Published on June 20th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
AUTOBACS 2011 SUPER GT Series Round 3 at Sepang sees the Weider HSV-010 team take 1st place
The recent Round 3 of the SUPER GT race held at Sepang was a success considering the natural disasters that struck Japan. The 2011 AUTOBACS SUPER GT GT500 class winner was the pole-starting Weider HSV-010 driven by Takashi Kogure and Loic Duval. To avoid Malaysia’s midday tropical heat in, the race start was scheduled for 16:00 (local time) in the late afternoon. Starting from the pole position (1st position on the grid), the Weider HSV-010 driven by Loic Duval gradually opened up a lead of the 2nd-place S Road MOLA GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli). When Duval began to encounter GT300 class back-markers and lose time in passing them, the S Road MOLA GT-R closed in on his tail at one point. However, with its faster pace when running alone, the Weider HSV-010 (Duval) was able to maintain its lead all the way to the routine pit stop. Then the wheel was turned over to Takashi Kogure.
Next, the S Road MOLA GT-R made its pit stop. After quick pit work the team sent the GT-R back into the race with Masataka Yanagida in the driver’s seat. From the pit exit Yanagida got out on the track in front of Kogure. At this point, however, Kogure was obviously running at a faster pace and he managed to take back the lead on the second turn of that lap. After that, Kogure never let anyone get close to him as he built up an impressive 14-second lead by the time he took the checkered to win the race. Despite being last season’s GT champions, the Weider HSV-010 had not been able to come through with good results in either of the first two rounds of this season. Round three here at Sepang finally gave them their first win of the season. This represented the fourth win for the Honda HSV-010GT since its debut last season. For Kogure this is his fifth career GT win, and for Duval it is his fourth.
In the GT300 class, it was also the class pole-starter, the HATSUNEMIKU GOODSMILE BMW (Nobuteru Taniguchi/Taku Bamba), that won its race. It was the team’s first win in the fourth year since it began GT competition, and it was also the first win for the new BMW Z4 that has debuted this season. It was also Taku Bamba’s second GT win, while it was the ninth career GT win for Nobuteru Taniguchi.