XANAVI NISMO GT-R takes its third win of the season!
On Oct. 19, the SUPER GT IN KYUSHU 300 km (lap = 4.674 km x 65 laps) took place at the Autopolis in Oita Pref., as Round 8 of the 2008 AUTOBACS SUPER GT. The GT500 class winners were the XANAVI NISMO GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer, in their third victory of the season.
The winner of the pole position in Saturday's qualifying, Benoit Treluyer, was the starting driver in the XANAVI NISMO GT-R, and after the start he proceeded to pull away from the competition at a fast pace and open up a significant lead. Motoyama took over the wheel for the second half of the race and drove on unthreatened, having never once given up the lead except during the pit stop in a perfect "pole-to-checkered" win.
This was the XANAVI NISMO GT-R team's third win of the season and their first since round two. For the new Nissan GT-R that debuted in SUPER GT this season, this is its sixth victory in the first eight rounds of the season.
In the GT300 class the DAISHIN ADVAN Z driven by Takayuki Aoki and Tomonobu Fujii came from second position on the starting grid to score their first win of the season.
In this season's nine-round SUPER GT series, the next round to be held at Fuji Speedway on November 8 and 9 will be the ninth and final round of the season. With this win, the XANAVI NISMO GT-R team's Motoyama and Treluyer now stand at the top of the drivers' ranking, but they won't be able to clinch the title until the final round. In this debut year for the new Nissan GT-R, they will be battling with their Honda NSX and Lexus SC430 rivals at Fuji Speedway.
No. 23 XANAVI NISMO GT-R [GT500]
Satoshi Motoyama: "I'd say I'm more relieved than happy. This was a race we had to win (to stay in contention for the title), so there was considerable pressure on both of us. What's more, the temperatures were high this weekend, which made it difficult in terms of tire performance. But, despite being understandable nervous, Benoit went out and got us the pole position yesterday. The team's pit work was fast too, so you have to say that this is a victory won by the whole team. The pit work had been fast going into my stint and I had a margin from Benoit to begin with, so I just pushed as hard as I thought the tires, brakes and the machine as a whole would tolerate. I think the result was a good one. We will be carrying a heavy load of handicap weights in the final round, but every point we can win will increase our chance at winning the title. And I am looking to [celebrating] after the race is over."
Benoit Treluyer: "I feel great. It was a high-pressure weekend, so I'm really relieved. It has been a good weekend for the whole team too. We will have a heavy load of handicap weights in the final race, so I can't say how things will go. But I'm just very happy right now.
I knew that if I got passed on the first corner it would be difficult recovering the lead, so I really concentrated at the start. Then I worked right away to get a good margin over the pack, and after that I ran with an eye on how the tires were holding out. I had to pass a lot of back-lappers but I was able to hand over the machine to Satoshi with no problem. I'm glad that I was able to do my job."
No. 81 DAISHIN ADVAN Z [GT300]
Takayuki Aoki: "To tell you the truth, I am quite relieved. I didn't think it would take us this long to get a win. We just lost the win at SUGO (round 5) and I think there was considerable frustration throughout the team. I saw this as our last chance for a win, so I'm very happy that we made it happen. The race went just according to plan. Since there was a need to save the tires, I just kept the leader in sight, knowing that we could win in the end. I thought the tires would lose grip sooner, but Yokohama made us some good tires and I was able to hold out to the pit stop. With a 30-second margin at that point, I knew we could make it. We have had a lot of tough races this year, but now I feel redeemed. It will be tough to win the title at this point, but we are not giving up. I am going to go all out in the final round."
Tomonobu Fujii: "I came to DAISHIN with the intention of winning the championship but have been unable to get the results I wanted, so I am very relieved to get this win. It was tough going in the Friday practice, so the team worked late into the night to make some major improvements in the machine. That changed the flow and Aoki san went out and got us a good position in the qualifying. After that, I knew that we could win if everyone did their jobs as they can. In the race, Aoki san kept the lead No. 11 machine just in front of him throughout his stint and our pit work was fast. I knew that the first lap out of the pit would be important, and since we had made our pit stop early, I tried to gain as much ground as I could before the others settled in. The final round won't be easy but I am not going to give up until it is over."