Japanese GT Championship – Motegi, September 5
For the fifth round of the Japanese GT Championship at Motegi, Honda brought new parts for all the GT500 Honda teams – following success at the Suzuka 1000km race. This circuit suits the NSX anyway – Motegi is a “stop-and-go” type circuit.

The biggest problem for the teams (and spectators) at Motegi was the weather. It was not settled at all, and the race was a wet one.

The first qualifying session started at 10:00 on Saturday. It started raining when teams started their engines, and although they all ran the session with dry tyres, it was announced as wet – so they could use rain tyres if they wanted. The first 20 minutes is only for GT500 cars. The teams running the more powerful cars were afraid that it would start raining hard, so all cars tried to record their fastest time as soon as possible. The fastest was the #1 NISMO Z driven by Satoshi Motoyama, with a 1’47.188, followed by the #38 Cerumo Supra. The Dunlop-shod #35 Kraft Supra followed them – Dunlop tyres are highly suitable for Motegi and Dunlop won the Motegi JGTC race two years ago, on the McLaren GTR.

The following 20 minutes is for GT300 cars. The #80 and #81 Daishin Zs cooperated with each other using their slip streams to be the fastest. With five minutes to go, both the #80 and #81 Daishin Zs used a second set of new tyres, and the effort brought them a provisional 1-2 with 1’53.147 and 1’53.720. With three minutes to go for the GT300s, #9 Mosler stopped at the “First Under Bridge”, smoking, so the session was stopped to collect the car. With only three minutes left, the GT300 cars could not go faster – and the GT500s came out to share the circuit for the last 20 minutes.

The mixed-session was the driest period in this one hour session. The traffic disturbed teams’ efforts to go faster, but they had to go faster on the better surface. The #37 Supra of James Courtney went second-fastest but the #12 Impul Z and #25 Tsuchiya Supra renewed their attack again. Finally, the #25 Tsuchiya Supra of German Dominik Schwager succeeded right at the end and took the provisional pole position with a 1’46.947.

First Qualifying
GT500

1 #25 Eclipse Advan Supra Manabu Orido / Dominik Schwager 1’46.927 (+40kg)
2 #12 Calsonic Impul Z Benoit Treluyer / Yuji Ide 1’47.058 (+40kg)
3 #1 Xanavi NISMO Z Satoshi Motoyama / Richard Lyons 1’47.188 (+40kg)
4 #37 Dynacity TOM’S Supra James Courtney / Tatsuya Kataoka 1’47.292 (+40kg)
5 #38 au Cerumo Supra Yuji Tachikawa / Seiji Ara ’47.366 (+40kg)
6 #32 Epson NSX Tsugio Matsuda / Andre Lotterer 1’47.372
7 #35 Yellow Hat YMS Supra Naoki Hattori / Shigekazu Wakisaka 1’47.417 (+20kg)
8 #6 Esso Ultraflo Supra Juichi Wakisaka / Akira Iida 1’47.466 (+40kg)
9 #100 Raybrig NSX Shinji Nakano / Hiroki Katoh 1’47.598
10 #36 Woodone TOM’S Supra Takeshi Tsuchiya / Marco Apicella 1’47.666 (+20kg)

GT300
1 #81 C-West Daishin Advan Z Masataka Yanagida / Naofumi Omoto 1’53.147 (+20kg)
2 #80 Endless Daishin Advan Z Mitsuhito Kinoshita / Kazuki Hoshino 1’53.720 (+30kg)
3 #52 Project µ Taiyo Sekiyu Celica Hironori Takeuci / Seigo Nishizawa 1’54.434
4 #43 ARTA Garaiya Morio Nitta / Shinichi Takagi 1’54.512 (+35kg)
5 #16 M-TEC NSX Tetsuya Yamamo / Hiroyuki Yagi 1’54.943 (+80kg)
6 #10 JIM Gainer Advan F350 Tetsuya Tanaka / Atsushi Yogo 1’54.978 (+20kg)
7 #19 WedsSport Celica Takayuki Aoki / Nobuteru Taniguchi 1’55.076 (+25kg)
8 #11 JIM RodeoDrive Advan F360 Hideshi Matsuda / Ichijo Suga 1’55.365 (+30kg)
9 #17 Espelir Kosei Celica Masaoki Nagashima / Masahiro Matsunaga 1’55.643
10 #7 Amamiya AsparaDrink RX7 Shinichi Yamaji / Hiroyuki Iiri 1’55.903 (+40kg)

