JGTC – Round 2 – Sugo Sportsland

Now here’s a real race track: Sugo, owner by Yamaha, and a favourite test facility for Toyota, is rather like a mini Spa. Located up in the pine forested mountains, it seems to have Spa-like weather, as well as Spa-like altitude changes.

But race day at Sugo was never really wet. Rain looked likely from the start, but vortices from the rear wings were as close as it came to precipitation, until well into the 81 lap race, which was finally won by the #38 Supra driven by Yuji Tachikawa and Seiji Ara. Toyota also won the GT300 class. Ara will head to Le Mans (and the Goh Audi) with an impressive win under his belt.

After debut success in R1, it all went wrong for Nissan – for the Richard Lyons TI Aida winner as early as the parade lap. His Fairlady Z stopped, and never moved again. His partner Motoyama had an inoperative transmission. A brand new Murcielago R-GT and a Prodrive Ferrari 550 didn't get that far: the Lamborghini was withdrawn because it had insufficient spares, while the Ferrari crashed in practice on Friday.

Orido in the #25 Advan Supra led from the start, pulling comfortably clear of the #6 Supra of Iida. The best placed Nissan was third, the Kageyama / Krumm entry, the Japanese at the wheel. He was very busy fending off more Supras, Ara in the first of them – the au Cerumo car. Jeremy Dufour and Tsuchiya were scrapping over fifth - and Supras filled five of the top six places.

Orido was in trouble with his soft tyres, Iida slipping past on lap 16 in the Esso Supra. Ara was also on the move, passing Motoyama’s Nissan to make it a Supra 1-2-3. It would finish thus, but which cars would occupy the top places? The Esso car looked to be the quickest, but Iida and Wakisaka managed to get the strategy all wrong later on….Ara passed the slowing Orido on lap 28, and on the next lap, Dufour and Tsuchiya came together, both spun, and the only Nissan that had looked likely to get a decent result bumped into Dufour’s broadside Toyota. Dufour and Motoyama both suffered damage and the resultant delays in the pits. Only the Nissan would stumble on a little further.

But another Nissan did take advantage of the on-track antics to move into fourth, then third (another to pass Orido) – this the Team Impul car of Ide. However, after its first stop it incurred a penalty for crossing the white line at pit exit, and played no further part in the race for the serious positions.

It was still very damp, but it still wasn’t raining – as the cars headed to the pits for the first routine stop. #6 and #38 became #38 (Tachikawa) and #6 (Wakisaka) as they left the pits, still on slicks.

dailysportscar.comWakisaka was very entertaining, hounding Tachikawa and passing him for the lead on lap 54. Almost immediately the blue Esso car damaged a wheel passing a GT300 car and pitted.

Tachikawa looked set to take the win, but the rain finally fell on lap 60: it wasn’t conclusively wet though. The first two – Schwager was second, in the #25 Advan Toyota – stayed out on slicks… and stayed out and stayed out. Finally Tachikawa pitted, but unless he had a serious advantage over Schwager, the winner would be the only man on slicks. Meanwhile the Esso car had fitted wets, then came in again for slicks!

Tachikawa did have a serious advantage – eight seconds a lap. He gobbled up the gap, Schwager in real trouble getting the power down. The lead changed for the last time with three laps to go, but the German hung on to second place, over 30 seconds behind, but well clear of a charging James Courtney in another Supra.

Matsuda eventually put a Honda into fourth place on lap 79, ahead of another Supra and Erik Comas’ Nissan. Comas' partner - Kaneishi - is another man heading to Le Mans soon.

The first half of the GT300 class race was largely between the #8 NSX (Yamano) and #63 (Zytek-powered) Vemac (Yoshimoto). Yoshimoto passed the NSX on lap 18, but was retaken on lap 33. But when Yagi took over the Honda, he suffered a couple of spins, the Vemac also dropping away – leaving the win to Toyota (again) – the #19 car (Aoki and Taniguchi), with the #17 Celica moving up to make it a 1-2. Matsuda finished third for Ferrari, in #11.

