The 48th edition of the of the Summer Endurance Race concluded last weekend with Audi Sport Team WRT taking victory at the 10 Hours of Suzuka. Just a lap behind them was Mercedes-AMG Team GOODSMILE finishing in 10th place.
The #00 Hatsune Miku Mercedes-AMG GT3 would qualify in 6th for the start of the race which started off well overtaking the #777 CarGuy Ferrari 488 GT3 on the first lap. The first hour of the race would be calm with some overtakes and minor spins until the first big incident would happen when the #88 JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3 made contact with the #5 GTNET Nissan GT-R GT3 to overtake spinning both cars and getting the #34 Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3 that was in 2nd place involved forcing them to pit for repairs.
Things start to heat up after 2 hours into the race when the #27 HubAuto Ferrari 488 GT3 and the #98 Arrows Honda NSX GT3 started banging wheels until the Honda went off track followed by a ‘T-bone’ collision with the Ferrari bringing out the first long Full Course Yellow meaning all cars should slow down and no overtaking is allowed.
After the race restarted the #999 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG GT3 makes a move on the #00 Miku AMG late braking into the final chicane causing both cars to go off track. This also helped the #018 KCMG Nissan GT-R GT3 (Not to be confused with the #18 UpGarage NSX GT3) overtake the Miku AMG down the main straight as she was recovering from the earlier contact. The incident gave the #999 GruppeM a 5 second penalty for cutting the chicane.
As the race enters the second half, the #27 HubAuto Ferrari loses control at the fast-left turn of 130R crashing into the foam barriers, bringing out the Full Course Yellow once again. Fortunately, Nick Cassidy who was driving the Ferrari escaped un-injured and surprisingly the car wasn’t badly damaged that he managed to drive it back into the pits for repairs.
As night falls at the track, the lights go on giving teams an extra challenge racing in the darkness. As the race was reaching it’s closing stages, Super GT’s GT500 driver Tsugio Matsuda in the #35 KCMG GT-R makes a move on the #107 Bentley Team M-Sport late braking into the final chicane and still fighting for 6th place side-by-side along the main straight until the GT-R successfully overtook the Bentley.
At last after a long 10 hours of non-stop racing the checkered flag was waved with the #25 Audi Sport Team WRT taking victory with the #00 Miku AMG just behind them a lap behind to finish in 10th position. Although Mercedes-AMG Team GOODSMILE may not have won the race overall. The team has been awarded the “Team of the Day” as voted by race fans during the race. They were also awarded the winner of the Super GT award and runner up of the Asia Award for being the first Super GT team to finish and a team with at least 2 or more Asian drivers respectively.
Congratulations to all the winners and the teams that finished on the podium. Until then, Super GT is next on the 7th and 8th of September at Autopolis.