Thick clouds covered the whole sky for the afternoon session, but all the teams mounted slicks again.

Only the #7 RX7 and #30 MR-S went faster among the GT300s, and as the rain fell more heavily, so #81 Z still sat on pole position for Sunday’s race.

The final 20 minutes was for the GT500 cars. The session was again affected by changeable weather. With 10 minutes to go, the #18 NSX was the first car to go faster, as the rain eased off. Finally #35 Supra driver Naoki Hattori took the pole, as the next two on the grid also beat Schwager’s morning time. Andre Lotterrer would start from eighth in the Nakajina-run Honda.

Qualifying Result
GT500

1 #35 Yellow Hat YMS Supra Naoki Hattori / Shigekazu Wakisaka 1’46.698 (+20kg)
2 #1 Xanavi NISMO Z Satoshi Motoyama / Richard Lyons 1’46.708 (+40kg)
3 #6 Esso Ultraflo Supra Juichi Wakisaka / Akira Iida 1’46.814 (+40kg)
4 #25 Eclipse ADVAN Supra Manabu Orido / Dominik Schwager 1’46.927 (+20kg)
5 #38 au Cerumo Supra Yuji Tachikawa / Seiji Ara 1’47.049 (+40kg)
6 #12 Calsonic IMPUL Z Benoit Treluyer / Yuji Ide 1’47.048 (+40kg)
7 #36 Woodone TOM’S Supra Takeshi Tsuchiya / Marco Apicella 1’47.096 (+20kg)
8 #32 Epron NSX Tsugio Matsuda / Andre Lotterer 1’47.111
9 #18 Takata Dome NSX Ryo Michigami / Sebastien Philippe 1’47.276
10 #37 Dynacity TOM’S Supra James Courtney / Tatsuya Kataoka 1’47.292 (+40kg)
11 #100 Raybrig NSX Shinji Nakano / Hiroki Katoh 1’47.292
12 #39 Denso SARD Supra GT Jeremie Dufour / Andre Couto 1’47.626 (+50kg)
13 #22 Motul Pitwork Z Masami Kageyama / Michael Krumm 1’47.691 (+100kg)
14 #8 ARTA NSX Katsutomo Kaneishi / Daisuke Ito 1’47.840
15 #21 Ferrari 550GTS Maranello Hidetoshi Mitsusada / Tadao Uematsu 1’48.082
16 #3 G’ZOX SSR Hasemi Z Toshihiro Kaneishi / Erik Comas 1’48.712 (+60kg)
17 #88 JLOC Murcie RG-1 Koji Yamanishi / WADA-Q 1’52.996

