Earlier this year, team Impul Calsonic announced it would be taking part in the 2017 Super GT season with the help of Jann Mardenborough and Hironobu Yasuda. Taking place at Okayama International Circuit, the season opener bestowed the team with respectable 8th position in the GT500 class.
The first race of the season took place earlier today. Setting a lap time of 1’19.315 during the first qualifying round meant the team’s #12 Nissan GT-R would kick the race off from 13th position. Sadly, the team never reached the second qualifying round, as the rules dictate that only the eight fastest times from the first round can have another go.
Nevertheless, the team would improve significantly over the 186 miles of racing and position hunting. On lap 28 Jann passed by Oliveira from team Advan (#24) in spectacular fashion and secured 8th position. This would remain the team’s final position upon crossing the chequered flag, with a half-minute gap below the winning duo Hirakawa and Cassidy (#37) from team TOM’S.
It should be noted that the top six finishers from the GT500 class were all using the brand new Lexus LC500. This curious fact puts a bright light on the manufacturer that has been running in the Super GT series for over a decade now. The return of team Mugen brought a smile to the faces of long time Honda fans, though with the team currently being ranked 9th, more substantial results are yet to come.
In the GT300 class the crowned drivers were Nobuteru Taniguchi and Tatsuya Kataoka from team Goodsmile Racing (#4).
Check the official Super GT website for more details on the race and exclusive materials. The next race will be held at Fuji Speedway on May 4. See you then!