GT-Rs dominate the podium at Suzuka
The NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT500 achieved a clean sweep of the podium at round 3 of the SUPER GT held at Suzuka Circuit this weekend making it a day worth celebrating for all Nissan fans.
Although a chance of rain had been forecast, the race began with blue skies peering through the clouds and in the early stages the #23 GT-R of Ronnie Quintarelli and #24 GT-R driven by Daiki Sasaki maintained their positions in 3rd and 4th. At the same time the #3 GT-R and the #12 GT-R each gained a position and from that point on all the GT-Rs steadily moved further up the order as the race unfolded.
At the mid-point of the race, after all the GT-Rs had completed their pit stops, the #3 GT-R had successfully undercut the field and took the race lead with the #12 GT-R following in 2nd, and the #23 GT-R now in 3rd.
However, Tsugio Matsuda in the #23 GT-R then fervently pursued the #12 GT-R and slipped passed in lap 30 lap to move up to 2nd. From there he engaged in a fierce chase of the leading #3 GT-R, closing the gap with each lap, and catching him at the chicane in lap 41 to take the lead.
The #23 GT-R then went on to take its first win of the season, and the GT-Rs achieved a clean podium sweep with the #3 in second, and the #24 GT-R, which had temporarily dropped to 6th but fought its way back, following in 3rd. The #12 GT-R also finished in 6th to see all GT-Rs finish in the top 6.
This victory was Matsuda’s 23rd in the SUPER GT, setting a new record for the most wins in the series. At the same time, the GT-R achieved its third consecutive win at Suzuka, following two wins last year, another new record in the SUPER GT.
Matsuda went on to say, “I really wanted to win on my home ground, so after Motegi, I worked hard on my physical condition and training for Suzuka. In the race, I felt that the car, the tires, and the team's desire to win would really push me forward, so I really gave it my all. I really want to express my gratitude to them. I think we are getting stronger as a whole, so I want to keep working so that we get even stronger.”
In the GT300 class, five Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s competed and, although the #56 Realize Nissan Automobile Technical College GT-R of Kiyoto Fujinami and Joao Paulo de Oliveira temporarily dropped down the order, they recovered to finish in 8th place. All other GT-Rs also completed the race.
The next round of the SUPER GT will be held at SPORTSLAND SUGO on September 12th.