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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Actual Honda victorious in red-flagged thriller

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Tsukakoshi got here out on prime in a pulsating battle with Toshiki Oyu within the closing phases of the 300km race following an earlier pink flag.

That was after Naoki Yamamoto suffered a significant crash within the Kunimitsu Honda exiting the ultimate nook, after contact with the Kondo Racing Nissan GT300 automotive, which led to the race being paused for round 50 minutes.

Yamamoto was reported to be aware after the incident and capable of transfer his legs and arms, however no additional data was identified about his situation on the time of publication.

The pole-winning #8 ARTA Honda NSX-GT of Tomoki Nojiri and Oyu completed seven seconds in arrears of the Actual NSX in second, simply holding on forward of the NISMO Nissan of Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli.

Tsukakoshi and Matsushita now discover themselves solely a single level away from the lead of the standings, which is held by NDDP Nissan pair Katsumasa Chiyo and Mitsunori Takaboshi, with two races to go.

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In GT300, Workforce UpGarage pair Takashi Kobayashi and Shun Koide scored a dramatic victory of their Honda NSX GT3 because the main Saitama Toyopet Toyota GR Supra appeared to expire of gas on the end line.

Yamamoto’s crash introduced out pink flags

Photograph by: Masahide Kamio

Nojiri led the beginning of the race from pole, rapidly constructing a cushion on the head of the sector forward of Quintarelli and Matsushita. By the top of lap 17, Nojiri’s benefit was out to greater than 12 seconds, nevertheless it was again all the way down to lower than 10 by the point the pitstop section started on lap 28 of 84.

The primary of the three leaders to pit was Quintarelli, who got here in at hand over to Matsuda on lap 30, whereas Nojiri stayed out till lap 32 and Matsushita loved a single lap within the lead earlier than pitting on lap 33. However the Actual crew gained a big period of time through the pitstops, with the consequence that Tsukakoshi rejoined forward of Oyu to keep up the lead even whereas he bought his tyres as much as temperature.

In the meantime, the SARD Toyota of Yuhi Sekiguchi and the Impul Nissan of Bertrand Baguette cycled by to first and second by advantage of leaving their stops later, however neither had pitted by the point of Yamamoto’s crash on the finish of lap 39.

Sekiguchi led the sector again to inexperienced because the race resumed on lap 45, however as a result of the security automotive had picked up the chief previous to the stoppage, Tsukakoshi, Oyu and Matsuda had been capable of rejoin behind the queue and achieve virtually a complete lap on the sector.

Tsukakoshi initially held agency however could not shake off Oyu, who made use of lapped site visitors to arrange a transfer by the ultimate nook and alongside the beginning/end straight on the finish of lap 52.

When Sekiguchi made his cease that lap, Oyu, Tsukakoshi and Matsuda retook the highest three positions. Oyu constructed a three-second lead over Tsukakoshi, however appeared to start out struggling because the race wore on, permitting each Tsukakoshi and Matsuda again into the body.

Tsukakoshi was clearly the sooner of the 2 Honda drivers in clear air, and on the finish of lap 76 one other second with lapped site visitors on the final nook gave him the prospect he wanted to repass Oyu for the lead. From there, Tsukakoshi stretched a lead of seven seconds by the chequered flag to attain he and Matsushita’s first win of the season and their second as a duo following final yr’s Autopolis spherical.

Koudai Tsukakoshi. Nobuharu Matsushita, #17 Astemo NSX-GT

Koudai Tsukakoshi. Nobuharu Matsushita, #17 Astemo NSX-GT

Photograph by: Masahide Kamio

Matsuda settled for third place behind Oyu, whereas the SARD Toyota GR Supra of Sekiguchi and Yuichi Nakayama was a distant fourth, a large 58 seconds behind on the end however having had the prospect to make a pitstop whereas basically a lap forward of fifth place and again.

The Impul Nissan shared by Baguette and Kazuki Hiramine stopped on lap 44 as the security automotive got here in, Hiramine initially slipping all the way down to the foot of the highest 10 on chilly tyres. However on brisker rubber, the #1 automotive was capable of steadily claw again positions to finish the highest 5.

Kondo Racing pair Daiki Sasaki and Kohei Hirate made it three Nissan Zs within the prime six, forward of a trio of Toyota crews, with Rookie Racing main residence the #36 TOM’S and the Racing Mission Bandoh GR Supras. 

The championship-leading NDDP Nissan scored a single level in tenth to take Chiyo and Takaboshi’s factors tally for the yr to 50, with Tsukakoshi and Matsushita on 49 and TOM’S pair Sho Tsuboi and Ritomo Miyata on 48.

GT300: UpGarage steals dramatic win from Saitama Toyopet

Within the GT300 class, Honda squad Workforce UpGarage scored its third win of the season, placing drivers Takashi Kobayashi and Shun Koide right into a commanding place within the title race.

Carrying 100kg of success ballast, Kobayashi appeared heading in the right direction to convey residence the UpGarage Honda NSX GT3 second behind the Saitama Toyopet Toyota GR Supra of Hiroki Yoshida and Kohta Kawaai, which had jumped up the order through the pitstops after solely altering two tyres.

However with the chequered flag in sight, Yoshida dramatically slowed, frantically weaving as he neared the end line, permitting Kobayashi to go for the victory by simply eight tenths of a second.

Kobayashi and Koide’s third win of 2023 places them 15 factors clear within the title race forward of Yoshida and Kawaai, and marks the primary time any GT300 squad was gained thrice in a single season since 2011.

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