GT300
1 #81 C-West Daishin ADVAN Z Masataka Yanagida / Naofumi Omoto 1’53.147 (+20kg)
2 #80 Endless Daishin ADVAN Z Mitsuhiro Kinoshita / Kazuki Hoshino 1’53.720 (+30kg)
3 #52 Project µ Taiyo Sekiyu Celica Hironori Takeuchi / Seigo Nishizawa 1’54.434
4 #43 ARTA Garaiya Morio Nitta / Shinichi Takagi 1’54.512 (+35kg)
5 #16 M-TEC NSX Tetsuya Yamano / Hiroyuki Yagi 1’54.943 (+80kg)
6 #10 JIM Gainer ADVAN F360 Tetsuya Tanaka / Atsushi Yogo 1’55.076 (+20kg)
7 #19 WedsSports Celica Takayuki Aoki / Nobuteru Taniguchi 1’55.076 (+25kg)
8 #11 JIM RodeoDrive ADVAN F360 Hideshi Matsuda / Ichijo Suga 1’55.365 (+30kg)
9 #17 Espelir Kosei Celica Masaoki Nagashima / Masahiro Matsunaga 1’55.643
10 #7 Amamiya Aspara Drink RX7 Shinichi Yamaji / Hiroyuki Iiri 1’55.672 (+40kg)
11 #30 Reckless MR-S Kohta Sasaki / Satoru Goro 1’55.880 (+10kg)
12 #5 Projectµ B-1 Mach Go Tetsuji Tamanaka / Go Mifune 1’55.916
13 #26 Endless Taisan ADVAN GT3R Yutaka Yamagishi / Kaoru Ijiri 1’56.018
14 #63 Leyjun Dunlop 320R OSAMU / Hiroki Yoshimoto 1’56.321 (+60kg)
15 #77 Cusco Subaru ADVAN Impreza Katsuo Kobayashi / Tatsuya Tanigawa 1’56.416
16 #112 Arktech ADVAN GT3 Guts Jonai / Keita Sawa 1’56.491
17 #9 ADVAN K-Stadium MT Go Shimizu / Shinya Hosokawa 1’56.537
18 #31 A’PEX I-mobisess MR-S Minoru Tanaka / Koji Matsuda 1’56.730 (+10kg)
19 #72 ADVAN BORO Porsche Akira Hirakawa / Hideo Fukuyama 1’56.804
20 #2 Privee Zurich Kumho NSX Kazuho Takahashi / Akira Watanabe 1’57.108
21 #51 NSC Auto-Staff ADVAN Silvia Masanobu Kato / Katsuhiko Tsutsui 1’57.212
22 #20 FK/Massimo ADVAN Porsche Hiroshi Wada / Takashi Inoue 1’57.417
23 #910 Takamizawa Seikotsuin ADVAN Porsche Kazuyoshi Takamizawa / Jukuchi Sunako 1’57.613

DNQ
#111 Arktech Endless ADVAN GT-4 Hiroya Iijima / Takayuki Ohi 2’00.419
#70 Feels Gaikokuya ADVAN Porsche Yoshimi Ishibashi / Hiromi 2’02.055

Free practice on Sunday morning was held on a fully wet surface – and many cars left the tarmac, but typically without damage. An exception was the #38 au Supra driven by Yuji Tachikawa. He crashed at the fourth corner and damage was severe – the car lost its bonnet and right door.

After the au car’s crash and an ‘intermission’, the rain almost stopped and many cars went quicker. The #1 Z recorded the fastest at the end of the session with 1’58.857. The pole-sitter, the #35 Supra, showed good performance in the wet, too. Some NSXs, such as #32 and #18, showed the potential for good performances in the race.

In GT300, the Tokachi-winner, the #43 Garaiya, recorded the fastest time, complete with 35kg of ballast.

Free Practice
GT500

1 #1 Xanavi NISMO Z Satoshi Motoyama / Richard Lyons 1’58.857
2 #11 Calsonic IMPUL Z Benoit Treluyer / Yuji Ide 1’59.315
3 #35 Yellow Hat YMS Supra Naoki Hattori / Shigekazu Wakisaka 1’59.637
4 #39 Denso SARD Supra GT Jeremie Dufour / Andre Couto 2’00.002
5 #32 Epson NSX Tsugio Matsuda / Andre Lotterer 2’00.190
6 #37 Dynacity TOM’S Supra James Courtney / Tatsuya Kataoka 2’00.263
7 #8 ARTA NSX Katsutomo Kaneishi / Daisuke Ito 2’00.599
8 #6 Esso Ultraflo Supra Juichi Wakisaka / Akira Iida 2’00.833
9 #22 Motul Pitwork Z Masami Kageyama / Michael Krumm 2’01.187
10 #18 Takata Dome NSX Ryo Michigami / Sebastien Philippe 2’01.234

