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SUPER GT Round 6 AUTOPOLIS GT 300km RACE Fifth Consecutive Victory for the LEXUS LC500 GT500 class

SUPER GT Round 6 AUTOPOLIS GT 300km RACE Fifth Consecutive Victory for the LEXUS LC500 GT500 class

09.09.2019: • DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500 No. 39 with drivers Heikki KOVALAINEN / Yuichi NAKAYAMA achieved their first victory this season in the 2019 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series at AUTOP

•    DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500 No. 39 with drivers Heikki KOVALAINEN / Yuichi NAKAYAMA achieved their first victory this season in the 2019 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series at AUTOPOLIS INTERNATIONAL RACING COURSE. This is the fifth consecutive victory for the LEXUS LC500 since Round 2.


•    KeePer TOM’S No. 37 co-piloted by drivers Ryo HIRAKAWA / Nick CASSIDY recorded third place.
GT300 class


•    SYNTIUM LMcorsa RC F GT3 No. 60 with drivers Hiroki YOSHIMOTO / Ritomo MIYATA won their first victory for this season. This is also their first win since the debut with this car in 2015.

 

 

Heikki KOVALAINEN (DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500 No. 39)


I feel extremely happy. It’s been a while since we won in the race, and we had a tough season so far without a podium. Even it’s been a hard season for us, we kept working hard. This weekend we managed to improve our car so we were competitive in yesterday’s qualifying. It was crazy weather today. My stint was okay, and I was cautious in the rain not to make a mistake. When it was dry the balance was pretty nice, and I enjoyed my stint. Nakayama-san did an amazing job. I was a bit worried at some moment, but he said “no problem” on the radio.


He took care of the tires and got it all under control. It is really happy for the team and hopefully it gives a nice kick for the rest of the season. We are now third place in the championship and in Super GT, everything is possible like what we saw today, so we will keepy trying hard as a team for the remaing races.






Yuichi NAKAYAMA (DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500 No. 39)



This season, we were not able to get a good result, while the other Lexus cars were in good condition.But I communicated well with Heikki and the team, and changed the set up of the car, and was able to pass the Q1 since two races ago. When it was my stint, the pit was very crowded and got contact from others, but the pit stop timing was perfect. In the chaotic situation, the pit stop work was great, and the mechanics let our car back into the track in front of our rivals. Thanks to our team for today’s result.


After the safety car run, the restart went well, and until the following cars came closer, we were able to keep the tires, and control the margin. I feel that my experience in the GT300 class with the same tire manufacturer was useful. We were able to rely on the car and tires, so it was possible to push until the end. We are satisfied with today’s result, as we were able to manage the tire well. I’m happy to win in my debut year of GT500 class, and now we are able to compete in the championship, so we will do our best to capture the championship title.



Ryo HIRAKAWA (KeePer TOM'S LC500 No. 37)



In the beginning of the race, we had the weight handicap and was difficult to increase our position, but after overtaking the rivals, our pace was good, so we thought we could aim for upper position. But it started to rain, and there was a safety car run. The tires and the brakes became cold and it didn’t grip at all. We wanted to change the tires, but we knew we will just lose our position, so we tried to warm up our tires to increase our pace. Later on there was another safety car run, and luckly we were able to get close to our rivals.


While I was increasing the pace, the tires got locked, and the car spinned in the speed of 150km/h, but I was calmn enough to be able to manage, not to crash. The tires got damaged by the spin, so I had to take care while racing, but I pushed taking on the risk, and was able to finish in third place. I didn’t know the position, and thought it was P9 or P10, so I was surprised when I heard it’s P3. The car condition is good, and we drivers are doing well with the car, so if we are able to continue this, I think we will be in a good position for the remaining two races.



Nick CASSIDY (KeePer TOM'S LC500 No. 37)



Ryo did a great job, especially the final few laps were amazing. Our speed in this weekend was really good in the dry condition. In Q1, and also in the first half of the race, we were able to pass our rivals and was able to come back in P5 at the pit stop timing. In the difficult condition, I am happy that Ryo got P3 in the end. We had good speed, and it shows that compared to our rivals, our performance this weekend was amazing.



