Honda NSX-GTs participated in the GT500 class of the 2021 SUPER GT series showed strong and steady performance throughout the year.
STANLEY NSX-GT #1 driven by Naoki Yamamoto/Tadasuke Makino came to the final round with leading the point table, however, an accident occurred very late in the race frustrated its endeavor for the second consecutive title.
This season, as deservedly dubbed as the recapturing year, the development team in pursuit of “ever stronger NSX” have decided to switch the base car for the 2022 contender to the latest version, namely NSX Type S, the limited production model introduced in August, 2021. NSX Type S is the special facelift version of current NSX featuring redesigned front/rear bumpers and other details, of which overall length is 45mm longer than the previous one. The impressive shape of the front bumper is believed to be much more aero-effective when run in competition scenes.
Developing NSX-GT cars in comply with the GT500 regulations is not necessarily straightforward, because the entire shape of the bodywork had to be rearranged so as to the “Scaling Rule” demands.
In order to equalize the performance of GT500 cars, the Scaling Rule prescribes that the bodywork of the participating cars must resemble the original image and keep its size within the designated dimensions. It means the bodywork design had to be redone all over again as well as refining the shape of bumper and side-lower parts to align with the 45mm extension. With such a comprehensive change in the body shape, however, the downforce-oriented primary concept has firmly retained and yet further efforts were exerted to resolve the pending problem lacking in speed at the long straight.
Components besides the bodywork are basically carried over from the 2021 specifications. As for the engine, the performance-enhanced version introduce in the later half of the 2021 season will be used with its inherent top-end power helped by a higher reliability recently acquired.
The driver line-ups have stayed almost as same as in 2021, except for Astemo NSX-GT #17 that ranked 6th overall with one win by Koudai Tsukakoshi is now joined by Nobuharu Matsushita. Matsushita is Tsukakoshi’s underclassman who had graduated from Honda’s driver training program, aka Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP), stepping up to the FIA-F2 category. The veteran/newcomer combination of Tsukakoshi having both speed and consistency and Matsushita stimulating with the aggressiveness derived from the FIA-F2 battle will sure be a key force of the Honda camp.
STANLEY NSX-GT #100, just one step away from the back-to-back title last year, will be driven by the same Yamamoto/Makino duo. ARTA NSX-GT #8 that had snatched the 2nd place overall with two wins will be entrusted to Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi whereas Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT #16 to Ukyo Sasahara/Toshiki Oyu and Modulo NSX-GT #64 to Takuya Izawa/Hiroki Otsu; all of these four teams repeat the same line-up.
The opening round of the SUPER GT series will take place at Okayama International Circuit yet again this year and the circus goes through a total of eight races at six venues across Japan. One thing differs from the previous season is that Suzuka, the home track of NSX-GT, will host two events in the same year. The NSX-GT engineering team optimizing the engine/chassis development with both the race calendar and the sporting regulations in mind will fight through to the season end. Honda Racing wishes fans will also look forward to its specific goal, say, reclaiming the throne of the SUPER GT kingdom.
2022 SUPER GT Honda GT500 Line-up
TEAM Red Bull MUGEN
Astemo REAL RACING
Modulo Nakajima Racing