October 23, 2020

Impul driver Sasaki earns practice ban for Suzuka

Sasaki has exceeded the four-point threshold that triggers the first punishment according to the Japanese series’ ‘moral hazard prevention’ rules, which is to be benched for one hour of practice running for the next round.

The 28-year-old will not be able to drive during the final hour of the one hour, 50 minute session on Saturday morning – meaning teammate Kazuki Hiramine will be the only one allowed to pilot Impul’s Calsonic-sponsored #12 Nissan GT-R in that time.

In the most recent round at Fuji, Sasaki started on the front row and was among the frontrunners earned a drive-through penalty for overtaking after the safety car boards were shown, an offence that earned him three penalty points.

#12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R

#12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Earlier in the season he picked up penalty points for making contact with a GT300 car during the second Fuji race in August, which also resulted in a 40-second time penalty that cost he and Hiramine a sixth-place finish.

The Impul pair scored their first points of the season in this month’s fifth round at Fuji as Hiramine was able to recover to eighth after Sasaki’s penalty.

Sasaki is not the first driver to fall foul of the ‘moral hazard prevention’ rules this season.

In the GT300 class, Studie BMW driver Tomohide Yamaguchi was forced to sit out the entirety of practice in the most recent round at Fuji.

#7 Studie BMW

#7 Studie BMW

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Yamaguchi picked up seven penalty points at the previous round at Motegi after colliding with the R’Qs Motor Sports Mercedes-AMG GT3 behind the safety car, crossing the threshold at which the second punishment on the list is triggered.

Eight penalty points means a driver is forced to sit out all of practice and take an eight-place grid drop, while the most extreme punishment available under the system is being excluded from a race weekend entirely, which happens when a driver earns 10 points.

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