated on each entrant nullified in accordance with the regulation and all cars will run on its original minimum weight.

On November 4 (Sat) at 2:53 p.m., 10-minute Q1 session took place under the clear sky, in which #100 STANLEY NSX-GT (Tadasuke Makino) marked 1’36"225 the 3rd fastest time overall followed by #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Koudai Tsukakoshi) in 7th.

#16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Hiroki Otsu) still having a slim chance for the title was clocked at 1’36"614 the 8th fastest time until the last minute of the session, however, #64 Modulo NSX-GT (Kakunoshin Ohta) outrun it at 1’36"609 right after the checkered flag was presented. #16 ARTA NSX-GT was therefore kicked out from the top 8 runners eligible to go Q2, and settled in 9th grid to start the race.

In the Q2 session started at 3:31 p.m., #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Nobuharu Matsushita) had once stood at the top with 1’35” range time which was ultimately surpassed by #3 Z and was settled on 2nd grid. #100 STANLEY NSX-GT (Kimura) came in 6th and #64 Modulo NSX-GT (Takuya Izawa) 7th.

The race was started under the sky where rain clouds were spreading. While #17 Astemo NSX-GT held onto 2nd position, #3 Z running at the top began pulling away lap after lap. On Lap-5 or so, light showers started to fall at around Turn-1. As the rain stopped soon after, #17 Astemo NSX-GT came under the assault from #36 GR Supra and surrendered its 2nd position at the V-corner on Lap-23. #17 Astemo NSX-GT then came in for new tires, refueling and driver change at the end of Lap-26, and returned to the track only to allow #23 Z coming in a lap later get ahead, and moved back to the virtual 4th.

#17 Astemo NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi) tried its best to chase #23 Z, but the gap between the two seemingly remained intact while the rest of the laps rather quickly consumed. Then, with ten or so laps to go, the rain started falling yet again and dampened some parts of the tarmac surface which made the race pace reduced considerably. #17 Astemo NSX-GT running in 4th position was shrewd enough to come in for rain tires immediately, returned the race in 6th, and began pushing with the pace way faster than the cars in front still running on dry tires.

The race leader, #3 Z, slipped on a rain puddle at S-curve, off went the course with just five more laps to go, letting #17 Astemo NSX-GT climb up to 4th. Full Course Yellow (FCY) was announced but called off shortly after, and #17 Astemo NSX-GT resumed its pursuit for #1 Z that had previously got ahead during its stop for wet tires, then finally managed to get the 3rd place back in hand.

In the end, #17 Astemo NSX-GT (Tsukakoshi/Matsushita) finished 3rd, ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Toshiki Oyu) 5th, and #100 STANLEY NSX-GT (Tadasuke Makino/Iori Kimura) that had been given a drive-through penalty due to the rear-end crash to another car finished 10th, each within the point-scoring placing.

Despite finishing outside the points in the race (12th), #16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Nirei Fukuzumi/Hiroki Otsu) settled in overall 4th on the point table representing the topflight of the NSX-GT squadron to complete the 2023 season.

Masahiro Saiki
Masahiro Saiki
HRC SGT Large Project Leader
We're supposed to cap NSX-GT’s last run with a victory in this weekend, however, things didn’t go that way much to my regret. #17 car stirred up itself and got the podium finish through solely choosing wet tires among the front finishers, which was at least some comfort for us all. We’ll have to look into the reason why #16 car didn’t come up to the pace in this decisive stage. On this occasion, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to our fans for their long and warm support to NSX-GT. We also thank you in advance for your continuous support to our new challenge with CIVIC Type R-GT starting from next year and on.

Koudai Tsukakoshi
Koudai Tsukakoshi 17
I took over the car from Matsushita who did terrific job in the first half of the race, but was unable to maintain the position due to some strategic discrepancies, and thereafter, I couldn’t match the pace with #23 car running in front. In the closing laps when the rain came down, I was told from the pit that we’re gonna switch to rain tires. Without such a decision, we’d never get on the podium. The instruction made by the entire team fortunately brought about decent result, and I’m very happy to have enjoyed the race while being allowed some strategic challenge. It was a great disappointment for us that we had disqualified at Sportsland SUGO, but I’m glad we could bounce back like this. I really wanted to win, to say the truth, and yet, I’m satisfied in a way that we could at least show some excellencies of NSX to many fans on this final occasion.

Nobuharu Matsushita
Nobuharu Matsushita 17
In the qualifying sessions, we made full use of our performance and done some super laps. As for the race, we knew we’d been out of contention so that we’re able to push as we like and do our best to have fun. When it’s rained later in the second stint, the decision switching to wet tires had made us achieve a good result. If it rained some more at the very end, we even could’ve won. I mean, NSX might well round off its career with a victory. Regrettable, isn’t it?

GT500 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Time/Gap
1 36 au TOM'S GR Supra Sho Tsuboi
Ritomo Miyata
2 23 MOTUL AUTECH Z Tsugio Matsuda
Ronnie Quintarelli
3 17 Astemo NSX-GT Koudai Tsukakoshi
Nobuharu Matsushita
4 1 MARELLI IMPUL Z Kazuki Hiramine
Bertrand Baguette
5 8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT Tomoki Nojiri
Toshiki Oyu
6 14 ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra Kazuya Oshima
Kenta Yamashita
10 100 STANLEY NSX-GT Tadasuke Makino
Iori Kimura
12 16 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT Nirei Fukuzumi
Hiroki Otsu
64 Modulo NSX-GT Takuya Izawa
Kakunoshin Ohta

GT300 Race Result

Pos. Num. Machine Driver Time
1 88 JLOC Lamborghini GT3 Takashi Kogure
Yuya Motojima
2 65 LEON PYRAMID AMG Naoya Gamou
Takuro Shinohara
3 6 DOBOT Audi R8 LMS Yoshiaki Katayama
Roberto Merhi Muntan
4 31 apr LC500h GT Kazuto Kotaka
Yuki Nemoto
5 96 K-tunes RC F GT3 Morio Nitta
Shinichi Takagi
Teppei Natori
8 18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3 Takashi Kobayashi
Syun Koide
  27 Yogibo NSX GT3 Yugo Iwasawa
Reimei Ito

GT500 Ranking

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 36 Sho Tsuboi
Ritomo Miyata
au TOM'S GR Supra 89
2 3 Katsumasa Chiyo
Mitsunori Takaboshi
Niterra MOTUL Z 63
3 23 Tsugio Matsuda
Ronnie Quintarelli
4 16 Nirei Fukuzumi
Hiroki Otsu
5 1 Kazuki Hiramine
Bertrand Baguette
6 17 Koudai Tsukakoshi
Nobuharu Matsushita
Astemo NSX-GT 45
8 8 Tomoki Nojiri
Toshiki Oyu
10 100 Tadasuke Makino STANLEY NSX-GT 34
11 100 Naoki Yamamoto STANLEY NSX-GT 31
14 64 Takuya Izawa
Kakunoshin Ohta
Modulo NSX-GT 19
17 100 Iori Kimura STANLEY NSX-GT 3

GT300 Ranking

Pos. Num. Driver Machine Pts
1 52 Hiroki Yoshida
Kohta Kawaai
2 2 Yuui Tsutsumi
Hibiki Taira
muta Racing GR86 GT 53
3 56 Joao Paulo de Oliveira
Teppei Natori
4 65 Naoya Gamou
Takuro Shinohara
5 18 Takashi Kobayashi
Syun Koide
6 7 Seiji Ara Studie BMW M4 43
20 27 Yugo Iwasawa
Reimei Ito
Yogibo NSX GT3 10

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