2016 Super GT: Calsonic Impul GT-R drivers notch up first win of season at Fuji

2016 Super GT Fuji No.12 Calsonic Impul GT-R Last weekend’s Round 5 of the Super GT Championship which took place at the magnificent Fuji Speedway saw No.12 Calsonic Impul GT-R drivers take their very first win of the season, after an intense 66-lap GT500 race.

No. 12 Calsonic Impul GT-R, driven by Hironobu Yasuda and Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira, claimed sweet revenge to race to victory from pole position this time after the disappointment of having started from pole in May here at Fuji in Round 2 only to lose the win due to a mechanical fault in the last four laps of the race.

The race began with a fine start from pole by de Oliveira in the no/12 GT-R, who then proceeded to rapidly open up a margin of lead over the pursuing no. 46 CraftSports GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama). By the 15th lap of the race, De Oliveira had extended his lead to five seconds over car no. 46. Soon after, however, a collision between two GT300 class cars brought out the Safety Car to slow the race to a formation run and eliminate no. 12’s lead while pieces of the two cars were cleared from the track. But, when the race was restarted, De Oliveira again made a decisive dash into the lead, and by the time he returned to the pit for the routine pit stop, De Oliveira had again built a lead of over four seconds, prior to the second half driver switch.

Yasuda took over the reins in the second half of the race and continued to maintain the race lead.  His main rival Katsumasa Chiyo in the no. 46 GT-R had crashed out of the race on lap 35, which left Yasuda a clear path to the finish line. Yasuda would take the flag by more than 25 seconds from no.17  Keihin NSX Concept-GT (Daiki Tsukakoshi/Takashi Kogure). Finishing 3rd came the no. 100 Raybrig NSX GT of Naoki Yamamoto and Takuya Izawa, who claimed their first podium finish of the season.

For the no. 12 Calsonic Impul GT-R team, the win at Fuji Round 5 was their first win since Round 2 of the 2014, and for the Nissan GT-R it was the fourth consecutive win from this year’s season opener.