Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mixed Fuji Sprint Cup race 1 for Audi teams

By Tarek Ramchani

The Japanese Super GT series is hosting its annual non-championship special event this weekend. The Fuji Sprint Cup at the Fuji Speedway. Unlike the usual endurance format, the Fuji Sprint Cup consists of two separate sprint races. Each car is driven by only one driver for each race of the two races individually. Race 1 was already run today in apocalyptic weather.

Four Audi R8 LMS race cars entered the event. The R16 had a very hard qualifying session for race 1. Richard Lyons was the best ranked in twelfth place, with the #21 ZENT Audi R8 LMS. Katsuyuki Hiranaka was fourteenth in the #11 GAINER DIXCEL R8 LMS. Yuya Sakamoto with the #30 IWASAKI MODA KUROCO apr R8 was seventeenth, while Igor Sushko was twenty third driving the #77 investors Audi R8 LMS.

The race do not have a Le Mans style rolling start, but a standing start. Right after the start Richard Lyons with the #21 Audi was forced to retire after damaging the clutch. Heavy rain made the race very difficult. However the Audi drivers were able to recover and improve. In the end Katsuyuki Hiranaka come home in seventh with the #11 Audi, while a great charge by Igor Sushko in the #77 Audi gave him a ninth place finish, not bad starting from the back of the pack.

Race 2 is set for tomorrow. The Audi cars will again start from behind. Tetsuya Tanaka in the #11 Audi will start from fourteenth, Akihiro Tsuzuk #21 R8 from fifteenth, Yuki Iwasaki #30 car from sixteenth and Kenji Kobayashi #77 machine from twenty first. We wish the best of luck for the three Audi teams and the four drivers.

Photo credit: GTA/Super GT

More information:
Super GT official website