1 38 500-1 au CERUMO SUPRA Y.Tachikawa S.Ara 1:56'36.465 81 1'20.277 BS 10
2 25 500-2 ECLIPSE ADVAN SUPRA M.Orido D.Schwager 0'35.738 81 1'20.251 YH
3 37 500-3 DYNACITY TOM'S SUPRA J.Courtney T.Kataoka 0'55.607 81 1'20.859 BS
4 32 500-4 EPSON NSX T.Matsuda A.Lotterer 1Lap 80 1'21.271 BS
5 35 500-5 Yellow Hat YMS Supra N.Hattori S.Wakisaka 1Lap 80 1'21.472 DL 10
6 3 500-6 G'ZOX SSR HASEMI Z T.Kaneishi E.Comas 1Lap 80 1'21.380 BS
7 36 500-7 WOODONE TOM'S SUPRA T.Tsuchiya M.Apicella 1Lap 80 1'20.693 BS
8 100 500-8 RAYBRIG NSX S.Nakano H.Kato 2Laps 79 1'21.300 BS
9 8 500-9 ARTA NSX K.Kaneishi D.Ito 2Laps 79 1'21.591 BS
10 12 500-10 CALSONIC IMPUL Z B.Treluyer Y.Ide 3Laps 78 1'20.683 BS 10
11 6 500-11 ESSO Ultraflo Supra J.Wakisaka A.Iida 3Laps 78 1'20.639 BS 30
12 19 300-1 WedsSport CELICA T.Aoki N.Taniguchi 4Laps 77 1'26.235 YH 15
13 17 300-2 ESPELIR Kosei CELLICA M.Nagashima M.Matsunaga 5Laps 76 1'27.478 YH
14 11 300-3 JIM RodeoDrive ADVAN F360 H.Matsuda I.Suga 5Laps 76 1'25.992 YH
15 7 300-4 AMEMIYA ASPARADRINK RX7 S.Yamaji H.Iiri 5Laps 76 1'26.274 YH
16 43 300-5 ARTA Garaiya M.Nitta S.Takagi 5Laps 76 1'26.376 BF 20
17 63 300-6 LEYJUN DUNLOP 320R OSAMU H.Yoshimoto 5Laps 76 1'25.762 DL 20
18 16 300-7 M-TEC NSX T.Yamano H.Yagi 6Laps 75 1'25.901 DL 30
19 10 300-8 JIM GAINER ADVAN F360 T.Tanaka A.Yogo 6Laps 75 1'26.296 YH 30
20 26 300-9 Endless TAISAN ADVAN GT3R K.Ijiri Y.Yamagishi 6Laps 75 1'28.095 YH
21 31 300-10 A'PEX i-mobisess MR-S M.Tanaka K.Matsuda 6Laps 75 1'26.121 BF
22 80 300-11 ENDLESS DAISHIN ADVAN Z M.Kinoshita K.Hoshino 6Laps 75 1'26.620 YH
23 77 300-12 CUSCO SUBARU ADVAN IMPREZA K.Kobayashi T.Tanigawa 7Laps 74 1'27.360 YH
24 30 300-13 RECKLESS MR-S K.Sasaki S.Goto 7Laps 74 1'26.863 BF 10
25 81 300-14 C-WEST DAISHIN ADVAN Z M.Yanagida N.Omoto 7Laps 74 1'27.493 YH
26 112 300-15 ARKTECH ADVAN GT3 K.Sawa A.Tsutsumi 7Laps 74 1'29.220 YH
27 5 300-16 Project µ B-1 Mach-Go GT320R T.Tamanaka G.Mifune 8Laps 73 1'28.180 YH
28 20 300-17 FK/Massimo ADVAN PORSCHE T.Inoue Y.Miyakawa 8Laps 73 1'27.874 YH
29 9 300-18 ADVAN K-STADIUM MT G.Shimizu S.Hosokawa 8Laps 73 1'29.005 YH
30 51 300-19 NSC AUTO-STAFF ADVAN SILVIA M.Kato K.Tsutsui 8Laps 73 1'29.200 YH
31 52 300-20 Project µ TaiyoSekiyu CELICA H.Takeuchi S.Nishizawa 8Laps 73 1'27.718 DL
32 72 300-21 ADVAN BORO PORSCHE A.Hirakawa G.Jyonai 9Laps 72 1'28.180 YH
33 18 500-12 TAKATA DOME NSX R.Michigami S.Philippe 11Laps 70 1'21.543 BS
34 111 300-22 ARKTECH ENDLESS ADVAN GT4 H.IijimaT.Ohi 12Laps 69 1'29.866 YH
35 70 300-23 Fields Gaikokuya ADVAN Porsche Y.IshibashiHiromi 15Laps 66 1'30.057 YH
36 910 300-24 Takamizawa-Seikotsuin ADVAN Porsche K.Takamizawa S.Jukucho 21Laps 60 1'28.812 YH
37 39 500 DENSO SARD SUPRA GT J.Dufour A.Couto 31Laps 50 1'20.844 BS 30
38 2 300 Privée Zurich KUMHO NSX K.Takahashi A.Watanabe 39Laps 42 1'27.449 KH
39 22 500 MOTUL PITWORK Z M.Kageyama M.Krumm 51Laps 30 1'20.609 BS 20
40 1 500 Xanavi NISMO Z S.Motoyama R.Lyons DNS 0 - BS 60

This site - www.jgtcusa.net - reveals all regarding JGTC plans to visit the USA. As TWK would say (has said), "just what we need, another series".


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