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Weekly Racing Roundup (8.7.23)

Reports from Super GT at Fuji, GT America at Nashville plus other racing action…

Photo: Super GT

Chiyo, Takaboshi Win Eventful Fuji Race

Katsumasa Chiyo and Mitsunori Takaboshi claimed their first win of the Super GT season in an eventful race at Fuji Speedway that included changeable weather and a red flag.

The drivers of the No. 3 NDDP Racing Nissan Z moved to the top of the GT500 standings as they notched up their fourth consecutive top-five result of the campaign.

After a safety car start due to wet conditions, Chiyo grabbed the lead during the early stages of the 100-lap affair but he lost ground when a drying track prompted front-runners to adopt slick tires.

At that point, ARTA Honda driver Nirei Fukuzumi and Toyota’s Kazuya Oshima emerged at the head of the field, with the latter moving his TOM’S-prepared Toyota GR Supra into the lead after a side-by-side battle down Fuji’s long main straight.

The leaders were kept close together by a safety car on Lap 35, caused by a fire breaking out on Max Racing’s Toyota Supra, and Oshima handed over to Kenta Yamashita not long after.

Another fire in the GT300 ranks, this time on Hoppy Team Tsuchiya’s Supra, recalled the safety car on Lap 66 but the incident was soon escalated to a red flag, with the driver Seita Nonaka escaping unhurt.

The lengthy pause heralded the return of the rain and a wet-weather surge from the Michelin-shod No. 3 Nissan, now with Takaboshi at the controls. He quickly rose from fourth to second and passed Yamashita down the inside at Turn 1 to capture the lead.

Takaboshi drew clear over the remaining 15 laps to secure the victory, with Fukuzumi and Hiroki Otsu taking second ahead of Team Kunimitsu’s Honda pairing of Naoki Yamamoto and Tadasuke Makino.

However, both the second and third-placed Hondas were subsequently penalized 40 seconds for pit lane violations, dropping them to third and sixth respectively.

Nissan’s success at Fuji extended to GT300 where Keishi Ishikawa and Yusuke Shiotsu prevailed for the GAINER squad.


Photo: Fabian Lagunas/SRO

 O’Connell, Daskalos Share Nashville Spoils

Johnny O’Connell and Jason Daskalos shared the spoils in last weekend’s pair of GT America powered by AWS races on the streets of Nashville.

O’Connell made a strong start to the opening 40-minute contest as he planted his Audi R8 LMS ultra down the inside of Mirko Schultis at the first corner to seize second.

Daskalos, meanwhile, made full use of his pole position that was earned from the Practice 2 times after qualifying was rained out.

The driver of the No. 27 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo built a six-second lead over O’Connell in the opening seven minutes but his early work came undone when he tangled with an Aston Martin Vantage GT4.

Daskalos continued with some light damage, but O’Connell had already slipped through and set off toward a 7.5-second victory.

A venture into the run-off at the halfway mark for Schultis set up a duel for second between Daskalos and Gidley, which went the way of the former driver when he out-braked the other Mercedes-AMG driver into Turn 4 after battling over the bridge.

Race 2 was a more straightforward affair as Daskalos won from pole position to take the SRO3 points lead from Gidley, who claimed a pair of third-place finishes.

O’Connell finished second after being unable to break down Daskalos who won just over a second.

Robb Holland swept the GT4 races in his Rotek Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, copying his achievement from GT America’s visit to Music City last year.

RESULTS: Race 1 / Race 2

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Other Racing Action & News

***Hugo Sasse and Mike David Ortmann were the most successful pairing on ADAC GT4 Germany’s visit to the Nürburgring, as they finished second in the opening race before claiming their second win of the season. The drivers of the No. 1 PROSport Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 opened a nine-point championship lead as a result. Race 1 / Race 2

***SRO Motorsports Group’s first standalone Asian GT4 race at Okayama will have a modest eight-car entry, although the general manager of Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS hopes it can be a springboard for future growth. “I’ve had positive discussions with prospective teams ahead of next season when we are aiming to double Okayama’s entry,” said Benjamin Franassovici. “That’s an ambitious target but also one I believe to be attainable.”

***The two 60-minute GT4 races will support the GTWC Asia round at Okayama later this month. A field of 31 cars will contest this year’s Japan Cup season finale.

***Isotta Fraschini’s latest LMH test at Monza was impacted by a fire in the engine compartment caused by a lubricant leak, according to the Italian constructor. The incident caused damage to the car’s wiring system. Earlier on Saturday, a 12-lap run on soft Michelin tires produced a 1:35.622 lap time that would have put it fourth on the grid for last month’s 6 Hours of Monza FIA World Endurance Championship round.

On this weekend: Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS (Queensland)

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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