Rookie Toyota wins thrilling opener

Ranging from pole, Kazuya Oshima and Kenta Yamashita repeated their 2021 victory within the 82-lap contest on the former Pacific Grand Prix venue regardless of a scare within the closing phases when the tempo of the #14 GR Supra immediately dropped after a late Full Course Yellow interval.

What was a 10-second benefit rapidly disappeared within the four-lap sprint to complete, giving two-time GT500 champion Naoki Yamamoto a whisker of alternative within the Kunimitsu Honda.

In the end, Yamashita had sufficient of a buffer to maintain Yamamoto at bay, taking the chequered flag with simply over a second in hand to take an early lead within the championship.

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Earlier within the race, an exhilarating battle ensued behind the Rookie Toyota for the best-of-the relaxation honours, culminating in Yamamoto pulling off an excellent double transfer on Kazuki Hiramine’s Impul Nissan and Hiroaki Ishiura’s Cerumo Toyota.

With Ishiura making an attempt to go the struggling Hiramine with 10 laps to run, Yamamoto sensed a possibility and launched his Honda up the within into Flip 5, passing each vehicles in a single try to maneuver as much as second within the Honda he shares with Tadasuke Makino.

The brand new Nissan Z made a powerful debut in SUPER GT following a formidable late cost from Tsugio Matsuda within the #23 NISMO automobile he shared with Ronnie Quintarelli, having emerged from the pits down in eighth place.

Ishiura and Yuji Tachikawa completed fourth within the Cerumo Toyota, forward of the second #3 NISMO Nissan of Katsumasa Chiyo and Mitsunori Takaboshi and the #36 TOM’S Toyota of Sho Tsuboi and Giuliano Alesi.

The Impul Nissan of Hiramine and Bertrand Baguette continued to drop positions within the closing a part of the race, ending seventh forward of the SARD Toyota of Nakayama and Yuhi Sekiguchi that had began on the entrance row but additionally struggled for tempo on outdated tyres.

Two extra Hondas accomplished the highest 10, with the Actual Racing automobile of Koudai Tsukakoshi and Nobuharu Matsushita main house the ARTA machine of Tomoki Nojiri and Nirei Fukuzumi.

Kondo Nissan victorious in GT300

Victory within the GT300 class went to Joao Paulo de Oliveira and Kiyoto Fujinami within the #56 Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, whereas pitstop drama left the pole-sitting Subaru tumbling down the order.

In the beginning of the race, Fujinami made a fast getaway from from fifth on the grid to right away put himself into podium rivalry, earlier than passing the #10 Gainier Nissan of rookie Riki Okusa to maneuver as much as second.

The #61 R&D Sport Subaru pushed by Takuto Iguchi was nonetheless comfortably within the lead at this level, however the reigning champion’s tempo on Dunlop tyres began to drop in direction of the top of the stint, bringing Fujinami into play.

With the pit window about to open, Fujinami wasted no time to go the Subaru for the lead, going across the exterior of Iguchi into Flip 5 to achieve the within line into the next left-hander.

From there on, Fujinami and teammate de Oliveira confronted little bother till the chequered flag, the 2020 championship-winning duo repeating their Okayama win from 2021 to take an early lead within the standings.

The Subaru, nonetheless, hit bother throughout its necessary pitstop, with Hideki Yamauchi stalling the automobile after taking on the driving duties from teammate Iguchi. A number of seconds handed earlier than Yamauchi might restart the engine and get going once more, dropping the Subaru to tenth on the end.

Subaru’s troubles promoted the #18 UpGarage Honda NSX GT3 of Takashi Kobayashi and rookie Kakunoshin Ota to second, with a well-timed pitstop from Pacific/Automobile Man staff initially selling the #9 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Kei Cozzolino and Naoki Yokomizo to 3rd.

An early pitstop propelled the LEON Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Naoya Gamou and Takuro Shinohara to fourth, earlier than Gamou handed the Pacific CarGuy Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 for the ultimate podium spot.

Workforce LeMans scored its first ever factors within the GT300 class, with Satoshi Motoyama and Yoshiaki Katayama climbing to fifth within the #6 Audi R8 LMS GT3 having began the race down in twelfth.

The brand new BMW M4 entered by Workforce Studie was working inside the highest 5 till manufacturing unit driver Augusto Farfus was pitched into the gravel by ARTA Honda rookie Iori Kimura, who fully misjudged the braking level into the Flip 5 hairpin – inflicting the second FCY of the race.

The primary got here after a collision between Shinichi Takagi’s Okay-tunes Racing Lexus RC F GT3 and and Kondo Nissan GT500 driver Kohei Hirate, which ultimately resulted in Takagi’s bonnet coming unfastened, inflicting the veteran to crash approaching Flip 1 and retire from the race.

GT500 race outcomes:

Pos.

No.

Automobile

Drivers

Workforce

Tyre

Time

1

14

Toyota

Japan Kenta Yamashita

Japan Kazuya Oshima

Rookie Racing

B

82 laps

2

100

Honda

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

Kunimitsu

B

1.798

3

23

Nissan

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

Italy Ronnie Quintarelli

NISMO

M

3.478

4

38

Toyota

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

Cerumo

B

9.761

5

3

Nissan

Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

NDDP

M

11.701

6

36

Toyota

France Giuliano Alesi

Japan Sho Tsuboi

TOM’S

B

13.534

7

12

Nissan

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

Impul

B

20.789

8

39

Toyota

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

SARD

B

20.943

9

17

Honda

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Actual Racing

B

24.697

10

8

Honda

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

ARTA

B

25.339

11

37

Toyota

France Sacha Fenestraz

Japan Ritomo Miyata

TOM’S

B

26.528

12

16

Honda

Japan Toshiki Oyu

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

Mugen

D

1’10.319

13

19

Toyota

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

Racing Mission Bandoh

Y

1 lap

14

24

Nissan

Japan Kohei Hirate

Japan Daiki Sasaki

Kondo Racing

Y

1 lap

15

64

Honda

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Hiroki Otsu

Nakajima Racing

D

1 lap