Calsonic IMPUL GT-R’s Tsugio Matsuda and Joao Paulo Lima De Oliveira drove to a text book finish to clinch victory from pole position in the GT 500 class, in what played out to be a closely-fought race in round 3 of the AUTOBACS Super GT Series at the Sepang International Circuit.
De Oliveira who drove the final stint in the 54-lap two-hour race, finished four seconds ahead of the Denso Kobelco SC430 team and eight seconds in front of the Raybrig HSV-010 car which saw the top three places going to Nissan, Toyota and Honda:
A good start was important for this race, as well as to control tyre wear. We were fortunate to have been on pole position and this proved extremely important in securing today’s race victory.
Victory today came down to team work. When I came out from my pit stop I had two to three clear laps ahead and that was enough to allow me to build a four-second gap ahead of the Denso Kobelco SC430 car. We did suffer from a slight oversteering problem but we managed to save the tyres until the finish.
In the GT 300 class, ARTA CR-Z GT’s Shinichi Takagi and Takashi Kobayashi also won from pole position, but only securing a marginal victory of two seconds ahead of the pair of Hideki Mutoh and Yuhki Nakayama of the Mugen CR-Z GT Team for a top two finish for Honda. Finishing third and 21 seconds behind was the Gainer Dixel SLS of Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Bjorn Wirdheim.
The Malaysian round of the 2013 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Series was organised by JPM Motorsport. Formerly known as the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC), the Super GT Series is a grand touring car race series promoted by the GT Association (G.T.A.).
Meanwhile, JPM Motorsport Founder JP Chin said this year’s race weekend successfully attracted an estimated 100,000 spectators attending on Saturday (15 June) and turning up on race day on Sunday (16 June).
This year’s on track supporting events was also backed by the very first Asia Cup single-seater race organized by Meritus and the inaugural running of a Toyota T86 Celebrity Race which was won by Malaysia’s Prince of Drift Tengku Djan Ley.