Team Kunimitsu Honda man Yamamoto was left with critical neck and spinal twine accidents following the contact with the Kondo Racing Nissan GT300 automotive of Teppei Natori that pitched him laborious into the limitations during last month’s sixth round of the season.
Natori was held accountable and penalised for inflicting the collision, triggered by his late lunge into the pits after being handed on the appropriate by the Rookie Racing Toyota of Kenta Yamashita, with the Nissan driver apparently not noticing that Yamamoto was tucked in shut behind.
The state of affairs was sophisticated by the presence of the #10 Gainer Nissan that caught to the left-hand aspect of the observe, prompting Yamashita to go Natori on the appropriate.
In a particular media briefing finally weekend’s Autopolis spherical, journalists had been proven CCTV and on-board footage of the conflict between Yamamoto and Natori, which was by no means proven on the official TV broadcast of the race.
Throughout this briefing, GTA race division govt supervisor Taku Sawame revealed that strikes are afoot to revise the sporting and technical laws to enhance security in 2024, with a selected concentrate on cornering speeds.
“We’re that ‘too quick is harmful’, as many individuals have identified,” mentioned Sawame. “Now we’re discussing what we are able to do to scale back cornering speeds with the sporting and technical regulation sub-committees, with security as the highest precedence.
“We’re always discussing what we are able to implement instantly, and what we have to take a look at for the medium- and long-term. The primary stage is to work out what safety-orientated objects we are able to add to subsequent 12 months’s sporting laws.”
Whereas main modifications to the technical laws are unlikely earlier than the following era of GT500 vehicles are launched, probably in 2028 or ‘29, Sawame added that “we are able to’t wait that lengthy, so we’ll be versatile and implement what we are able to for now”.
The GTA’s room for manoeuvre when it comes to cornering speeds is proscribed by SUPER GT’s tyre battle, however Sawame revealed a ‘tyre working group’ has been established to debate security enhancements.
GTA chairman Masaaki Bandoh mentioned that the tyre producers have expressed the opinion that making extra ‘wide selection’ tyres with a bigger working window will naturally result in diminished cornering speeds, and that plans to additional scale back the variety of tyre units out there to groups per weekend will encourage additional growth on this route.
The variety of dry tyre units per weekend was already reduce from six to 5 for normal 300km races this 12 months within the title of decreasing SUPER GT’s environmental impression.
Moreover decreasing cornering speeds, the GTA has additionally pledged to take different measures in a bid to keep away from a repeat of the incident that came about at Sugo.
Race director Naoki Hattori argued that the incident may have probably been averted completely had Natori activated his flip alerts to point to Yamashita and Yamamoto his intention to pit. Hattori added that when it was clear that his path was blocked, Natori ought to have accomplished one other lap earlier than making his cease.
The Kondo Nissan sustained front-right injury within the Yamamoto conflict however was capable of proceed
Hattori mentioned measures had been being applied at Autopolis resembling stating throughout observe when drivers ought to have used their indicators, whereas Bandoh mentioned that “we have to transfer the placement of the swap” to encourage their use (at the moment not obligatory) and promote security.
There have additionally been ideas that Sugo may prolong the white line denoting the pit entrance additional in direction of the final nook to pressure drivers planning to pit to carry a good inside line.
Bandoh revealed: “Now we have proposed to Sugo to transform the world [near the pit entrance] that’s at the moment grass to tarmac, and to widen and prolong the white line just a little.”
Combined-class racing non-negotiable, says Bandoh
Yamamoto’s Sugo crash is the second main incident of the 12 months to have occurred attributable to a misunderstanding between GT500 and GT300 vehicles, following Nissan driver Tsugio Matsuda’s heavy crash earlier within the season at Suzuka.
That incident adopted Mitsunori Takaboshi’s equally hefty crash at Fuji in 2022.
However Bandoh is completely adamant that SUPER GT should proceed to run with two courses collectively, dismissing out of hand ideas made on social media for the collection to contemplate working separate races for the 2 divisions.
“What we’re doing is demanding drivers grasp the artwork of racing with GT500 and GT300 vehicles of various speeds on the identical time,” mentioned Bandoh. “To have a dash race or to have the GT500s and GT300s run individually… this isn’t SUPER GT.
“What we wish to do is proceed and develop the GT500 and GT300 courses which have been working since 1994, and to create a world during which that is recognised.”