Published on April 13th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Nissan GT-R Triumphs at Okayama Super GT Race. Rookie Katsumasa Chiyo Impresses
The No.1 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R took maximum points with the No.46 S Road CRAFTSPORTS GT-R of veteran Satoshi Motoyama and last year’s Blancpain Endurance Series driver’s co-champion Katsumasa Chiyo claiming third to put two GT-Rs on the podium.
After starting third, Quintarelli began a charge through traffic to close on second place, bringing the gap down to 0.3 of a second by lap 20. On Lap 28 he made a pass at the hairpin and set chase after the race leader.
After closing to be right on the tail of the leading Lexus, the Italian took over the lead when his rival pitted on lap 35. Three laps later, incredible pit work by the NISMO crew had Tsugio Matsuda aboard the No.1 machine and back in the lead.
From that point on he ran unchallenged to the checkered flag, kicking off the duo’s charge for their third consecutive championship in the best possible way.
“This is my first time winning in the opening round, as well as at Okayama, but I have to be honest – it really hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Quintarelli.
Although the No.1 GT-R took victory, all eyes were on the No.46 GT-R and young star Chiyo. Although this was his debut GT500 race, in the previous day’s official qualifying he managed to record the top time in the first qualifying session.
Yet it was his performance on race day that had everyone’s attention. Veteran Satoshi Motoyama took charge of the first stint and maintained position until pitting in at lap 35. Here he handed the car over to Chiyo.
After taking the reins, Chiyo pulled out a momentous drive and began to swiftly close in on the rivals in front. By lap 52, he moved into third place after a stunning battle and then set his sights on second place. Despite a tough fight in the closing laps, he was unable to steal a GT-R 1-2 but still impressed with his GT500 debut.