On May 4, in the midst of the traditional Golden Week, the Fuji 500 km race of the Super GT season was held.
The traditional event for the Japanese series delighted spectators with spectacular competition and Honda managed to celebrate its first victory here since 2000. Kodai Tsukakoshi and Bertrand Baguette of Reel Racing Honda were able to grab the lead after the first full-course mode, having made a pit stop shortly before.
Their rivals later were Tomoki Nojiri and Nirei Fukuzumi of ARTA and Yuhi Sekigui and Sho Tsuboi of TOM’s Toyota. However, the ARTA crew failed first, being penalized for overtaking under yellow flags, and then technical problems took the TOM’c drivers out of the race.
Nevertheless, the finish was incredibly tight, as another Toyota driver, Kazuya Oshima and Kenta Yamashita of Team Hands were also close and crossed the finish line just 0.8s. behind. Ryo Hirakawa and Sena Sakaguchi of another TOM’s crew completed the podium, with Kunimitsu champions Naoki Yamamoto and Tadasuke Makino and Hideki Muto joining them a second and a half behind.
In GT300, the fight was between RD Sport and LM Corsa crews driving Subaru BRZ and Toyota Supra silhouettes respectively, and ARTA team driving Honda HS GT3. Hiroki Yoshida and Takashi Kawai on another Green Brave Supra tried to win the race, using pit-stop tactics without tire change, but technical problems negated their efforts. The final victory went to LM Corsa drivers Hiroki Yoshimoto and Shunsuke Kono, Takuto Iguchi and Hideki Yamaguchi from RD Sport finished second, with Shinichi Takagi and Ren Sato finishing in third place.
The third round of the season will be held May 29-30 at the Suzuka track.