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Super GT - Okayama - Race Report And Result

Loic Duval set pole time with the #18 Weider Honda HSV-010. He got a good start and began to pull away from the pack with no difficulty. By the second lap, he already had more than a 1-second lead over the #38 ZENT CERUMO Lexus SC430 (Yuji Tachikawa) running in 2nd place.

As the leader began to lap the back of the GT300 field, the gap closed, but not enough for #38 to get within striking distance before the pit cycle.

All four tyres were changed and the pit stop took 38 seconds. It was more than the competitors but not too long to prevent the second stint driver, Takashi Kogure, retaining the lead.

Even through the second half of his stint, Kogure continued to punch out lap times in the 1 min. 27 sec. range. His margin over 2nd place grew to more than 10 seconds. As the 2nd- and 3rd-place machines became involved in an increasingly intense battle of their own, Kogure was able to maintain a safe margin of lead.

Kogure's pace didn't slow over the final stages of the race, and at the finish he had an 11-second lead over 2nd place. This the first race win for the new Honda HSV-010.

For Takashi Kogure this is the first win since round 5 of the 2008 season at Sugo. For Loic Duval, it is his first win since round 9 of the 2007 season at Fuji Speedway.

The main battle on track though was for 2nd place and this gathered pace when the pit stop for #38 (changing drivers from Tachikawa to Richard Lyons) took 37 seconds and allowed the #1 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 to move ahead into 2nd place. Andre Lotterer in #1 had worked his way up from 8th position on the grid to 4th place. By limiting the tire change to the two rear tires, the team was able to gain another 30 seconds in its pit stop. But, with three laps remaining in the race, Wakisaka in car #1 got caught behind a GT300 class machine he was lapping, and Lyons in car #38 took advantage to pass. From there, Lyons held on to finish the race 2nd.

Before the finish, Wakisaka in #1 was also chased by the #12 CALSONIC IMPUL Nissan GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli/Tsugio Matsuda) but was able to hold his position and finish 3rd.

The #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Satoshi (Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer) had to retire from the race after a collision with another car on lap 16. Unable to keep a fast pace, the #24 HIS ADVAN KONDO Nissan GT-R (Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira/Hironobu Yasuda) meanwhile could finish no better than 12th.

GT300

In the early stages of the GT300 class race, the pole-starting #86 JLOC Lamborghini Gallardo RG-3 (Koji Yamanishi) took the lead and gradually pulled away from the field. But, during its pit stop after lap 38, the refueling took an unusually long time, (57 seconds). In the second half, Yuhi Sekiguchi drove hard to try to regain the lost ground but was still only able to regain 4th position by the end of the race.

Taking the lead in #86's absence was the #7 M7 MUTIARA MOTORS AMEMIYA SGC Mazda RX7 after an impressive first stint and gained further time by adopting the team's usual no-tyre-change race plan. In the second half, Ryo Orima continued to run strongly at a steady pace. Soon after he took the lead, however, the Mazda suffered a steering system failure ended up running off the track into retirement on lap 55.

This put the #46 Up Start MOLA Z in the lead. Although Naoki Yokomizo had been passed by car #7 in the first half, he had been able to maintain a fast and steady pace. The team took an orthodox race plan of changing all four tyres at the routine pit stop, after which Tsubasa Abe took the wheel for the second half of the race. Abe also ran strongly and maintained the team's position. After car No. 7 retired from the race, there was no other car to threaten Abe (#46), as he ran on to the class win.

The #2 Apple-K-ONE Shiden (Hiroki Katoh/Hiroshi Hamaguchi) ended the race in second place. From his qualifying position of 8th on the starting grid, Katoh had steadily moved up through the field. As their rivals made their pit stops, #2 moved up into 2nd position and emerged from its own stop with Hamaguchi at the wheel, in 3rd position.

