New Lexus RC scores first 2014 win
In difficult conditions, involving occasional rain, Andrea Caldarelli and Ito Daisuke (KeePer TOM’S Lexus RC F) scored a come-from-behind victory at the Okayama GT 300 Km Race – Round 1 of the 2014 Super GT series – after an early battle between polesitter Kazuya Oshima and the 2nd-position grid starter Joao Paulo de Oliveira.
Being its debut race, this was of course the first Super GT win for the new Lexus RC F. For Ito, it was his 11th career win in the series, while Caldarelli claimed his maiden victory in his third season.
In the GT300 class, from the second place of the grid the BMW Z4 driven by Tatsuya Kataoka and Nobuteru Taniguchi took the lead and held it, finishing ahead of the other Z4 racecar of Seji Ara-Jorg Muller. This was the first 1-2 finish ever for BMW machines. The GT300 class polesitters Morio Nitta-Koki Saga suffered from mechanical trouble in the early stages of the race.
This is my third year since coming to Japan, and today I have finally scored my first win. – said Caldarelli – I am very happy that it came in the opening round of the new era of GT500 with all new machines. I’m am grateful to the team, to Lexus, and the TRD staff for this. Our car was late in being completed and we were only able to run it twice in the official test event at Okayama and the maker tests at Fuji, but we had no trouble. In today’s race we chose the tires with the intention of going for the win in the second half of the race, and that is exactly how things worked out, so I pushed hard from midway through my stint. I’m happy that this led to a good result.