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.
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.
GT500 Race Result
|1||36||au TOM'S GR Supra||Sho Tsuboi
|2||23||MOTUL AUTECH Z||Tsugio Matsuda
|3||17||Astemo NSX-GT||Koudai Tsukakoshi
|4||1||MARELLI IMPUL Z||Kazuki Hiramine
|5||8||ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT||Tomoki Nojiri
|6||14||ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra||Kazuya Oshima
|10||100||STANLEY NSX-GT||Tadasuke Makino
|12||16||ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT||Nirei Fukuzumi
|64||Modulo NSX-GT||Takuya Izawa
GT300 Race Result
|1||88||JLOC Lamborghini GT3||Takashi Kogure
|2||65||LEON PYRAMID AMG||Naoya Gamou
|3||6||DOBOT Audi R8 LMS||Yoshiaki Katayama
Roberto Merhi Muntan
|4||31||apr LC500h GT||Kazuto Kotaka
|5||96||K-tunes RC F GT3||Morio Nitta
|6||56||REALIZE NISSAN MECHANIC CHALLENGE GT-R||Joao Paulo de Oliveira
|8||18||UPGARAGE NSX GT3||Takashi Kobayashi
|27||Yogibo NSX GT3||Yugo Iwasawa
|au TOM'S GR Supra||89|
|Niterra MOTUL Z||63|
|MOTUL AUTECH Z||56|
|ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT||53|
|MARELLI IMPUL Z||46|
|ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT||38|
|10||100||Tadasuke Makino||STANLEY NSX-GT||34|
|11||100||Naoki Yamamoto||STANLEY NSX-GT||31|
|17||100||Iori Kimura||STANLEY NSX-GT||3|
|SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT||74|
|muta Racing GR86 GT||53|
|3||56||Joao Paulo de Oliveira
|REALIZE NISSAN MECHANIC CHALLENGE GT-R||50|
|LEON PYRAMID AMG||44|
|UPGARAGE NSX GT3||43|
|6||7||Seiji Ara||Studie BMW M4||43|
|Yogibo NSX GT3||10|