Round1 Okayama Consecutive victories for the GT-R! CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R wins at Okayama
The Okayama GT 250km Race, Round 1 of the 2011 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, took place at the Okayama International Circuit (one lap 3.703 km x 82 laps) in Okayama Pref. on May 22nd. The GT500 class winner was the 2nd position-starting CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R driven by Tsugio Matsuda and Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira to a come-from-behind victory.
Heavy rain in the morning caused the free practices session to be cancelled at Okayama Circuit. However, the rain stopped before noon and the track surface dried off to enable the race to begin in dry conditions.
The race started as scheduled at 14:00. In the early stages of the race the pole-starting KEIHIN HSV-010 (Toshihiro Kaneishi) and 2nd-position starter, the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Oliveira), gradually opened up a lead over the rest of the field to battle one-on-one.
The gap between the two lead machines remained between two and three seconds, and what finally broke the stalemate was the pit stop. First it was the leading KEIHIN HSV-010 that returned to the pit at the end of lap 29. Seeing that, the CALSONIC pit immediately called Oliveira to bring the GT-R back to the pit on the next lap. Then, with fast pit work the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R was able to return to the track in front of the KEIHIN HSV-010.
The CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R was now in the lead with Tsugio Matsuda at the wheel, but it was being chased hard by a gaining Koudai Tsukakoshi in the KEIHIN HSV-010. The 24-year-young Tsukakoshi was pulling up on the rear of the lead GT-R, but its veteran driver Matsuda was skillfully blocking him to make things difficult. Perhaps being too anxious, Tsukakoshi bumped the GT-R and sent both machines into a spin. Tsukakoshi was the quicker to recover from the spin and take the lead, but he would be given a penalty for the collision. This gave the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R an easy lead that enabled Matsuda to race on to victory.
For the Nissan GT-R this is the second consecutive win of the season, following a victory at the opening round at Fuji Speedway. It is the 30th victory in all for the GT-R (including the Skyline GT-R) in SUPER GT and its predecessor the All Japan GT Championship.