Victory for Mobil 1 Honda NSX driver Tom Coronel in Japanese GT race at Aida
Tom Coronel won the sixth round of the Japanese Autobacs GT series at Aida. Together with his teammate Hidetoshi Mitsusada the Dutchman was also fastest in both qualifying sessions and de warm up session. Directly after the start polesitter Hidetoshi Mitsusada lost a place. Five laps before he was about to come in to the pits for the driverchange the Japanese driver retook the lead. After that Tom Coronel drove an easy second stint of 43 laps to win the race by a margin of 30 seconds.
For the first time we raced with the new ABS system in our Honda NSX", Tom said. "It was not possible to use it earlier as it first had to be introduces by Honda on the roadgoing models. This happened just before the race weekend here in Japan and because of this we are now allowed to use it on our race car. However it will not last that long as ABS is outlawed for next year. For me it is quite impressive that they are making this big investment for only a few races. The big advantage of the system is than you can brake much later. I was really surprised with it. We also won a lot in the race in the first lap after the driverschange. In free practice we saw that I was much quicker on cold tyres than my teammate. In combination with our ABS system and good pitwork we gained 20 seconds. Without easing off too much I was able to defend the lead for the rest of the race. The team asked me by intercom not to take too much risks and to secure the victory. It was not that difficult. Now my teammate is also really up to speed so hopefully we will do well in the remaining two races as well. All in all today we drove a strong race with a good reward", Tom said afterwards.
In the meantime Tom will prepare for the next (one but last) Formula Nippon race of the season. The race will be held at Motegi. Tom has the chance to take the title there as he is now 10 points adrift of Satoshi Motoyama. Tom Coronel is supported this year by Marlboro, Mobil1, Fitkorn, McGregor, Honda en Bridgstone.
Results 6th race Autobacs GT Series, TI Circuit Aida 1. T. Coronel / H. Mitsusada (Honda NSX) 2 h 6m35.502s; 2. A. Suzuki / M. Krumm (Nissan Skyline) at 29.917s; 3. K. Kaneichi / J. Wakisaka (Honda NSX) at 31.723s; 4. M. Sekiya / T. Kurosawa (Toyota Supra) at 35.064s; 5. K. Takahashi / A. Iida (Honda NSX) at 39.134s. Standings after 6 races: 1. E. Comas 65; 2. S. Motoyama 57; 3. M. Sekiya/T. Kurosawa 53; 4. J. Wakisaka/K. Kaneishi 47; 5. T. Suzuki 37; 7. Tom Coronel 33.