GT300
1 #43 ARTA Garaiya Morio Nitta / Shinichi Takagi 2’07.556
2 #80 Endless Daishin ADVAN Z Mitsuhiro Kinoshita / Kazuki Hoshino 2’07.572
3 #16 M-TEC NSX Tetsuya Yamano / Hiroyuki Yagi 2’07.897
4 #52 Project µ Taiyo Sekiyu Celica Hironori Takeuchi / Seigo Nishizawa 2’10.103
5 #112 Arktech ADVAN GT3 Guts Jonai / Keita Sawa 2’10.221
6 #11 JIM RodeoDrive ADVAN F360 Hideshi Matsuda / Ichijo Suga 2’11.006
7 #19 WedsSport Celica Takayuki Aoki / Nobuteru Taniguchi 2’11.137
8 #30 Reckless MR-S Kota Sasaki / Satoru Goto 2’11.292
9 #7 Amamiya Aspara Drink RX7 Shinichi Yamaji / Hiroyuki Iiri 2’11.555
10 #17 Espelir Kosei Celica Masaoki Nagashima / Masahiro Matsunaga 2’11.596

The rain temporarily stopped for the start of the race, but light rain did fall during the two hours. Almost all teams chose lightly-grooved tyres for the changeable weather. The heavily-crashed #38 Supra was fixed for the race, while the #38 and #9 Mosler started from pit lane, and the #88 Murcielago that stalled on the formation lap had to start from the tail.

No one crashed at the first corner, but #32 NSX driver Andre Lotterer, starting from eighth, was very quickly up to fifth. The pole positioned #35 Supra driven by Shigekazu Wakisaka, the younger brother of Juichi, soon opened up a gap of more than five seconds over the second-position #1 Z of Satoshi Motoyama, but Wakisaka went off course at the first corner on lap 9, and slipped to fourth. A lap later, Wakisaka tried to regain a position and attacked the #6 Supra of Akira Iida, but the #37 Supra of James Courtney nudged him, and he spun again. The #39 Supra driven by Andre Couto raced well from twelfth place but he hit the #100 NSX of Hiroki Kato at the 90-degree corner and suffered a drive-through penalty and dropped back to 13th.

The #32 NSX of Lotterer and the #37 Supra of Courtney then put on a great show - #32 NSX overtook #1 (Motoyama) at the 90-degree corner and the #37 Supra soon followed #32 at the first corner. The #1 Z, #36 Supra driven by Takeshi Tsuchiya and #12 Z by Benoit Treluyer fought hard for the third place. The wet surface helped to generate an exciting battle.

On lap 25, the #35 Supra pitted for slick tyres and a change to Naoki Hattori, but he suffered a cut alternator belt.

The other teams soon began to pit to change tyres and drivers, but only the #100 NSX stayed on the track because they expected more rain – but it didn’t happen. At lap 37, Hiroki Kato finally handed this car to Shinji Nakano, with slick tyres fitted.

After the mandatory pit-stop, the #37 Supra of Tatsuya Kataoka led the race, followed by the #32 NSX of Tsugio Matsuda, the #6 Supra driven by Juichi Wakisaka and #1 Z by Richard Lyons. The #1 Z lost a place but Lyons set about regaining it.

The #32 NSX of Tsugio Matsuda took over the lead from the #37 Supra on lap 48 (of 63), when the #37 was delayed by lapped traffic. #37 tried to catch #32, but was then passed by the #6 Esso Supra and the #1 Nissan of Richard Lyons.

#6 Supra driver Juichi Wakisaka tigered after the #32 NSX but the 63 laps was not enough to allow him to close enough to try and pass – so the Honda of Andre Lotterer and Tsugio Matsuda won, with the top three covered by less than three seconds.

