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  • CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R nets 8th and 3rd in Sprint race double-header NDDP racing earns 2nd place in GT300 class at JAF Grand Prix

CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R nets 8th and 3rd in Sprint race double-header NDDP racing earns 2nd place in GT300 class at JAF Grand Prix

SUPER GT 2013 Special Round FUJI Sprint Cup 2013
JAF Grand Prix FUJI SPRINT CUP 2013 [Fuji Speedway, Japan]

Fuji Speedway, Shizuoka -pref. (November 23-24, 2013) - The JAF Grand Prix FUJI SPRINT CUP 2013 was held at Fuji Speedway (Oyama town, Shizuoka prefecture) over the November 23-24 weekend, where the TEAM IMPUL #12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda/Joao Paolo de Oliveira) placed eighth in Race 1, before coming third in Race 2. In the GT300 class,

Race 1
This year's Fuji Sprint Cup featured an irregular schedule where, on Saturday, both drivers in each car from the GT300 and GT500 classes each qualified separately for their individual races held on Saturday and Sunday. The 22-lap tests featured a departure not only in terms of distance, but also with standing starts instead of the usual rolling getaways. Tsugio Matsuda, who qualified the #12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R ninth for his race, made a strong start and was running fifth at the end of the opening lap. From there he continued at a steady pace, dropping to sixth but waiting for his chance in the race's second half. However, contact with the #23 GT-R at the end of the main straight on lap 21 brought damage to the nose of his machine and he had to relent the position, going on to finish the race in eighth place.
Ronnie Quintarelli qualified the #23 MOTUL AUTECH car sixth, running in eighth place early on and had started to move up before contact from the #12 GT-R. The #23 machine went on to finish seventh. Behind the wheel of the #24 D'station ADVAN GT-R, Hironobu Yasuda started and finished the race in tenth position. Having qualified eleventh, Yuhi Sekiguchi in the #1 REITO MOLA GT-R ran twelfth early on, but slowed on lap 12 before pitting on the following lap. His race ended there and then in the garage.

Meanwhile in the first GT300-class race, Daiki Sasaki took pole position in the #3 S Road NDDP GT-R, but made a poor start. Having qualified third, Alex Buncombe piloted the #35 NISMO ATHLETE GT-R GT3 through a lightning-quick start, instantly vaulting into the top spot before pulling out a gap. The very fact that Buncombe, making his first race appearance at Fuji Speedway, had qualified so high up the order was surprising, and his aggressive driving style earned the glued stares of fans. He steadily broadened the gap back to 2nd place as he circulated the track, but a left rear puncture on lap 16 sent him into retirement, pouring cold water on his remarkable earlier progress. Damage to the bodywork forced him into the pit. The top spot was then taken over by Sasaki, who, having run third behind the then second-place #11 Mercedes-Benz, passed for the lead. From there on, it became a case of Sasaki managing his tires whilst also protecting the position. After 22 laps, he crossed the finish line first, earning a well-deserved and long-sought maiden victory in the category.

Race 2
Some 39,000 motorsport fans descended on Fuji Speedway on Sunday (24th) to witness the pair of SUPER GT races taking place. In the #12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R, Joao Paolo de Oliveira made a scintillating start, leaping ahead of four cars from his qualifying position of seventh to move into third. He then put in a strong drive behind the two leading machines. One car got closer in the latter stages, but it was never a threat and de Oliveira finished on the podium.
TEAM IMPUL Team Director Kazuyoshi Hoshino's comment: "J.P. (de Oliveira) put on a performance worthy of victory today, turning a fantastic start into an equally credible result. Next year we'll have a redesigned engine and will be running a new car - everything will be new. I've been telling everyone that I want next year to be the year of the NISSAN GT-R. Thank you for your support."

Having qualified fourth, the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R of Masataka Yanagida dropped a couple of positions at the start. He said, "I had a little too much wheelspin at the start and got passed by a couple of cars. I was unable to improve my pace during the first half, and was hoping for a recovery in the latter stages, but it became an uphill battle that didn't improve in the second half."

The situation was the same for the #1 REITO MOLA GT-R of Satoshi Motoyama who had started the race from 10th before slowing gradually after running 8th early on. He pitted on lap 17 for fresh tires and finished the race 15th. Riding on Yokohama rubber, Michael Krumm in the #24 D'station ADVAN GT-R qualified 12th, and with a steady pace crossed the finish line 10th.

