After a two-month layover, the Autobacs SUPER GT Series is set to return in two weeks’ time as the series makes its second trip of the year to Fuji Speedway on August 6-7. The Fuji GT 100 Lap Race is the second 450 kilometer “semi-endurance” event of the season, the first taking place during the Golden Week holiday on 4 May.
41 cars are on the entry list for this fourth round of the 2022 season, headlined by the 15 GT500 class cars. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have each won one of the first three races this season, and these next three races – the “mid-summer triple” – will reveal to us which teams will compete for the championship at season’s end.
After their win in the Suzuka 300km back in May, the #3 CraftSports Motul Nissan Z of Katsumasa Chiyo and Mitsunori Takaboshi enters the Fuji 100 Lap Race tied at the top of the table with the Okayama winners, the #14 Eneos X Prime Toyota GR Supra of Kazuya Oshima and Kenta Yamashita. Both have 26 points after three races, and thus will carry an effective 52 kilograms of Success Ballast – applied as 35 kilos of physical weight, and for the first time this season, the Stage 1 fuel flow restrictor which limits their maximum fuel flow from the standard 95 kg/hour to 92.6 kg/h.
The #8 ARTA Honda NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi) won the Fuji 450km in May, but one that was shortened to just 62 out of a scheduled 100 laps due to multiple red flags and severe accidents – and as such, only paid out half points. They’re carrying 30kg of Success Ballast into the weekend without an extra fuel flow restrictor. It’ll be an opportunity for ARTA to pull off the rare season sweep at Fuji, which hasn’t happened in the premier class since 2005.
Of note, the #16 Red Bull Motul Mugen NSX-GT (Ukyo Sasahara/Toshiki Oyu) will carry a four-place grid penalty into the weekend, after Oyu exceeded six penalty points under the SUPER GT Driving Moral Hazard System following his accident with the #244 Hachi-Ichi GR Supra GT300 at Suzuka. Oyu will also have to sit out the final hour of practice that morning.
In GT300, there are just 26 cars entered, and two prominent teams will be missing from the grid at Fuji.
Fans of Tsuchiya Engineering will know that their #25 Hoppy Schatz Toyota GR Supra was involved in a testing accident at Suzuka Circuit on 21 July. Driver Seita Nonaka was not injured after a high-speed crash at the notorious 130R corner, but due to the damage sustained and financial complications, the 2016 GT300 champion squad will miss this upcoming race at Fuji.
Also missing the race are Busou Drago Corse. Their #34 Busou raffinée Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 driven by Masataka Yanagida and Yuji Ide finished second at the Fuji 450km, so their absence is a big surprise.
Returning to the grid in their place are privateers R’Qs Motor Sports, with a new Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Hisashi Wada and Masaki Jyonai.
For the 100 lap race, several GT300 teams have drafted in third drivers. Tsubasa Kondo will accompany Seiji Ara and Augusto Farfus in the #7 study BMW M4 GT3, and deservedly so, after Ara and Kondo won the Suzuka 300km together. Shintaro Kawabata will join Takeshi Kimura and Kei Cozzolino in the #9 Pacific Hololive NAC Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, a tandem that has shined in GT World Challenge Asia this month. Yusuke Shiotsu, who accompanied Ryuichiro Tomita and Riki Okusa when their #10 TanaX Gainer GT-R won the shortened Fuji 450km, is back and hoping to see some seat time during the race this time out.
Toyota Gazoo Racing Driver Challenge (TGR-DC) members Hibiki Taira and Kazuto Kotaka will accompany April, with Taira driving the #30 Toyota GR86 GT300, and Kotaka, the Super Formula Lights championship leader, driving the hybrid-powered #31 Toyota GR Sport Prius PHV.
Also making his series debut is 41-year-old Masaya Kono, an alumni of the Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP) original class of 2006, with NILZZ Racing in the #48 Shokumou K’s Frontier GT-R. Kono passed his rookie certification test in March at Okayama.
Balance of Performance (BoP) updates since the first Fuji round see the #61 Subaru BRZ R&D Sport (Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi) gain 25 kg of weight, while the Audi R8 LMS GT3 gains 10kg and the BMW M4 GT3 gains 5kg. The Toyota Prius will shed 10kg and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 will lose 5kg. The BMW and the Nissan GT-R GT3 will also have their boost pressure reduced slightly near the top of the powerband.
