Nick Cassidy led lights to flag in the first Super GT x DTM Dream Race at Fuji Speedway on Saturday while Benoit Treluyer was the highest-placed DTM driver.
Super GT regular Cassidy started from pole in the No. 37 KeePer TOM’S Lexus LC500 and remained out front for the full 55-minute-plus-one-lap race.
He survived pressure from Koudai Tsukakoshi on the last lap after a late-race restart that bunched the field up. Before then, the New Zealand driver had built up an eight-second lead.
Keihin Real Racing’s Tsukakoshi couldn’t make his way past the Lexus, settling for second in the No. 17 Honda NSX-GT, while Naoki Yamamoto finished third in the Team Kunimitsu Honda.
The restart came with two minutes plus one lap left to run and was the result of Daiki Sasaki parking his Nissan GT-R NISMO on the pit straight near pit out, calling a safety car period while it was retrieved.
Treluyer’s late-race charged allowed him to take the position of best-placed DTM driver with a sixth-place finish. The WRT Hitotsuyama Team Audi Sport driver made up a number of positions in the final few laps to finish just 11 seconds off the leader.
Rene Rast had been the highest DTM driver for most of the race but settled for eighth after struggling to make up more ground.
Ronnie Quintarelli had an up-and-down race after electing to start on wet tires while most of his rivals chose slick tires.
He moved up from fourth to second into Turn 1 but soon lost pace on the drying track and fell back a number of positions over the first few laps.
Loic Duval was set to start from second but lost control of his Audi RS 5 DTM on the way to the dummy grid, as a result of the damp track conditions. He picked up too much damage to take part in the race but is expected to be back out for Sunday’s qualifying and race.
Kamui Kobayashi was BMW’s most successful driver, finishing 14th.
Race 2 will take place on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. local time (12:30 a.m. EST / 5:30 a.m. GMT).
RESULTS: Race 1