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NISSAN GT-R: Two Consecutive Wins In Opening Rounds AT Super GT

Nissan GT-RApril 13th, Okayama International Circuit, Okayama Prefecture, Japan – Sunday April 13th, the 2nd round of the SUPER GT season was held at Okayama International Circuit in Okayama prefecture. XANAVI NISMO GT-R(#23 Satoshi Motoyama / Benoit Treluyer), starting from pole position led the race from the start, accomplishing a pole-to-flag victory, to get their second consecutive win after the first round of the 2008 season. Third in qualifying, Calsonic IMPUL GT-R(#12 Tsugio Matsuda / Sebastien Philippe) finished 2nd, and the NISSAN GT-R took its second consecutive 1-2 finish.

#23 leads from the start, despite an intense attack
Under light clouds and with 29,000 people watching, the 82-lap race began at 14:03. All machines finished the first lap safely, Benoit Treluyer leading in the #23 GT-R, followed by last year’s champion car, the #1 HONDA NSX, and then #12 GT-R. Fourth was the #3 GT-R, and 6th the #22 GT-R. The GT-Rs were leading the race. The #1 NSX was right behind the #23 GT-R, waiting for the moment to take over. For a while mid-race, they were right next to the #23 car, but Treluyer never gave them a chance, and held on to his lead.

Rain destabilizes race
Around the 20th lap, light rain started to fall. It wasn’t enough to make it a wet race, but there were dangerous points such as the painted rumble strips which took grip away from the cars, and spins and collisions occurred on track as a result. On lap 31, the #3 GT-R spun out after getting hit by a machine from behind. To avoid that incident, the #22 collided with another car, damaging its bodywork and suspension. The #22 had to head back to the pits for repairs, losing it a considerable amount of time.

#12 GT-R wins the battle for 2nd position
The highlight of the second half of the race was the intense battle for 2nd place between the #12 and #1 cars. Matsuda, who started 3rd in the #12 GT-R, was right behind the #1 and waiting for an opportunity. The thrilling battle continued for 15 laps, but the #1 car spun out on the 68th lap, concluding the battle. Matsuda pursued Motoyama’s #23 GT-R and caught up, shrinking the difference from 17 seconds to 2.5, but couldn’t overtake. The #23 car crossed the 82nd lap finish line first, followed by the #12, completing a 1-2 finish for the GT-R. It was the first time in SUPER GT history that two of the same cars won a GT race. Motoyama got his 9th GT race win in total and is now tied for the most wins.

The #24 GT-R, starting from 14th, got points for finishing 8th. The #3 finished 10th. The #22 car finished 15th with a 10-lap gap after coming back on track from the previous delay.

– #23 Satoshi Motoyama’s comment:

It’s the first time I’ve had consecutive wins. Benoit did really well in the first half to save the lead, so it was a great race. I’m thankful. I’m excited to have the most wins, but I’m more happy that we won here because I haven’t been doing too well in Okayama recently.

– #23 Benoit Treluyer’s comment:

Both the tires and the team were perfect. I feel great! I had thought that consecutive wins in GT was impossible so I’m very happy. I knew it would be tough unless I was in the lead by the 6th lap, and that was right. I was very careful so others couldn’t pass me. I used traffic to protect my position.

– NISMO Team Director Iijima’s comment:

Thank you for your support. Two consecutive wins from the start, pole-to-win, it all may sound easy, but the weight was heavy and it was a rough race on the tires too. The drivers did a wonderful job of controlling the race, and they ran a brilliant race. The #22 unfortunately had an accident, but we can unload the weight now, so the car will do better at Fuji. Thank you all, and I appreciate your continued support.

Pos No Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 23 XANAVI NISMO GT-R Satoshi Motoyama / Benoit Treluyer 2:01’56.605
2 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R Tsugio Matsuda / Sebastien Philippe +2.506
3 1 ARTA NSX Ralph Firman / Takuya Izawa +30.920
4 36 PETRONAS TOM’S SC430 Juichi Wakisaka / Andre Lotterer +33.310
5 32 EPSON NSX Loic Duval / Katsuyuki Hiranaka +35.517
6 35 Houzan KRAFT SC430 Peter Dumbreck / Tatsuya Kataoka +58.030
7 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 Yuji Tachikawa / Richard Lyons +58.255
8 24 WOODONE ADVAN Clarion GT-R Joao Paulo De Oliveira / Seiji Ara +1’08.586
9 100 RAYBRIG NSX Yuji Ide / Shinya Hosokawa +1’09.230
10 3 YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R Ronnie Quintarelli / Naoki Yokomizo 1Lap
15 22 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Michael Krumm / Masataka Yanagida 10Laps
Pos No Machine Driver Points
1 23 XANAVI NISMO GT-R Satoshi Motoyama / Benoit Treluyer 46
2 36 PETRONAS TOM’S SC430 Juichi Wakisaka / Andre Lotterer 19
3 22 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Michael Krumm / Masataka Yanagida 18
3 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R Tsugio Matsuda / Sebastien Philippe 18
5 1 ARTA NSX Ralph Firman / Takuya Izawa 14
6 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 Yuji Tachikawa / Richard Lyons 12
7 24 WOODONE ADVAN Clarion GT-R Joao Paulo De Oliveira / Seiji Ara 10
7 35 Houzan KRAFT SC430 Peter Dumbreck / Tatsuya Kataoka 10
9 32 EPSON NSX Loic Duval / Katsuyuki Hiranaka 8
10 18 TAKATA DOME NSX Ryo Michigami / Takashi Kogure 4
11 17 REAL NSX KatsutomoKaneishi / Toshihiro Kaneish 3
12 6 ENEOS SC430 Daisuke Ito / Bjorn Wirdheim 2
14 3 YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R Ronnie Quintarelli/Naoki Yokomizo 1
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2008-nissan-gt-r-gt500 (1)
2008-nissan-gt-r-gt500 (2)
2008-nissan-gt-r-gt500 (3)

Source: Nissan

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