Okayama, Day 3 - The Race (Part 2)
© Janos Wimpffen

The No. 18 GC-21 retired when the driveshaft broke under Aso. This means that the P2 championship will go the Myst team’s No.4 and its drivers. The P1 championship will go to the absent RS Serizawa team.

There is drama in GT2 as the long-leading No. 27 Porsche has lost a long time in the garage with a gearbox rebuild. The class lead has passed to the steady but unspectacular and pristine No. 77 Porsche.

The No. 3 GC-21 retired when the driver smelled the wiring and noticed it was aglow. Here are the fast laps thus far, overall and P1, No. 21 Zytek, 1:21.298 (Katoh), in P2 it’s the retired No. 18 GC-21 at 1:29.987 (Yamazaki), in GT1 the Lambo’s 1:30.921 by Yamanishi that is quickest and GT2’s standard was set by Takagi in No. 27 at 1:35.131.

4 Hour standings
1, #16, 161 laps
2, # 4, 152
3, # 88, 151
4, # 9, 146
5, #111, 144
6, #21, 137
7, #65, 135
8, #77, 135
9, #27, 133
10, #20, 133
11, #930, 133
12, #8, 126 [good run by the noisy slow thing]
13, #66, 124
14, #52, 123
15, # 7, 110
16, #5, retired
17, #37, 93
18, #18, retired
19, #15, 83 [still running, but stopping frequently]
20, #3, retired

The No.5 Porsche is out with a broken suspension but now the GT2 class lead of the No. 77 car is in jeopardy. It is in with a broken halfshaft. The completely unheralded and excruciatingly slow 3.8-liter Porsche 964 has moved to the top of the charts. No. 27 is running well now with Takagi resetting the fast lap several times. He is some 11 seconds per lap faster than the 964 but is four laps down with only 10 minutes to go—doubtful indeed. The No. 65 Oscar has retired with a lack of oil pressure and the No. 8 Mazda is out with a blown transmission.

The sun is now below the hills but there is ample light to guide everyone home. The Courage glides to an easy victory. Second is now equally secure, as the big Lamborghini’s extra stop has made the difference. They will end up third and first in GT1. The P2 winning No. 4 GC-21 is in second overall. None of the remaining positions are in doubt. So with an expanded entry for the JLMC series finale we’ve had mostly expanded margins.

We do have some drama at the end - with the GT2 class leading Porsche 964 sputtering and slowing. Indeed, it is the slowest car on the circuit by quite a bit. Takagi has undone one of the lost laps—then another with a valiant flourish. But with five minutes to go, Takagi’s mountain is too high to climb and the Sunburst team takes the last class in doubt.

The Courage passes the line with 10 seconds to go, so we’ll have another lap of this. Takagi even slows at the end so that he won’t have to complete another tour while No. 930 sputters around. Fifteen of the 20 starters finished. Will this series survive?—well we’ll have at least one more year to find out.

Well done Janos Wimpffen – whose next stop is the SEMA Show in Las Vegas (not dsc duties there though). Ed.

Result
1 16 P1 1 Courage-Mugen 243 laps 1:23.729
2 4 P2 1 GC-21 226 1:31.957
3 88 GT1 1 Lamborghini 222 1:30.921

4 21 P1 2 Zytek 220 1:21.298
5 9 GT1 2 Mosler 217 1:35.871
6 111 P1 3 Oscar-Mazda 216 1:35.097
7 20 GT1 3 Ferrari 206 1:33.359
8 930 GT2 1 Porsche 964 195 1:43.955
9 66 P1 4 Oscar-Toyota 192 1:35.529
10 27 GT2 2 Porsche 996 191 1:34.445
11 52 P2 1 Oscar-Toyota 190 1:36.617
12 77 GT2 3 Porsche 996 185 1:39.881
13 65 P1 5 Oscar-Toyota 171, DNF 1:35.554
14 7 GT2 4 Mazda RX-7 166 1:47.078
15 37 P2 3 Oscar-Toyota 164 1:35.238
16 15 P2 4 Oscar-Honda 156 1:31.519
17 8 GT2 5 Mazda RX-8 149, DNF 1:47.273
18 5 GT2 6 Porsche 996 99, DNF 1:35.478
19 18 P2 5 GC-21 87, DNF 1:29.887
20 3 P2 6 GC-21 56, DNF 1:32.758

 

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