May 6, 2023
5 min Reading
2023 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Round 2 – “FUJIMAKI GROUP FUJI GT 450km RACE”
The second round of the SUPER GT 2023 was held at Fuji Speedway on May 4th and was blessed with pristine, sunny spring weather, perfect conditions for racing. Held during Japan’s “Golden Week” holidays, the 100-lap race got off to a clean start in front of a massive crowd of 48,600 fans.
At the end of the the first lap, the #24 “Realize corporation ADVAN Z” was running in 4th position, followed by the #23 “MOTUL AUTECH Z”, which began the race loaded with 42kg of success weight, in 6th, the #3 “Niterra MOTUL Z”, carrying 30kg, in 8th, and the #1 “MARELLI IMPUL Z” in 11th. By lap 20, the #24 Z had moved up to 3rd place, while the #23 Z dropped back to 8th.
The Nissan Z GT500s began making their first pit stops after 20 laps, and the #23 Z was the first of them into pit lane. By lap 41, all GT500 class cars had completed their first pit stop, with the #24 Z running in 4th, the #23 Z in 6th, the #3 Z in 9th, and the #1 Z in 12th. The action settled during the midpoint of the race seeing no significant changes in position, and it was the timing of the second pit stop that had a significant impact on the remainder.
The #23 Z made its second pit stop after 59 laps, followed by the #3 Z at the end of lap 60 and the #1 Z at the end of lap 73. The #24 Z, which had been leading the GT500 class, pitted at the end of lap 78 and returned to the race in 3rd place. As the race entered its final stages, the battle for positions intensified, and the #24 Z was in 3rd, #3 Z in 5th, #23 Z in 9th, and #1 Z in 11th.
On lap 95, an accident occurred in front of the #24 Z, which was in 3rd place, and it was unable to avoid incurring damage that forced it to return to the pits after which it was unable to return to the race. On the other hand, the #3 Z engaged in a fierce battle for 4th place and ultimately finished 5th, while the #23 Z finished 7th, and the #1 Z finished 9th. Finishing in the points, the #23 Z now continues to lead the point rankings, and the #3 Z is maintaining its 2nd place on the board.
#3 driver Katsumasa Chiyo stated, “The car performed well in the race, the team's strategy worked, and we were able to show the power of the Z and Michelin tires. The next round is at Suzuka, one of my favorite tracks, so I will do my best to score points there.” Mitsunori Takaboshi added, “I had a good race pace in the middle stints and I think finishing 5th in the end is a positive result considering our success weight. We won at Suzuka last year, and I feel that our car has potential, so I hope the fans cheer us on there, too.”
In the GT300 class, the #56 REALIZE NISSAN MECHANIC CHALLENGE GT-R took victory from pole position, and the #10 PONOS GAINER GT-R finished in 5th place after an early race accident. The remaining three Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars also finished the race.
The next round of the SUPER GT will be held at Suzuka Circuit over June 3rd to 4th.