In the GT300 class, the pole-sitter and second placed Daishin Zs made a mistake on their tyre choice, but the Dunlop-shod #52 Celica of ex-JGTC overall champion Hironori Takeuchi shone. The Kumho-shod #2 NSX was also going extremely well, up from 20th place in the class to take the lead. But #2 had a poor pitstop and also spun, sinking back down the order again. But the Tokachi winner, the #43 Garaiya, again did very well. Fortunately for #43, other cars had mechanical troubles or spins, and they secured their second consecutive victory for the car and the team and series sponsor Autobacs. The #16 NSX took second and #10 Ferrari 360 third.
Tomoko Kobayashi

Race Result
1 #32 GT500-1 Epson NSX Tsugio Matsuda / Andre Lotterer 2:04’26.984 63 laps
2 #6 GT500-2 Esso Ultraflo Supra Juichi Wakisaka / Akira Iida +1.069 (+40kg)
3 #1 GT500-3 Xanavi NISMO Z Satoshi Motoyama / Richard Lyons +2.514 (+40kg)
4 #37 GT500-4 Dynacity TOM’S Supra James Courtney / Tatsuya Kataoka +14.957 (+40kg)
5 #36 GT500-5 Woodone TOM’S Supra Takeshi Tsuchiya / Marco Apicella +41.410 (+20kg)
6 #39 GT500-6 Denso SARD Supra GT Jeremie Dufour / Andre Couto +59.879 (+50kg)
7 #3 GT500-7 G’ZOX SSR Hasemi Z Toshihiro Kaneishi / Erik Comas +1’16.058 (+60kg)
8 #22 GT500-8 Motul Pitwork Z Masami Kageyama / Michael Krumm +1’18.782 (+100kg)
9 #100 GT500-9 Raybrig NSX Shinji Nakano / Hiroki Katoh +1’46.056
10 #38 GT500-10 au Cerumo Supra Yuji Tachikawa / Seiji Ara +1’46.713 (+40kg)
11 #8 GT500-11 ARTA NSX Katsutomo Kaneishi / Daisuke Ito -1lap
12 #25 GT400-12 Eclipse ADVAN Supra Manabu Orido / Dominik Schwager -1lap (+20kg)
13 #35 GT500-13 Yellow Hat YMS Supra Naoki Hattori / Shigekazu Wakisaka -2laps (+20kg)
14 #43 GT300-1 ARTA Garaiya Morio Nitta / Shinichi Takagi 2:05’21.952 59 laps (+35kg)
15 #16 GT300-2 M-TEC NSX Tetsuya Yamano / Hiroyuki Yagi +24.052 (+80kg)
16 #10 GT300-3 JIM Gainer ADVAN F360 Tetsuya Tanaka / Atsushi Yogo +1’01.787 (+20kg)
17 #81 GT300-4 C-West Daishin ADVAN Z Masataka Yanagida / Naofumi Omoto +1lap (+20kg)
18 #5 GT300-5 Projectµ B-1 Mach Go GT 320R Tetsuji Tamanaka / Go Mifune -1lap
19 #30 GT300-6 Reckless MR-S Kohta Sasaki / Satoru Gotoh -1lap (+10kg)
20 #9 GT300-7 ADVAN K-Stadium MT Go Shimizu / Shinya Hosokawa -1lap
21 #52 GT300-8 Projectµ Taiyo Sekiyu Celica Hironori Takeuchi / Seigo Nishizawa -1lap
22 #112 GT300-9 Arktech ADVAN GT3 Guts Jonai / Keita Sawa -1lap
23 #51 GT300-10 NSC Auto-Staff ADVAN Silvia Masanobu Kato / Katsuhiko Tsutsui -2laps
24 #21 GT500-14 Ferrari 550GTS Maranello Hideotoshi Mitsusada / Tadao Uematsu -6 laps
25 GT300-11 Cusco Subaru Impreza Katsuo Kobayashi / Tatsuya Tanigawa -2laps
26 #910 GT300-12 Takamizawa Seikotsuin ADVAN Porsche Kazuyoshi Takamizawa / Jukucho Sunako -2laps
27 #19 GT300-13 WedsSport Celica Takayuki Aoki / Nobuteru Taniguchi -3 laps (+25kg)
28 #2 GT300-14 Privee Zurich Kumho NSX Kazuho Takahashi / Akira Watanabe -3 laps
29 #20 GT300-15 FK/Massimo ADVAN Porsche Hitoshi Wada / Takashi Inoue -4laps
30 #17 GT300-16 Espelir Kosei Celica Masaoki Nagashima / Masahiro Matsunaga -4laps
31 #80 GT300-17 Endless Daishin ADVAN Z Mitsuhiro Kinoshita / Kazuki Hoshino –7laps (+30kg)
32 #70 GT300-18 Feels Gaikokuya ADVAN Porsche Yoshimi Ishibashi / Hiromi –9laps
33 #18 GT500-15 TAKATA Dome NSX Ryo Michigami / Sebastien Philippe –14 laps
34 #63 GT300-19 Leyjun Dunlop 320R OSAMU / Hiroki Yoshimoto –14 laps (+60kg)
35 #11 GT300-20 JIM RodeoDrive ADVAN F360 Hideshi Matsuda / Ichijo Suga –18 laps(+30kg)

