Saturday, August 18, 2012

Only the second time ever for an Audi at Suzuka 1000km

By Johan Laubscher

Hitotsuyama at Suzuka 2012
Round five of the 2012 Japanese Super GT series is taking place at Suzuka. The event is the Pokka Suzuka 1000km, a legendary race on the annual Japanese racing calendar. Four Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars are entered for the event, in the GT300 class. Four cars for the brand of the Four Rings. The teams are GAINER DIXCEL, Hitotsuyama Racing and äpr racing.

Team Goh at Suzuka 2002
Despite the Suzuka 1000’s fame, this is only the second time that an Audi has entered the event. A fact little known to most Audi fans is that an Audi R8 LMP took part in 2002. Team Goh entered their Audi R8 in the Suzuka event and scored pole position. Unfortunately the team retired during the race, marking the end of the team’s 2002 season. The event was also the second race of 2002 for that specific Audi R8, chassis #501. The team entered the car at the 2002 Le Mans and at Suzuka 2002. This was the car’s last race with Team Goh as the team had acquired Audi R8 chassis #602 with which they later won the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours.

GAINER at Suzuka 2012
Fast forward to the present and four Audi R8 LMS ultra cars will line up for the Suzuka 1000 km tomorrow. The Audi cars are always a force to be reckoned with in the series. The teams are hoping to take Audi’s second win in the Japanese Super GT after GAINER won the opening round.

The entered Audi teams and drivers:

GAINER DIXCEL - Audi R8 LMS ultra (11) Tetsuya Tanaka, Katsuyuki Hiranaka, Atsushi Yogo
äpr racing - Audi R8 LMS ultra (30) Yuki Iwasaki, Yuya Sakamoto, Kenji Kobayashi
Hitotsuyama Racing - Audi R8 LMS (21) Cyndie Allemann, Akihiro Tsuzuki, Richard Lyons
Hitotsuyama Racing - Audi R8 LMS (99) Michael Kim, Hideto Yasuoka, Yoshio Tsuzuki 

More information:

Photos by DIXCEL, Hitotsuyama and Audi Sport media