Takaboshi, Chiyo Take New Nissan’s First Win
There were firsts in both Super GT classes at Suzuka as Mitsunori Takaboshi and Katsumasa Chiyo delivered the Nissan Z’s maiden victory in GT500 and Team Studie brought the BMW M4 GT3’s first victory on Japanese soil in GT300.
The NISMO pairing of Takaboshi and Chiyo rode through two safety car periods to win Sunday’s 52-lap race from third on the grid.
Their Nissan moved into the lead thanks to a lightning start from Chiyo, who split the front row-starting Toyota GR Supras into the first corner before bravely passing pole-sitter Yuji Kunimoto into 130R on lap two.
Real Racing Honda driver Nobuharu Matsushita also had a strong opening stint and climbed to second behind Chiyo, whose ability to break clear was restricted by a safety car period on lap 11 when the No. 38 Toyota stopped and a GT300 car crashed.
However, the 2015 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour winner continued in front after the restart before handing over to Takaboshi on lap 22.
Takaboshi, who crashed heavily at Fuji less than four weeks ago, had driven 20 seconds up the road from Matsushita’s co-driver Koudai Tsukakoshi when another safety car occurred due to contact between the Mugen Honda NSX and Max Racing’s GT300 Supra.
Once Takaboshi had successfully handled the second restart of the day, he brought the Nissan home by a 4.5-second margin over Tsukakoshi, while Sacha Fenestraz and Ritomo Miyata took third after starting one position higher.
Team Studie’s GT300 success with the BMW M4 GT3 came courtesy of Seiji Ara and Tsubasa Kondo, who was filling in for the Nürburgring 24-tied Augusto Farfus.
RESULTS: Suzuka 300km
Enduro McLaren Reigns at Donington
Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton claimed a dominant victory in round three of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship at Donington Park.
The Enduro Motorsport pair won at the Leicestershire venue seven months ago and continued where they left off in this latest fixture sharing their McLaren 720S GT3.
Tillbrook started the three-hour race from pole but lost the lead to James Cottingham in the 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes-AMG almost straight away.
However, a safety car period for two Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos colliding at Melbourne Hairpin gave Enduro an opportunity to move back ahead, with Clutton emerging from the batch of pit stops ahead of 2 Seas driver Lewis Williamson.
Clutton then produced a commanding drive to seal the win, setting a new lap record and gapping second place to the tune of one minute when the checkered flag fell.
Williamson and Cottingham secured second after the former benefited from a collision between Scott Malvern’s Team Parker Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, which had also gained ground under the safety car, and Sandy Mitchell’s Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini.
RAM Racing’s Ian Loggie and Callum MacLeod completed the podium in their Mercedes-AMG, while Loggie leads the drivers’ standings by 15.5 points from Michael Igoe and Phil Keen, whose Lamborghini recovered after its role in the accident at Melbourne.
Ford Mustang squad Academy Motorsport schooled the competition in the GT4 class as Marco Signoretti and Matt Cowley won by a 17-second margin over Century Motorsport’s Will Burns and Jack Brown.
RESULTS: Donington Park
Other Racing & News
***Decorated IMSA driver Bill Auberlen won Saturday’s BMW M Race of Legends at the Nürburgring from the back of the grid, progressing through a field of esteemed drivers pedaling identical BMW M2 CS Racings. Auberlen shared the podium with touring car greats Johnny Cecotto and Steve Soper, with whom the American finished fifth at Le Mans in 1999. Results
***The Ultimate Cup Series headed to Navarra for its second round of the season, where Emmanuel Collard and Charles-Henri Samani won the four-hour GT Endurance race aboard a Racetivity Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. Results
***An Audi Sport GT3 team not only won at the Nürburgring last weekend: in China, Uno Racing prevailed in the opening round of the Zhuhai Motorsport Association, while Stradale Motorsport driver Charl Arangies was unbeaten in the Extreme Supercars round at Aldo Scribante in South Africa.
***JP Motorsport has unveiled a special livery that will adorn its McLaren 720S GT3 for this weekend’s Paul Ricard 1000km. The design commemorates International Children’s Day and will be accompanied by special team kits that will be auctioned for charity after the event.
***Super GT introduced a new safety car at Suzuka, with the new Nissan Z replacing the Toyota GR Supra in the role. The Z is also the new GT500 race model for Nissan’s program in the Japanese championship’s top category.
On this weekend: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (Detroit Belle Isle), Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup (Paul Ricard), 24 Hours of Le Mans test day (Circuit de la Sarthe)