Sugo SUPER GT: Nissan takes one-two in rain-hit thriller
Within the first moist SUPER GT race in three years, the prevalence of the Michelin moist tyre advised, giving each the #3 Nissan Z of Chiyo and Takaboshi and the #23 NISMO machine of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda a giant benefit when situations had been at their worst.
However whereas the #23 led for a good portion of the race after slicing into the lead from seventh on the grid, the #3 automotive gained the benefit by eliminating a pitstop.
Chiyo was among the many first group of vehicles within the pits when the rain began to fall in earnest on lap 15 of 84, however then proceeded to remain out on moist tyres till the observe had dried out sufficient to modify again to slicks on lap 55.
Against this, Quintarelli braved it on slicks till the observe had turn into fully soaked, pitting on lap 19, after which pitting once more handy over to Tsugio Matsuda on lap 44, the #23 taking a contemporary set of Michelin wets.
On lap 54 Matsuda was in for slicks, however the additional cease left him greater than 25 seconds down on the #3 Nissan, by now within the arms of Takaboshi.
Regardless of the arrival of extra gentle rain within the closing phases, Takaboshi was in a position to nurse his benefit all the way in which to the flag, catapulting himself and Chiyo into the factors lead with two races to go.
Behind the 2 Nissans, Mugen Honda duo Toshiki Oyu and Ukyo Sasahara accomplished the rostrum, with the velocity of the Dunlop moist tyre permitting Oyu to determine himself in third earlier than handing over to Sasahara on lap 36.
Pitting to his change to slicks on lap 49, Sasahara managed to take care of his benefit over the chasing Cerumo Toyota GR Supra to attain a primary podium end of the season.
The Cerumo machine of Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura led the opening lap after Tachikawa barged his manner by the pole-winning Bandoh Toyota for the lead at Flip 3, however as soon as Tachikawa was on moist Bridgestones he was rapidly swamped by the 2 Michelin-shod Nissans in addition to the Dunlop-equipped Mugen Honda.
Ishiura repassed Sasahara for a web third however switching to slicks two laps afterward lap 51 allowed the Mugen automotive again forward, the place it could stay.
From 14th on the grid, pre-race factors leaders Bertrand Baguette and Kazuki Hiramine completed fifth on the wheel of the Impul Nissan regardless of carrying the stage three gas circulate restrictor.
Baguette had made his second cease on lap 27, one shy of the minimal cut-off, after which stayed out till lap 50 handy over to Hiramine, who took slick tyres.
A brief ultimate cease and a well-timed change to slicks allowed the pair to attain six essential factors and keep inside 3.5 factors of recent championship leaders Chiyo and Takaboshi.
The SARD Toyota of Yuhi Sekiguchi and Yuichi Nakayama completed sixth forward of the Nakajima Honda of Takuya Izawa and Hiroki Otsu, who took their first factors of the season in seventh.
Staff Kunimitsu was the most effective of the Bridgestone Hondas in eighth, as Naoki Yamamoto handed the TOM’S Toyota of Giuliano Alesi within the closing phases.
Alesi and Sho Tsuboi had been in a position to come from fifteenth and final to complete ninth by eliminating a pitstop, as Tsuboi stayed out on slick tyres within the early rain and ready till the minimal cut-off lap to pit for wets and hand off to his teammate.
The #37 TOM’S Toyota of Sacha Fenestraz and Ritomo Miyata scored the ultimate level in tenth.
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