Tuesday, 05 November 2019 21:29

LEXUS Wins SuperGT Championship in the Final Year for LC500

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GT500 class

WAKO’S 4CR LC500 No. 6 with drivers Kazuya OSHIMA / Kenta YAMASHITA finished second place at the 2019 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series final race at Twin Ring Motegi, and won the championship in the final year for LC500.

KeePer TOM’S LC500 No. 37 co-piloted by Ryo HIRAKAWA / Nick CASSIDY achieved their first victory this season, and au TOM’S LC500 No. 36 with drivers Kazuki NAKAJIMA / Yuhi SEKIGUCHI finished third place.

GT300 class

K-tunes RC F GT3 No. 96 with drivers Morio NITTA / Sena SAKAGUCHI recorded third place and was runner-up in the championship.

Kazuya OSHIMA (WAKO’S 4CR LC500 No. 6)

I am relieved to get the title finally, as this is my 11th year in GT500 class. There were tough years with not being able to get a good result, but even in those days, the team, engineers, director, and all the mechanics believed in me, so now I feel I repayed an obligation. I regret the start today, but I put my feelings behind and moved on to catch up. I thank Kenta for his great race. In the beginning of the season, I didn’t expect to be here, but from round 2, due to everyone’s effort, we were able to regain our form and won the Thailand race which we aimed for, so we were able to go with the flow. In the latter part of today’s race, No. 37 was really strong, and it’s a pity that they were in front of us for the last three races, but we are very happy about winning the championship.

Kenta YAMASHITA (WAKO’S 4CR LC500 No. 6)

This race was a special race for the whole team, so I raced with the strong aim to win. I don’t usually get nervous, but I felt strained before today’s race. However, when it was my stint, I was the one to chase and my tension was gone. It was a tough race, and I knew that we couldn’t win the championship unless we overtake No. 36, and I knew that driver Sekiguchi-san is good at blocking. But it’s the final race and it’s the race to win the championship, so I pushed hard not to budge an inch. As a result, we were able to be in front of them. If I didn’t push there, we weren’t able to win the championship, so I was relieved to overtake them. I thank all members in the team that supported me for this year, including driver Oshima-san, team director Juichi-san, and chief engineer Abe-san who always made the car in good condition. I am very happy to win the championship in my second career in GT500 class.

Ryo HIRAKAWA (KeePer TOM'S LC500 No. 37)

I was in charge for the latter half of the stint. It was tough right after the driver’s change, but after being in the top, the pace was good, and we were able to win victory with distance from the rivals. It’s good about winning our first victory this season, but it is shocking about missing the championship. We will shift our mind to the SUPER GT / DTM Dream Race.

Nick CASSIDY (KeePer TOM'S LC500 No. 37)

It was quite a difficult race but I thought my stint was perfect as I had a really good start. Our pace was much better, so I was more focusing on trying to extend the gap than to fight, and was able to increase the position with the cold tires. We wanted to win the championship, but we did an amazing season and won the race today.

Kazuki NAKAJIMA (au TOM’S LC500 No. 36)

I was able to keep in good position from the start, but didn’t have the luck, such as coming across the cars that are behind the lap. Yuhi did a great job and we tried our best, but the flow wasn’t good, and it just wasn’t the day for our team. This is the second year to be with Yuhi, and we were getting used to each other, and our performance was better than last year, but it turned out to be a season with difficulty.

Yuhi SEKIGUCHI (au TOM’S LC500 No. 36)

We weren’t able to gain points constantly, and this affected us this season. Today the feeling of the car was good, and we were aiming for victory, but we weren’t able to keep our position, because our tires became difficult to manage. We were able to be on the podium with third position, but we are regretful with the result.

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