May 13, 2021

What to expect from Super GT’s longest race in two years

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic last year meant series organisers elected to do away with both the Fuji 500km event and the summer 500-mile race at the same track, with every SUPER GT race in 2020 run over the standard distance of 300 kilometres.But in a bid to differentiate this year’s Golden Week Fuji race from the season finale in November, the decision was made to extend the former …Keep reading …

Fuji Super GT: Bandoh Toyota claims first pole since 2016

Carrying no success ballast, Ritomo Miyata set a new lap record of 1m26.496s at the wheel of the Yokohama-shod Toyota GR Supra he shares with Yuji Kunimoto in Q2. That was than three tenths up on the existing record set by Kenta Yamashita in qualifying for last year’s season finale, and enough to edge out the ARTA Honda NSX-GT of Nirei Fukuzumi (8kg) by just three thousandths of a …Keep reading …

Makino “feeling good” after “struggling” on test return

Not long after winning last year’s title alongside Naoki Yamamoto for the Kunimitsu Honda squad, Makino was struck by a bout of meningitis that left him hospitalised for a month.The 23-year-old missed the start of the SUPER GT season at Okayama and the opening two races of the Super Formula campaign at Fuji and Suzuka.Hideki Mutoh replaced Makino alongside Yamamoto at Okayama, but for …Keep reading …

Dunlop aiming to attract third GT500 team in Super GT

Dunlop spent the last decade supplying tyres to just the Nakajima Honda squad in GT500 following SARD Lexus’ switch to Michelin (and later Bridgestone) in 2011, severely compromising its ability to develop and test new tyres vis-a-vis the other three manufacturers in the class.Off the back of an improved showing in recent years, another Honda squad Mugen entered into an agreement to race on …Keep reading …

Super GT gives green light for FCY to be used at Fuji

Motorsport.com reported earlier this month that bringing in the FCY (as used in Formula 1 and the FIA World Endurance Championship) was back on the agenda in the wake of another race where the conventional safety car procedure had a major bearing on the result.That was a consequence of a narrow pitlane at Okayama and almost every car pitting on the same lap to avoid being caught out by …Keep reading …

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 …