All teams will be obliged to carry out two mandatory refueling stops during the race, and will be allowed at least seven sets of dry tires and eight sets of wet tires for the weekend.
|GT500||3||Nissan Z GT500
Craftsports Motul Z
|GT500||8th||Honda NSX GT
ARTA NSX GT
|GT500||12||Nissan Z GT500
Calsonic Impulse Z
|GT500||14||Toyota GR Supra GT500
Eneos X Prime GR Supra
|TGR Team Eneos ROOKIE||Bridgestone|
|GT500||16||Honda NSX GT
Red Bull Motul Mugen NSX GT
|Team Red Bull Mugen||Dunlop|
|GT500||17||Honda NSX GT
Astemo NSX GT
|Astemo Real Racing||Bridgestone|
|GT500||19||Toyota GR Supra GT500
WedsSport Advan GR Supra
|TGR Team WedsSport Bandoh||Yokohama|
|GT500||23||Nissan Z GT500
Motul Autech Z
|GT500||24||Nissan Z GT500
Realize Corporation Advan GT-R
|GT500||36||Toyota GR Supra GT500
on TOM’s GR Supra
|TGR Team at TOM’s||Bridgestone|
|GT500||37||Toyota GR Supra GT500
Keeper TOM’s GR Supra
|TGR Team Keeper TOM’s||Bridgestone|
|GT500||38||Toyota GR Supra GT500
CENT Cerumo GR Supra
|TGR Team ZENT Cerumo||Bridgestone|
|GT500||39||Toyota GR Supra GT500
Denso Kobelco SARD GR Supra
|TGR Team SARD||Bridgestone|
|GT500||64||Honda NSX GT
|Modulo Nakajima Racing||Dunlop|
|GT500||100||Honda NSX GT
Stanley NSX GT
|GT300||2||Toyota GR86 GT300
muta Racing GR86 GT
|muta Racing INGING||Bridgestone|
|GT300||4||Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo
Goodsmile Hatsune Miku AMG
|Goodsmile Racing & Team UKYO||Yokohama|
Go Syaken Air Buster MC86 Go Go
|GT300||6||Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II
Team LeMans Audi R8 LMS
Roberto Merhi Muntan
|GT300||7||BMW M4 GT3
Study BMW M4
|BMW Team Study x CSL||Michelin|
|GT300||9||Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo
Pacific Hololive NAC Ferrari
|Pacific Car Guy Racing||Yokohama|
|GT300||10||Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
TanaX Gainer GT-R
|GT300||11||Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
Gainer TanaX GT-R
|GT300||18||Honda NSX GT3 Evo
UPGarage NSX GT3
|GT300||20||Toyota GR86 GT300
SHADE Racing GR86 GT
|GT300||22||Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo
R’Q’s AMG GT3
|R’Q’s Motor Sports||Yokohama|
|GT300||30||Toyota GR86 GT300
April GR86 GT
|GT300||31||Toyota GR Sport Prius PHV GT
April GR Sport Prius GT
|GT300||48||Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
Shokumou/K’s Frontier GT-R
|GT300||52||Toyota GR Supra GT300
Saitama Toyopet GB GR Supra GT
|Saitama Toyopet GreenBrave||Bridgestone|
|GT300||55||Honda NSX GT3 Evo
ARTA NSX GT3
|GT300||56||Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
Realize Nissan Mechanic Challenge GT-R
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
|GT300||60||Toyota GR Supra GT300
Syntium LMcorsa GR Supra GT
|GT300||61||Subaru BRZ GT300
Subaru BRZ R&D Sport
|GT300||65||Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo
LEON Pyramid AMG
|K2 R&D LEON Racing||Bridgestone|
|GT300||87||Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo I
Bamboo Airways Lamborghini GT3
|GT300||88||Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo I
weibo Primez Lamborghini GT3
|GT300||96||Lexus RC F GT3
K-tunes RC F GT3
|GT300||244||Toyota GR Supra GT300
Hachi Ichi GR Supra GT
|GT300||360||Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
RunUp Rivaux GT-R
Images © GTA