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KEIHIN Real Racing Wins Super GT Opener in Honda 1-2

Honda finishes 1-2 in Super GT opener with KEIHIN car ahead of Button’s Kunimitsu entry…

Photo: Super GT

KEIHIN Real Racing secured first position in the Super GT season-opener at Okayama on Sunday with its Honda NSX-GT, ahead of the Team Kunimitsu car of Jenson Button.

Koudai Tsukakoshi and Takashi Kogure started from pole position in the KEIHIN car and remained out front in the first lap, while Ronnie Quintarelli moved from eighth to second in the Motul Autech Nissan GT-R.

Newcomers Felix Rosenqvist and Button struggled in their opening stints, dropping down the order while lapping GT300 cars.

The KeePer Tom’s Lexus LC500 of Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy made its way to the front and caught the leading car on lap 32, passing the Honda at the hairpin.

The Lexus soon lost the position with a slower pit stop a few laps later, however.

Button pitted earlier than his rivals to hand the car over to Naoki Yamamoto, with the team deciding not to change tires, helping it to emerge out front.

It was then passed by the KEIHIN car, benefitting from new tires and although debris got caught in its front bumper, Yamamoto was unable to take the lead.

Tsukakoshi therefore won the race ahead of Yamamoto in a Honda 1-2, while debutant Button scored his first podium since the 2012 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Reigning champions Hirakawa and Cassidy completed the podium. 

The GT300 class win went the way of the UpGarage Toyota 86 MC of Yuhki Nakayama and Takashi Kobayashi.

AUTOSPORT web is Japan's leading motorsports news web site, covering Formula 1, MotoGP, rally, Super GT, and endurance racing.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. FlyingLobster27

    April 9, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Very good season opener, should be a very interesting season in both classes. I’m going over to Japan for a couple of weeks shortly, and this race really pumped me up to see the cars in person again at the Suzuka test!

  2. Brzlav

    April 9, 2018 at 3:29 am

    Jenson Button was known for his tire saving driving style in F1. Maybe that was the strategy of the team all along? Nice to see him having a good start, I think it is normal that he doesn’t have the outright speed and routine than the drivers with more GT500 experience.

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