Twin tri­umph for Lexus RC F in Round 7 of 2016 Au­to­bacs Su­per GT se­ries

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BANGKOK:

The Wed­sS­portADVAN Lexus RC F driven by Yuhi Sekiguchi and Yuji Ku­nimo emerged vic­to­ri­ous in the GT500 race class af­ter lead­ing from start to fin­ish in the sev­enth round of the 2016 AU­TO­BACS SU­PER GT se­ries, which took place re­cently at the Chang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit in Thai­land. Lexus RC F earned a sec­ond podium fin­ish in the much-an­tic­i­pated race of the sea­son with the Wako’s 4CR Lexus RC F team com­pris­ing Kazuya Oshima and An­drea Cal­darelli se­cur­ing third place.

Start­ing the race from pole po­si­tion, Wed­sS­portADVAN Lexus RC F put on a stu­pen­dous per­for­mance un­der bright and clear weather con­di­tions to hold its lead all the way to the fin­ish line, run­ning vir­tu­ally un­chal­lenged to pro­vide the team with­its first vic­tory in the GT500 class. For the Lexus RC F it was the sec­ond win of the sea­son and sec­ond in a row fol­low­ing its vic­tory in the last round at the Suzuka Cir­cuit in Ja­pan. Ac­cord­ing to Takayuki Yoshit­sugu, Chief Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Mid­dle East and North Africa Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Of­fice, Toy­ota Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion, “It has been a mem­o­rable sev­enth round of the cham­pi­onship for Lexus RC F teams, with the twin podium fin­ish once again demon­strat­ing the ex­tra­or­di­nary per­for­mance and re­li­a­bil­ity of our ve­hi­cles. Both the Lexus win­ning teams per­formed splen­didly through­out the race, and for Wed­sS­portADVAN Lexus RC F to have fin­ished at the top of the pack with­out once drop­ping their lead is a re­mark­able feat given the strong field.”

“This tri­umph adds to our proven record in mo­tor­sports and we em­pha­size on us­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence gained on the race track to build ‘ever-bet­ter cars’. We deeply ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­port we have re­ceived from fans, and we look for­ward to en­joy­ing their con­tin­ued back­ing through the rest of the sea­son,”Yoshit­sugu added.

The keenly-an­tic­i­pated race got off to an ex­hil­a­rat­ing start as the polestart­ing No. 19 Lexus RC F, with Yuhi Sekiguchiin the driver’s seat, led the pack into the first cor­ner. The speed of the No. 19 Lexus RC F was ev­i­dent as Sekiguchi pulled away from the rest of the field rapidly, re­peat­edly clock­ing quick lap tim­ings and ex­tend­ing his lead to nearly four sec­onds within four laps. The teams be­gan to make their pit stops around lap 28. With prepa­ra­tions un­der­way for the No. 19 Lexus RC F to come in for a pit stop in a cou­ple of laps, the left rear tire of car burst when com­plet­ing lap 32 how­ever Sekiguchi was able to con­trol his Lexus RC F and get it into the pit with­out any se­ri­ous dam­age to the car and the team was able to change the tires and get the car back in the race still in the lead with Yuji Ku­ni­moto in the driver’s seat. Al­though the sec­ond-place com­peti­tor car No.15was clos­ing in fast, Ku­ni­moto made sure a suf­fi­cient mar­gin was main­tained to lead his team to a com­fort­able vic­tory.

Mean­while, the com­peti­tor car No. 12 that had been run­ning in 2nd place was called in for a drive-through penalty on the 49th lap for vi­o­lat­ing pit-work rules dur­ing its pit stop, al­low­ing the com­peti­tor car No. 15 to re­claim 2nd po­si­tion, while the No. 6 WAKO’S 4CR Lexus RC F moved into 3rd po­si­tion. The three lead po­si­tions of car No. 19, car No. 15 and car No. 6 re­spec­tively re­mained un­changed un­til the end of the race.

The tri­umph at the state-of-the-art Chang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit marked the long-awaited first win in the GT500 class for Wed­sS­portADVAN driver Yuhi Sekiguchi. For co-driver Yuji Ku­ni­moto, too, it was his first win since the fi­nal round of the 2013 sea­son and the sec­ond of his GT500 ca­reer.

With two podium fin­ishes in the sev­enth round, Lexus RC F claimed four out of the top five po­si­tions in the over­all se­ries rank­ings. The No. 6 WAKO’S 4CR Lexus RC F moved into sec­ond po­si­tion­with 46 points fol­lowed by the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO Lexus RC F, No. 39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD Lexus RC F and win­ners of the sev­enth round, the No. 19 Wed­sS­port ADVAN Lexus RC F.

Pro­ceed­ings now move to the Motegi Gt Grand Fi­nal, Round 8 of the 2016 Au­to­bacs Su­per GT se­ries which will be held from Nov 11-13, 2016 at Twin Ring Motegi in Ja­pan.

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