The pole-sitting #3 S Road NDDP GT-R of Kazuki Hoshino was deemed to have jumped the start, and had to serve a drive-through penalty. Upon his return to the track, Hoshino made a spirited attack that saw the car move up the order with every lap, and he eventually finished seventh - commendable considering he had to come from the back of the pack. With Hoshino's departure, the now second-place #35 NISMO ATHLETE GT-R GT3 with Lucas Ordonez at the controls concentrated on managing his tires while keeping an eye on the leading McLaren MP4 12C. However, an abnormality at the rear of the car necessitated a visit to the pit on lap 14. With fresh rubber he went back out, finishing eighteenth.

General Director of Nissan Teams Kunihiko Kakimoto's comments:
"First of all, in the #3 car, Sasaki took his inaugural victory yesterday. Today, the mistake while in the perfect place really symbolized their season. They've clearly got the pace but aren't turning that into results. The situation requires some heavy reflection. On the other hand, although the result we'd hoped for didn't come due to the trouble with the wheel nut, I think that the performance of Ordonez, on his first time out, was remarkable. He ran calmly while minding his tires - and really impressed a number of the more experienced drivers. Because they were unable to demonstrate their true performance yesterday, we chose a different variant of the Michelin GT500 tires today in an effort to improve. Unfortunately, it seemed to have the opposite effect. Our only salvation was the Bridgestone-shod CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R, which made an excellent start in the race, and finished in third place. I want to apologize to all our fans for the difficult season we've put them through. As we'll be fighting with a completely new car next year, I'd like to ask you too look over us warmly. Also, thank you very much for this year."

#12 GT-R driver Joao Paolo de Oliveira's comments:
"Because I knew the situation with the Super Formula race (happening on the same day), I focused all my effort on the start. That's why I was able to move up to third place after a good start in the GT500 race. I didn't make a single mistake and concentrated on controlling my pace while also protecting the tires. It was nice to get on the podium in the final race of the year."

[ Race 1 - GT500 Race Results ] 22 laps
PosNoMachineDriverTime / Behind
1 17 KEIHIN HSV-010 Koudai Tsukakoshi 34'37.791
2 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 Yuji Tachikawa 3.285
3 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 Takashi Kogure 4.439
4 18 Weider Modulo HSV-010 Naoki Yamamoto 6.223
5 36 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 James Rossiter 9.947
6 19 WedsSport ADVAN SC430 Andre Couto 11.218
7 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Ronnie Quintarelli 14.904
8 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R Tsugio Matsuda 15.007
10 24 D'station ADVAN GT-R Hironobu Yasuda 21.778
- 1 S Road REITO MOLA GT-R Yuhi Sekiguchi 9Laps
[ Race 2 - GT500 Race Results ] 22 Laps
PosNoMachineDriverTime / Behind
1 6 ENEOS SUSTINA SC430 Kazuya Oshima 34'31.193
2 36 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 Kazuki Nakajima 0.229
3 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R Joao Paulo De Oliveira 11.921
4 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 Kohei Hirate 13.093
5 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 Takuya Izawa 18.078
6 17 KEIHIN HSV-010 Toshihiro Kaneishi 19.611
10 24 D'station ADVAN GT-R Michael Krumm 32.681
14 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Masataka Yanagida 43.634
15 1 S Road REITO MOLA GT-R Satoshi Motoyama 1'33.225
[ Race 1 - GT300 Race Results ] 22 laps
PosNoMachineDriverTime / Behind
1 3 S Road NDDP GT-R Daiki Sasaki 36'38.256
2 11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS Bjorn Wirdheim 1.200
3 55 ARTA CR-Z GT Takashi Kobayashi 9.302
19 35 NISMO ATHLETE GT-R GT3 Alex Buncombe 2Laps
[ Race 2 – GT300 Race Results ] 22 Laps
PosNoMachineDriverTime / Behind
1 2 EVA RT TEST-01APPLE MP4-12C Hiroki Katoh 36'42.791
2 11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS Katsuyuki Hiranaka 0.576
3 4 GSR HATSUNEMIKU BMW Nobuteru Taniguchi 4.053
7 3 S Road NDDP GT-R Kazuki Hoshino 19.172
18 35 NISMO ATHLETE GT-R GT3 Lucas Ordonez 50.010

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