After finishing second in the past two Super GT rounds, NISMO has its sights set on success at this weekend’s Suzuka 1000km in Japan. The final time the GT500 machines will be part of the event.
Satoshi Motoyama & Katsumasa Chiyo finished second at Sugo on July 23 with Ronnie Quintarelli & Tsugio Matsuda taking the runner-up spot at Fuji International Speedway on August 6.
Quintarelli & Matsuda are currently fifth in the 2017 points but are still only three points off the lead!
Motoyama finished on the podium here at Suzuka last year with Mitsunori Takaboshi filling in for the injured Chiyo.
For next season Suzuka will host a 300km race for the Super GT Championship with the Suzuka 1000km evolving into a stand-alone 10-hour race for GT3/GT300 spec cars.
First held in 1966 Nissan took its first win in the event in 1970 with Kawakami Nishino & Koji Fujita. other wins included :
- 1973 – Kunimitsu Takahashi & Kenji Tohira.
- 1990 – Kazuyoshi Hoshino & Toshio Suzuki.
- 1993 – Takao Wada & Toshio Suzuki.
- 2006 – Benoît Tréluyer, Kazuki Hoshino & Jérémie Dufour.
- 2008 – Tsugio Matsuda & Sébastien Philippe.
- 2012 – Masataka Yanagida & Ronnie Quintarelli.
GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough will race a GT500 at Suzuka for the first time this weekend with teammate Hiro Yasuda after finishing fifth at Fuji. Mardenborough said :
“Suzuka is one of the old school circuits and the track hasn’t been altered since its original design. Sector one is great & turn one is so fast. The entry speed with a GT500 car is so fast in turns one & two, sector two through 130R is also fun especially working through traffic with the GT300s. At the last race I started ninth & managed to pass a few cars early. I was fighting with Chiyo-san & Nick Cassidy managing to pass Heikki Kovalainen who is an ex-F1 driver so that was pretty cool. We finished fifth which was a good result. We’re not where we need to be but we’re getting closer.”
This weekend’s race at Suzuka will again be steamed live online with English commentary from NISMO TV’s Sam Collins & GT Academy mentor Rob Barff. The race will start at 12:30 pm local time on Sunday 27th August / 05:30 am EU time / 04:30 am UK time. In the U.S. the race begins Saturday 26th August at 11:30 pm Eastern Standard Time & 08:30 pm Pacific Standard Time.
You can of course watch all this at – NISMO.tv.