2017 Super GT Round 2: Lexus Dominates, Jann Mardenborough Faces Setback

Super GT 271 May 7, 2017 by

The second race of the 2017 Super GT series held at Fuji Speedway concluded last Thursday. After 110 laps of high-speed competition, Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura from team Zent Cerumo (#38) claimed a top podium placement in the GT500 class and overall.

This week the track conditions were ideal for exciting racing. Although drivers faced a pile of clouds during the qualifying round scheduled earlier on Wednesday, no rain drops affected the actual race.

The GT500 class-winning team Zent Cerumo (No. 38) ranked 1st in all three driving sessions of the Fuji round. In spite of having to deal with the highest weight ballast — courtesy of the season opener — teams Wako’s 4CR (No. 6) and KeePer TOM’S (No. 37) completed the race 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Unfortunately, Team Impul Calsonic (represented by Jann Mardenborough and Hironobu Yasuda) had to conclude the race without a single point. With a qualifying lap of 1:28.883, the team couldn’t proceed to the second round of the qualification. It would start the race from 12th position and finish 14th in-class.

The winning GT500 car. Image by Super GT.

An unfavourable turn of events affected one of the teams in the GT300 class. In spite of beating  the qualifying round with the fastest lap of 1:35.824, the winning team from the season opener Goodsmile Racing (No. 4) experienced a downgrade in positions during the actual race. On lap 61 the team’s car suffered a puncture on the front left tire, forcing it into an unexpected pit stop worth 62 seconds.

As a result, the team dropped down to 12th position in-class and would later finish the race 11th. The class laurel was taken by Yuichi Nakayama and Sho Tsuboi from team LM Corsa (No. 51).

Lexus once again proved its latest model leaves no breathing room for the opposition. The manufacturer secured all three steps of the podium in GT500, and another one in the lower class. Although Honda continues to seek more respectable results, this time its rank improved considerably. Team Raybrig and Keihin settled within the first half of the GT500 grid. Sitting in-between is Nissan. Team Motul Autech finished 4th in the class GT500, currently the manufacturer’s best result this season.

Stop by the official Super GT website for further info on this week’s happenings. The next race is going to take place at Autopolis Circuit on May 21.

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