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2011 Super GT Season - Round 2 - Fuji GT 400km

Race Report

Satoshi Motoyama took the wheel of the No.23 Nissan GT-R, Kohei Hirate took over in car No.38 and Seiji Ara in car No.19. In this pit stop No.23 and No.19 forewent any tire changes, while the No.38 Lexus SC430 changed all four tires. The time difference involved moved No.19 up to 3rd position while No.38 dropped to 4th. By the time all the cars had finished their pit stops, the top three were No.23 with Motoyama, No.6 with Ito and No.19 with Ara.

Among these, Ito in the No.6 ENEOS Sustina SC430 was running at the fastest pace and gradually closing what was initially a 16-second gap between him and Motoyama in the No.23 Motul Autech GT-R. It looked as if Ito would eventually take the lead if that pace continued, but with about ten laps remaining the rain began falling harder and forming puddles on the track that made conditions treacherous.

Cars began spinning out and running off the track. Seeing this, the Clerk of the course ordered the red flag out at the end of lap 60 to stop the race. Eventually it was decided to end the competition at this point, making the running order at the end of lap 59 the final finishing order.

This gave the victory to the No.23 Motul Autech GT-R of Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer. This team failed to score even one victory last year due to bad luck and trouble like tire fragments causing engine failure. Changing tire makers to Bridgestone this year, the team has now won its first race in some time.

Finishing second came the No.6 ENEOS Sustina SC430 driven by Daisuke Ito and Kazuya Oshima, while third went to the No.19 WedsSport Advan SC430 of Tatsuya Kataoka and Seiji Ara. For the No.19 team this was a podium finish in their first race after moving up from the GT300 class to the GT500, and the success can be attributed in large part to a good choice of tires for the race conditions.

On the other hand, it was tough going for the Honda HSV-010 GT camp. Both the No.100 Raybrig HSV-010 and the No.32 Epson HSV-010 made bad tire choices. The No.1 Weider HSV-010 and No.17 KEIHIN HSV-010 both suffered from clouding of their windshields that limited visibility and forced them to slow down. Eventually, No.17's 8th-place finish was the best of the HSV-010 GT teams.

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