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Nissan Z takes 4th place finish at Super GT Rd. 8

Nissan ZOctober 14, Autopolis International Racing Course (Oita Pref.)
Autopolis Racing Course (4.674km/lap), located in Hita city, Oita prefecture was the scene of Round 8 of SUPER GT. The MOTUL AUTECH Z (#22), with drivers Michael Krumm and Tsugio Matsuda, started the race in 7th, finishing in 4th place. With the opportunity to win the team title in the Championship, the team swore to do their best at the final round at Fuji Speedway in November.

The temperature stood at 19 degrees C at 2:00pm when the 65-lap race got underway with the formation lap. The #17 NSX stood 2nd on the grid, but was unable to start the race after a problem during the warm up. Michael Krumm therefore kept a steady pace in 6th place, with three other Z cars running behind. However, in order to save the soft tires it was on at the start, he let the other Zs go ahead of him on lap 22, before making an early pit stop on lap 27. Later, when a multiple-car collision occurred at the hairpin, many of the cars made came into the pits; meaning Krumm’s driver partner Matsuda was 8th after lap 31. With further incidents such as drive through penalties and routine pit stops, he rose to 5th by lap 43. He then improved to 4th on lap 53, and kept this position to the checkered flag.

The XANAVI NISMO Z (#23), with Satoshi Motoyama and Richard Lyons, started the race from 12th on the grid but suffered damage after contact with the #1 Lexus on lap 4 during a pursuit. The car immediately returned to the pits, changed tires and went back out on track, but couldn’t help losing a large number of positions as a result of the delay. The car had kept a steady pace from the beginning, rising to 3rd on lap 31 as other cars made their pit stops. After the accident that took place in lap 29, the field was yellow-flagged for a considerable amount of time. Richard Lyons was given two drive-through penalties for overtaking backmarkers during this yellow flag period. He returned to the pit to hand the car over to Satoshi Motoyama. Motoyama then took the second drive-through penalty given to Lyons. However, the car developed a problem in the driveline and the team instructed him to return to the pits on lap 46. The car was pulled in to the garage and retired.
The YellowHat YMS Moba HO! TOMICA Z (#3), with Sebastian Philippe and Masataka Yanagida, started from 8th, with Philippe handing the car over to Yanagida in that position. Yanagida then improved by one, and the car finished in 7th place.
The WOODONE ADVAN Clarion Z (#24) had drivers Joao Paulo de Oliveira and Seiji Ara, and the Calsonic Impul Z (#12) had Benoit Treluyer and Kazuki Hoshino. The two cars fought each other hard from the beginning of the race, but were both involved in the multiple-car collision that took place in the middle of the race. The #24 car made heavy contact with another car, stranded car on track, ending its race there and then. The #12 managed to return to the pits after damaging the front of the car, but was unable to get back out on track again.

Mr. Yoshitaka Iijima, manager of the NISMO team was quoted after the race; “It was some tough race! The #23 was never behind in performance to the other cars, so we had some good battles at the beginning. The trouble in the driveline had already started before switching over to Motoyama, but it just got worse after he took over. We had to bring him in as the problem became worse. It’s unfortunate because the car was running very well otherwise, even after that emergency pit stop. The tires were the problem for the #22, but Krumm and Matsuda did a very good job. We still have a chance to take the Team Championship, so we will do our best at Fuji to win that crown. And as always, we are grateful to our fans for cheering us on in the cold. We want to thank them very much.”

Driver Tsugio Matsuda added, “It must’ve been difficult for Michael who started off with the soft tires. We switched early, and I went out with the tires that were strong for the race. Still, I lost grip in the end and it was extremely difficult just to stay on track. We let the #8 NSX get away and we lost the Driver’s Championship, but we still have a chance to win the Team Championship. We will definitely be going for the win at Fuji.”

[Race Results] 65Laps
1 8 ARTA NSX Daisuke Ito / Ralph Firman 1:55’57.042
2 100 RAYBRIG NSX Dominik Schwager / Shinya Hosokawa +10.145
3 39 DENSO SARD SC430 Andre Couto / Katsuyuki Hiranaka +19.887
4 22 MOTUL AUTECH Z Michael Krumm / Tsugio Matsuda +37.125
5 18 TAKATA DOME NSX Ryo Michigami / Takashi Kogure +37.407
6 1 Houzan TOM‘S SC430 Juichi Wakisaka / Andre Lotterer +43.050
7 3 YellowHat YMS MobaHO! TOMICA Z Sebastien Philippe / Masataka Yanagida +43.709
8 6 Forum Eng. SC430 Tatsuya Kataoka / Bjorn Wirdheim +1’06.252
12 23 XANAVI NISMO Z Satoshi Motoyama / Richard Lyons 19Laps
R 12 CALSONIC IMPUL Z Benoit Treluyer/Kazuki Hoshino
R 24 WOODONE ADVAN Clarion Z Joao Paulo De Oliveira / Seiji Ara
[Championship Points] Drivers’ ranking after Rd.8
1 8 ARTA NSX Daisuke Ito / Ralph Firman 91
2 18 TAKATA DOME NSX Ryo Michigami / Takashi Kogure 62
3 22 MOTUL AUTECH Z Michael Krumm / Tsugio Matsuda 61
4 100 RAYBRIG NSX Dominik Schwager / Shinya Hosokawa 60
5 1 Houzan TOM‘S SC430 Juichi Wakisaka / Andre Lotterer 49
5 32 EPSON NSX Loic Duval / Fabio Carbone 49
7 23 XANAVI NISMO Z Satoshi Motoyama / Richard Lyons 48
8 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 Yuji Tachikawa / Toranosuke Takagi 45
9 6 Forum Eng. SC430 Tatsuya Kataoka / Bjorn Wirdheim 38
10 3 YellowHat YMS MobaHO! TOMICA Z Sebastien Philippe / Masataka Yanagida 30
11 24 WOODONE ADVAN Clarion Z Joao Paulo De Oliveira / Seiji Ara 28
12 39 DENSO SARD SC430 Andre Couto / Katsuyuki Hiranaka 21
15 12 CALSONIC IMPUL Z Kazuki Hoshino 19
17 12 CALSONIC IMPUL Z Benoit Treluyer 15

Source: Nissan

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