DNF:
#72 GT300 ADVAN BORO Porsche Akira Hirakawa / Hideo Fukuyama –21laps
#12 GT500 Carsonic Impul Z Benoit Treluyer / Yuji Ide –28laps (+40kg)
#7 GT300 Amamiya Aspara Drink RX7 Shinichi Yamaji / Hiroyuki Iiri (+40kg)
#26 GT300 Endless Taisan ADVAN GT3R Yutaka Yamagishi / Kaoru Ijiri –35laps
#111 GT300 Arktech Endless ADVAN GT-4 Hiroya Iijima / Takayuki Oi –51laps
#88 JLOC Murcie RG-1 Koji Yamanishi / WADA-Q –63 laps
#31 GT300 A’PEX i-mobisess MR-S Minoru Tanaka / Koji Matsuda –59 laps (+10kg)

Fastest lap:
GT500 #35 Naoki Hattori 1’48.537
GT300 #80 Mitsuhiro Kinoshita 1’57.148

Championship Points
GT500

1 #6 Juichi Wakisaka / Akira Iida 48pts
2 #1 Satoshi Motoyama / Richard Lyons 47pts
3 #39 Jeremie Dufour / Andre Couto 43pts
4 #3 Toshihiro Kaneishi / Erik Comas 38pts
5 #22 Masami Kageyama / Michael Krumm 37pts
6 #32 Tsugio Matsuda / Andre Lotterer 36pts
7 #38 Yuji Tachikawa / Seiji Ara 34pts
7 #35 Naoki Hattori / Shigekazu Wakisaka 34pts
7 #37 James Courtney / Tatsuya Kataoka 34pts
10 #36 Takeshi Tsuchiya / Marco Apicella 24pts

GT300
1 #16 Tetsuya Yamano / Hiroyuki Yagi 68pts
2 #43 Morio Nitta / Shinichi Takagi 61pts
3 #10 Tetsuya Tanaka / Atsushi Yogo 49pts
4 #19 Takayuki Aoki / Nobuteru Taniguchi 35pts
5 #7 Shinichi Yamaji / Hiroyuki Iiri 32pts
6 #81 Masataka Yanagida / Naofumi Omoto 29pts
7 #5 Tetsuji Tamanaka / Go Mifune 24pts
8 #11 Hideshi Matsuda / Ichijo Suga 21pts
9 #30 Kohta Sasaki / Satoru Gotoh 16pts
9 #63 OSAMU / Hiroki Yoshimoto 16pts

 

Contents Copyright © dailysportscar.com. All Rights Reserved.