Published on August 11th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Super GT 2014, Fuji GT, Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT Wins
FUJI GT 300km RACE, Round 5 of the AUTOBACS SUPER GT took place at Fuji Speedway (one lap 4.563km x 66 laps) in Shizuoka Pref. on Aug. 10th. Amid intermittent rain from the passing Typhoon #11, the No. 18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT driven by Naoki Yamamoto and Frederic Makowiecki won the GT500 race. This was the first win for the new Honda NSX concept model in its debut season. The GT300 class winner was the No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT driven by Kota Sasaki and Takuto Iguchi, going from pole position to the win.
The race started at 3:00 in the afternoon when there was a temporary lull in the rain. The race began after three laps behind the Safety Car. As the pole-starting No. 17 KEIHIN NSX CONCEPT-GT (Toshihiro Kaneishi) failed to move out at a fast pace, it was quickly passed by the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli) and the No. 18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT (Naoki Yamamoto). The Weider Modulo was running at an especially fast pace and soon passed the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R to take the lead. The Weider Modulo gradually began to build a lead over the rest of the field until the ninth lap when the rain and winds from Typhoon #11 strengthened and it was decided by the race officials that it was too dangerous to continue the race and the Safety Car was brought out at that point.
The race was restarted about 30 minutes later when there was another lull in the rain. In the Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT, Yamamoto showed the same momentum as before the race was stopped and continued on in the lead unchallenged. In the second half of the race, Frederic Makowiecki now at the wheel of car No. 18 was able to run on at a steady pace despite the rough conditions that were causing havoc elsewhere in the race. In the late stages of the race when the rain began to fall heavily again with about eight laps remaining, the Safety Car came out again to slow the race and lead the cars in formation until the 66th and final lap where the race ended. Having endured the tough conditions with no trouble, the Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT team celebrated its first win of the season.
The Honda NSX CONCEPT-GT is the new NSX concept model scheduled for release in the near future, and with its mid-ship layout hybrid-system power unit, it is unique among the new SUPER GT GT500 class machines. Since its debut, it struggled to perform on par with the other maker’s machines in the early stages of the season, left to eat the dust of the Nissan GT-Rs and Lexus RC Fs race after race and cause frustration among Honda fans. But, here in Round 5, the No. 17 KEIHIN NSX CONCEPT-GT won pole position driven by Koudai Tsukakoshi. Then, in a rainy race where machine performance plays less of a factor, the Honda machine has finally gotten it long-awaited first SUPER GT win. The Honda teams will now be going all out to make a comeback in the second half of the season. Today was the second GT500 win for the driver team of Yamamoto and Makowiecki.
In the GT300 class race, the pole-starting No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT showed dominant speed in the hands of Kota Sasaki and built up a large lead. In the second half, teammate Takuto Iguchi defended that lead with steady driving to win the race. This was the first win of the season for the Subaru BRZ as it ran in perfect form from pole position to the chequered flag.