Finishing 3rd was the #3 HASEMI SPORT TOMICA Nissan Z (Kazuki Hoshino/Masataka Yanagida). In Saturday's Knock-out qualifying, the #3 car had been unable to contest the third session and was forced to start the race from in 12th position on the GT300 grid. During the first half of the race, Hoshino had been able to climb to 8th position before making a somewhat early pit stop on lap 37. Taking the wheel for the second half, Yanagida also ran strongly, passing the #33 HANKOOK PORSCHE on lap 63. This put the two Fairlady Z teams on the winners' podium

Race Result

GT500 Class

1 18 Weider Honda HSV-010 Takashi Kogure/ Loic Duval 2:02'26.084 82 Laps 
2 38 ZENT CERUMO Lexus SC430 Yuji Tachikawa/ Richard Lyons +0'11.800
3 1 PETRONAS TOM'S Lexus SC430 Juichi Wakisaka/ Andre Lotterer +0'14.209
4 12 CALSONIC IMPUL Nissan GT-R Tsugio Matsuda/ Ronnie Quintarelli +0'14.712 
5 6 ENEOS Lexus SC430 Daisuke Ito/ Bjorn Wirdheim +0'45.741
6 8 ARTA Honda HSV-010 Ralph Firman/ Yuji Ide +0'48.666 
7 17 KEIHIN Honda HSV-010 Toshihiro Kaneishi/ Koudai Tsukakoshi +0'57.285
100 RAYBRIG Honda HSV-010 Takuya Izawa/ Naoki Yamamoto +1'11.673
9 35 MJ KRAFT Lexus SC430 Hiroaki Ishiura/ Kazuya Oshima +1Lap
10 39 DENSO DUNLOP SARD Lexus SC430 Andre Couto/ Kohei Hirate +1Lap
11 32 EPSON Honda HSV-010 Ryo Michigami/ Yuhki Nakayama +1Lap
12 24 HIS ADVAN KONDO Nissan GT-R J.P.Lima de Oliveira/ Hironobu Yasuda +1Lap

Not Classified (GT500: 57 Laps)

23 MOTUL AUTECH Nissan GT-R Satoshi Motoyama/ Benoit Treluyer 15 Laps
 
GT300 Class

1 46 UP START MOLA Nissan Z Naoki Yokomizo/ Tsubasa Abe 2:03'22.023 76 Laps
2 2 Apple K-ONE Shiden Hiroki Katoh/ Hiroshi Hamaguchi +0'26.160 
3 3 HASEMI SPORT TOMICA Nissan Z Kazuki Hoshino/ Masataka Yanagida +0'32.261
4 86 JLOC Lamborghini Gallardo RG-3 Koji Yamanishi/ Yuhi Sekiguchi +0'37.676
5 31 apr Toyota COROLLA Axio Koki Saga/ Kosuke Matsuura +0'37.929 
6 43 ARTA Garaiya Morio Nitta/ Shinichi Takagi +1Lap  
7 11 JIMGAINER DIXCEL DUNLOP Ferrari F430 Tetsuya Tanaka/ Katsuyuki Hiranaka +1Lap 
8 33 HANKOOK PORSCHE Mitsuhiro Kinoshita/ Masami Kageyama +1Lap
9 74 COROLLA Axio apr GT Takuto Iguchi/ Yuji Kunimoto +1Lap
10 9 HATSUNEMIKU X GSR PORSCHE Taku Bamba/ Masahiro Sasaki +1Lap 
11 27 NAC EISEICOM LMP Ferrari 430 Yutaka Yamagishi/ Hiroshi Koizumi +2Laps
12 62 R&D SPORT Subaru LEGACY B4 Tetsuya Yamano/ Kota Sasaki +2Laps 
13 26 CINE CITTA' TAISAN PORSCHE Igor Sushko/ Masayuki Ueda +2Laps 
14 19 WedsSport Lexus IS350 Manabu Orido/ Tatsuya Kataoka +3Laps
15 66 triple a Aston Vantage GT2 Hideshi Matsuda/ Hiroki Yoshimoto +6Laps 
16 88 RIRE Lamborghini RG-3 Atsushi Yogo/ Shinya Hosokawa +8Laps 
17 87 JLOC Lamborghini Gallardo RG-3 Hiroyuki Iiri/ Yuya Sakamoto +16Laps
18 7 M7 MUTIARA MOTORS AMEMIYASGC Mazda RX7 Nobuteru Taniguchi/ Ryo Orime +22Laps

Not Classified (GT300: 53 Laps)

5 MACHGOGOGO SHAKEN Vemac 408R Tetsuji Tamanaka/ Haruki Kurosawa 16 laps
365 365 ThunderAsia Mosler MT900M Melvin Choo/ Tim Sugden DNS