 In the last five weekends, Rd. 2 Fuji qualify was P2, Rd. 3 Suzuka and Rd. 4 Thailand race was P2, Rd. 5 Fuji race was P4, and today was P3, so we were physically strongest in car. We have a good feeling, but there are still some points gap, so we will not give up until the end.




GT500 Class Result


1    39    DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500    Heikki Kovalainen
Yuichi Nakayama    65    2:19'15.779    5    40
2    17    KEIHIN NSX-GT    Koudai Tsukakoshi
Bertrand Baguette    65    3.774    1    20
3    37    KeePer TOM'S LC500    Ryo Hirakawa
Nick Cassidy    65    24.137    7    88
4    38    ZENT CERUMO LC500    Yuji Tachikawa
Hiroaki Ishiura    65    27.931    8    61
5    8    ARTA NSX-GT    Tomoki Nojiri
Takuya Izawa    65    32.440    2    50
6    6    WAKO'S 4CR LC500    Kazuya Oshima
Kenta Yamashita    65    32.676    14    120
7    64    Modulo Epson NSX-GT    Narain Karthikeyan
Tadasuke Makino    65    34.575    13    9
8    19    WedsSport ADVAN LC500    Yuji Kunimoto
Sho Tsuboi    65    1'04.754    9    41
9    24    Realize corporation ADVAN GT-R    Mitsunori Takaboshi
Jann Mardenborough    65    1'09.629    3    28
10    36    au TOM'S LC500    Kazuki Nakajima
Yuhi Sekiguchi    65    1'47.470    4    48
GT300 Class Result
Po    No.    Machine    Driver    Laps    Time/Diff    Q    WH
1    60    SYNTIUM LMcorsa RC F GT3    Hiroki Yoshimoto
Ritomo Miyata    62    2:19'33.864    12    10
2    720    McLaren 720S    Seiji Ara
Alex Palou    62    12.332    19    -
3    88    MANEPA LAMBORGHINI GT3    Takashi Kogure
Yuya Motojima    62    19.792    22    51
4    4    GOODSMILE HATSUNE MIKU AMG    Nobuteru Taniguchi
Tatsuya Kataoka    62    27.054    6    37
5    96    K-tunes RC F GT3    Morio Nitta
Sena Sakaguchi    62    30.349    8    60
6    55    ARTA NSX GT3    Shinichi Takagi
Nirei Fukuzumi    62    32.743    7    73
7    65    LEON PYRAMID AMG    Naoya Gamou
Togo Suganami    62    38.235    13    39
8    56    Realize NISSAN jidousya daigakkou GT-R    Kazuki Hiramine
Sacha Fenestraz    62    40.746    9    64
9    18    UPGARAGE NSX GT3    Takashi Kobayashi
Kosuke Matsuura    62    45.965    17    20
10    10    GAINER TANAX triple a GT-R    Kazuki Hoshino
Keishi Ishikawa    62    48.318    10    42
20    35    arto RC F GT3    Nattapong Hortongkum
Sean Walkinshaw    60    2 Laps    23    -




Drivers Standings (GT500)


1    6    Kazuya Oshima / Kenta Yamashita    65
2    37    Ryo Hirakawa / Nick Cassidy    55
3    39    Heikki Kovalainen / Yuichi Nakayama    40
4    38    Yuji Tachikawa / Hiroaki Ishiura    38.5
9    36    Kazuki Nakajima / Yuhi Sekiguchi    25
10    19    Yuji Kunimoto / Sho Tsuboi    23.5


Team Standings (GT500)



1    6    LEXUS TEAM LEMANS WAKO'S    81
2    37    LEXUS TEAM KeePer TOM'S    73
3    39    LEXUS TEAM SARD    55
4    38    LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO    53.5
8    19    LEXUS TEAM WedsSport BANDOH    38.5
10    36    LEXUS TEAM au TOM'S    36



 - Stephan Lesuisse, photos Lexus




Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/super-gt-autopolis-gt-300km-race-victory-lexus-lc500-gt500-class---197018.html

09.09.2019 / MaP

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