ZENT CERUMO SC430 Stages Dramatic Come-from-Behind Win!

Yuji Tachikawa now all-time record holder with 11 career GT wins

In the KEIHIN SUZUKA 2&4 RACE, Round 2 of the 2009 AUTOBACS SUPER GT held at the Suzuka Circuit (one lap 5.807 km x 52 laps) in Mie Pref. on April 19, the ZENT CERUMO SC430 driven by Yuji Tachikawa and Richard Lyons came from behind for a dramatic win.

The race started exactly at 14:00. In the early stages of the race there was a close race for the lead between the pole starting MOTUL AUTECH GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama and the ZENT CERUMO SC430 driven by Richard Lyons, but the ZENT CERUMO team's routine pit stop took longer than its rivals and by the time Tachikawa got on the track for his stint after the driver change, the SC430 had dropped to 4th position. Undaunted, Tachikawa began his chase and soon recovered to 3rd position. In the meantime, the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R running alone in the lead was having tire trouble and losing speed. This allowed the PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 to take the lead and Tachikawa moved into 2nd. Then Tachikawa pushed on to work his way past PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 driven by Jyuichi Wakisaka with four laps remaining in the race. Just after this there was a multi-car crash behind the leaders that brought out the safety car while the track was being cleared. Eventually the race ended with the leaders running in the same order behind the safety car, giving the ZENT CERUMO SC430 a well-earned come-from-behind victory.

This win was Tachikawa's 11th in his illustrious SUPER GT career, moving him one ahead of Satoshi Motoyama with a new all-time record of most wins. This win also stopped at five the GT-R winning streak that had continued since round six of last season at Suzuka. For the Lexus SC430 this was the first victory since the same team of Tachikawa and Lyons won round three of the 2008 season.

In the GT300 class, the HANKOOK PORSCHE driven by Mitsuhiro Kinoshita and Masami Kageyama started from the class pole position and ran the entire race without ever effectively giving up the lead. This was the first SUPER GT victory for both the HANKOOK PORSCHE team and HANKOOK Tires.

(Spectators: 35,000)

Winner Comments

No.38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 [GT500]

Yuji Tachikawa: "A lot happened during the race and I can't remember it all (laughs). During our pit stop the engine wouldn't start again right away and we lost ground as a result. But the car was in very condition both yesterday and today. I didn't want to put too much stress on the tires, so it took me a while to get past car No. 12. But there was a way to go to the car ahead, so I pushed hard in the latter stages of the race. There was no problem with the tires and I had good momentum. As for the battle with Wakisaka, we didn't want any friendly casualties as fellow SC430 teams, and since we both know each others' hands, I thought I would have to make a one- shot try to get past him. I think that Wakisaka also didn't want to do anything too risky."

Richard Lyons: "I think this was an exciting race, both for us and the fans. It was a fantastic day of racing. In the early stages I tried to put the pressure on Motoyama, but it was difficult. And since I didn't want to push beyond a reasonable pace, I switched to staying in control and maintaining 2nd place through my stint. We had an unfortunate time loss during our pit stop, but Tachikawa made up for it with some outstanding driving. It was exceptional."

No.33 HANKOOK PORSCHE [GT300]

Mitsuhiro Kinoshita: "Kageyama-san worked hard to get a margin of lead, but car No. 7 closed the gap by shortening its pit stop by not changing tires. Since we hadn't made a long run to test the durability of the tires, I decided to take things nice and steady without putting too much strain on the tires. When we first started working with Hankook Tires there were a lot of problems to overcome. But now I want to say thanks to the people at Hankook for trusting me throughout the development process. I am very happy with this success."

Masami Kageyama: "The start went well, but since we hadn't done any long test runs, there were worries about how things would go. In the early stages of the race the performance was good, but we didn't know how things would go in the latter half of the race, so I wanted to build up as much of a lead as I could. In the final stages of my run the tires were losing grip but I managed to maintain pace and build up a lead of about 10 seconds, I think. Before the start of the season I didn't think I was going to be able to compete in the SUPER GT but I talked with the team and with Hankook Tire and we reached the decision that we should try for another year so that all our efforts until now would not be in vain. I think that is what brought us this win today and I am very happy about it."

-credit: super gt