April 23, 2021

How Toyota’s Sekiguchi rediscovered his motivation

Sekiguchi, who has driven for the Lexus/Toyota stable in the GT500 class since 2014 and for the flagship TOM’S team since 2018, was partnered in the #36 GR Supra last year by rookie Sacha Fenestraz, 12 years his junior.With Fenestraz moving across to replace Nick Cassidy in the sister #37 TOM’S team this year, another youngster in the form of Sho Tsuboi was drafted in to partner Sekiguchi …Keep reading …

The change that enabled Toyota to dominate at Okayama

After locking out the top five in qualifying with its quintet of Bridgestone-shod GR Supras, Toyota scored a 1-2-3-4 finish on race day, with Rookie Racing pair Kenta Yamashita and Kazuya Oshima triumphing after a fierce battle with Sho Tsuboi’s TOM’S machine.What made Toyota’s performance even more impressive was that Okayama was not perceived to be a good fit for the GR Supra, which …Keep reading …

Fenestraz facing prolonged wait to return to Japan

Fenestraz has spent the last few months on standby in Dubai, having been unable to return to Japan owing to complications surrounding his visa status amid the COVID-19 pandemic.Having been forced to sit out pre-season testing for both Super Formula and SUPER GT, the Franco-Argentinian driver was unable to arrive in Japan in time for either championship’s respective opening rounds at Fuji and …Keep reading …

Makino named as third driver for Fuji Super GT race

Makino, who won last year’s title alongside Naoki Yamamoto, has been out of action in both SUPER GT and Super Formula since last December, when he was struck by a bout of meningitis.He was discharged from hospital in January but was forced to skip all of pre-season testing and the respective opening races of both categories at Okayama and Fuji.However, an entry list for the Fuji 500km on …Keep reading …

Opinion: Why Honda will be green with substitution envy

One of the biggest talking points going into the Okayama weekend was how both the #1 Kunimitsu Honda and #37 TOM’S Toyota crews would each fare without one of their regular drivers, with both Tadasuke Makino and Sacha Fenestraz unfortunately absent.And on the evidence of the events that unfolded on Sunday, one of those teams looks like it’s hardly been affected by the enforced change …Keep reading …

Nissan: Okayama result “unfortunate”, pace encouraging

On a weekend dominated by Toyota, which locked out the top five in qualifying and the top four in the race, Nissan’s best performer was the #3 NDDP/B-Max Racing car of Katsumasa Chiyo and Kohei Hirate that qualified 10th of the 15 GT500 runners and finished ninth.The only other GT-R to finish inside the points was the #12 Impul car of Kazuki Hiramine and Nobuharu Matsushita in 10th after a …Keep reading …

Full-course yellow back on the agenda for Super GT

The Japanese series had been planning to bring in the FCY used widely in other championships for 2020 following the controversy at Fuji in 2019, where Team LeMans Toyota pair Kazuya Oshima and Kenta Yamashita took a dominant win after pitting moments before the safety car was deployed.But following problems getting the internet-based system to work properly during pre-season testing, it was …Keep reading …

Why SARD couldn’t match other Toyotas at Okayama

Ex-Formula 1 driver Kovalainen and his teammate Yuichi Nakayama completed an all-Toyota top four in Sunday’s curtain-raiser behind the winning Rookie Racing GR Supra and the two TOM’S entries.However, the Denso-liveried #39 machine was off the pace of the leading three Toyotas, with Nakayama unable to maintain the third spot he inherited when the #37 TOM’S car dropped from first to fourth with …Keep reading …

How vacant pit stalls decided Okayama GT300 battle

Kondo’s reigning champions Joao Paulo de Oliveira and Kiyoto Fujinami opened their title defence with their third win in five races on Sunday in their Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.It came after a mid-race safety car period shuffled the pack in both classes, as the majority of cars all dived into the pits on the same lap in anticipation of a caution period following a spin for the Tomei Sports …Keep reading …

Honda must react to prevent Toyota Fuji blowout

Real Racing pair Baguette and Koudai Tsukakoshi finished as the best of the Honda contingent at Okayama in fifth place behind an all-Toyota top four, having qualified down in ninth place.Only a late pass for Tsukakoshi on the Cerumo Toyota for fifth prevented Toyota from repeating its 1-2-3-4-5 result from last year’s season opener at Fuji Speedway.Baguette, who drove the opening stint in …Keep reading …