November 9th. Sunto Gun, Shizuoka prefecture. Round 9 of the 2008 SUPER GT took place at Fuji Speedway (1 lap: 4.563kms). In light rain, the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (#12 Tsugio Matsuda/Sebastien Philippe), which started on slick tyres after qualifying in twelfth position, took the win. In the series points’ battle, the Xanavi NISMO GT-R (#23 Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer) finished 9th, netting the series’ championship title. Making its debut this year, the NISSAN GT-R took seven victories from nine rounds, and in the process won the Driver’s Championship Title.
Amidst thick clouds, 47,100 fans gathered to witness the title-deciding race. At 2:00pm, low-hanging clouds emitting sprinkles of rain made it a gamble for teams trying to make the optimal tyre choice for the start. Many teams expected conditions to deteriorate, thus choosing intermediate tyres. However, TEAM IMPUL principal Kazuyoshi Hoshino insisted on installing slicks. “I based this decision on my many years’ experience racing at Fuji. Matsuda just needed to be patient for the first five laps,” he said. Soon after the race started, the rain stopped and water drained off the circuit, as had been expected. Therefore, a lot of teams had to make several pit stops for Read the rest of this entry »