Sunday, 17 September 2023 20:35

Arta Mugen NSX-GT #8 gets its First Win of the Season!

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After numerous upsets, the GT300 class win goes to the SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT for the first time this season

The SUGO GT 300km RACE, Round 6 of the 2023 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series, was held at Sportsland SUGO (one lap: 3,586 m x 84 laps) in Miyagi Prefecture on September 17 (Sun.).

In the GT500 class race, two Honda NSX-GT teams battled for their first win of the season, and the No. 8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Toshiki Oyu) emerged the winner for the first time this year. In the GT300 class race, car No. 18 came from behind to apparently take the win on the last lap but was later disqualified due to results of the post-race car inspection, thus giving the victory to the No. 52 SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT (Hiroki Yoshida/Kohta Kawaai) for the first time this season, despite having initially finished 2nd running slow due to machine trouble.

The Round 6 race of the SUPER GT that took place at Sportsland SUGO this time was a breathtaking competition that saw one reversal in the top order after another in the latter stages. The No. 8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Toshiki Oyu) that started from pole position held a steady pace in the lead during the early going and made its pit stop on the 32nd lap, but due to the fast pit work of the team of the No. 17 Astemo NSX-GT (Koudai Tsukakoshi/Nobuharu Matsushita) that had made their pit stop on the next lap while running in 3rd position, No. 17 was able to get back into the race in front of No. 8. After that, a collision between the No. 100 STANLEY NSX-GT and a GT300 class car resulted in a crash. This brought the race to a stop on the 40th lap.

After the restart, a race for the lead developed between the leading car No. 17, car No.8 in 2nd position and the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH Z (Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli) running in 3rd position, until the 52nd lap of the race, where No. 8 succeeded in taking the lead on the first corner. But after the 61st lap, Tsukakoshi in car No. 17 picked up the pace and eventually closed in to run nose-to-tail with No. 8 from the 64th lap. Then, on the home straight of the 76th lap No. 17 succeeded in passing No. 8. Once in the lead, the No.17 Astemo NSX-GT went on to cross the goal line in the lead. However, in the car inspections after the race, a violation was found that disqualified No. 17. This gave the No. 8 ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT its first win of the season. The No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH Z then finished 2nd. Third place went to the No. 39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra (Yuhi Sekiguchi/Yuichi Nakayama).

In the GT300 class race, the No. 52 SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT (Hiroki Yoshida/Kohta Kawaai) that had started from 4th position on the grid adopted a strategy of changing only the rear tires in its pit stop, and the time saved by this enabled it to emerge provisionally in the lead.

In the final stages of the race, although being chased by the No. 18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3 (Takashi Kobayashi/Syun Koide) running in 2nd position, No. 52 managed to maintain a lead of about two seconds into the final lap. But, just before reaching the goal line, its pace slowed due to machine trouble, causing it to finish the race in 2nd place.

However, due to subsequent disqualification of car No. 18 in the post-race car inspection, victory went to the No. 52 SAITAMATOYOPET GB GR Supra GT for the first time this season. Finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively were the No. 20 SHADE RACING GR86 GT (Katsuyuki Hiranaka/Eijiro Shimizu) and the No. 6 DOBOT Audi R8 LMS (Yoshiaki Katayama/Roberto Merhi Muntan).

*Spectators: 18,500 on Sept. 17 (race day) / 9,400 on Sept. 16 (qualifying day)

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