Zent Cerumo RC F takes first win
Zent Cerumo‘s Lexus RC F of Yuji Tachikawa and Kohei Hirate (pictured) claimed the win at the Sugo GT 300km, Round 4 of the Japanese Super GT.
With Jame Rossiter setting the quickest lap in the qualifying for Petronas Tom’s on Sunday morning, the race started under cloudy skies. As the rain began to fall after the light, the polistter and the 2nd-place starter Hideki Mutoh returned to the pit to change to rain tires. However, the rain quit by round the fifth lap, forcing the teams that had changed to rain tire to return to the pit once again to change tires again, thus giving them a hefty time loss. These developments put Andrea Caldarelli in first place from fifth and Kohei Hirate in second after having started from 11th position.
Although the rain had stopped, the track was still slippery, and with Hirate’s pace exceeding that of Caldarelli, he was able to pass the KeePer Tom’S RC F on lap 18 to take the lead. After that, Hirate and Tachikawa continued to expand on their lead and build up a good margin over Caldarelli-Daisuke Ito. The Honda NSX Concept GT of Koudai Tsukakoshi and Toshihiro Kaneishi finished third.
This win made Tachikawa the sole holder of the record for most GT500 wins, with 16 now to his credit. For Hirate it is his the sixth win. This is also the second win for the new Lexus RC F since its debut this season. Caldarelli-Ito lead the championship.
In the GT300 class the Manepa Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 of Manabu Orido and Takayuki Aoki took the lead in the closing stages of the race and took the first GT300 win in eight years.