Autobacs Super GT ‘Round 4 2012′ Sugo
31 Jul, 2012
The race of Round 4 of the 2012 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, "SUGO GT 400km RACE" was held in the afternoon of July 29 at Sportsland SUGO (Miyagi prefecture). Winning the GT500 class was No.6 ENEOS SUSTINA SC430, driven by Daisuke Ito and Kazuya Oshima, with the GT 300 class won by No.3 S Road NDDP GT-R, piloted by Yuhi Sekiguchi and Katsumasa Chiyo.
About an hour and a half before the start of the race, sudden squall-like rains covered the circuit with water, but the track surface dried quickly and Sportsland SUGO was back to perfectly dry conditions. The temperature was 31° C., and the temperature of the track was 42° C. at two o'clock in the afternoon when the race formation lap began. After one lap, the 81-lap battle began.
When the green light went on, the top group sped toward the first corner, but No.6 ENEOS SUSTINA SC430 (Daisuke Ito/ Kazuya Oshima) held back No.23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama) on the outside, when No.12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Joan Paulo de Oliveira) that had started in third position on the grid pulled inside and appeared to take over the lead, but the rear tire of the No.12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R made contact with the right front of the ENEOS SUSTINA SC430. This upset the balance of the No.12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R which got wrapped up with the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R on the very outside, forcing both machines off the course where they crashed into the tire barrier. Unbelievably, the second and third grid sitters, two GT-Rs that had drawn a lot of attention in the final, were out of the race in an instant.
Fortunately, the ENEOS SUSTINA SC430 that had been involved in the freak accident did not sustain any major damage, and kept the lead. Taking the place of the GT-Rs in the second and third spots were No.35 KeePer Kraft SC430 (Andrea Caldarelli) and No.36 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 (Loic Duval), following them were No.1 S Road REITO MOLA GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli) and No.17 KEIHIN HSV-010 (Toshihiro Kaneishi).
The ENEOS SUSTINA SC430 in front tried to increase its lead while the KeePer Kraft SC430 and PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 battled for position behind it, but already by the fifth lap back markers began to appear, making it unable to increase its margin. On lap six, No.17 KEIHIN HSV-010 was overtaken by No.38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 and No.39 DENSO KOBELCO SC430 who rose to fifth and sixth. Of the top six machines, the only one not in the Lexus camp was the S Road REITO MOLA GT-R.
After some ten more laps, the ENEOS SUSTINA SC430 had finally managed to build up a three-second gap between it and the machines battling fiercely behind it for second place, but during the offensive and defensive battle between the KeePer Kraft SC430 and PETRONAS TOM'S SC430, the S Road REITO MOLA GT-R quickly gained ground. At the last corner on lap 21, it took advantage of a back marker slowing the speeds of the two Lexus machines, all of a sudden rocketing into second place at the first corner, and step by step moved in on the ENEOS SUSTINA SC430.
And then on the first corner of lap 32, PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 finally passed KeePer Kraft SC430 to move up into third place. The pace began to fall slightly with the S Road REITO MOLA GT-R nipping at the heels of the ENEOS SUSTINA SC430, and by lap 36 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 joined to make it a three-sided battle.