The round three of Autobacs Super GT race in Sepang International Circuit saw the dominating form of Calsonic Impul GTR and ARTA CR-Z in their respective GT500 and GT300 categories. Despite both cars qualified on top on their classes, their victory was not a straight forward sprint to the finish, as both these cars faced intense battle from other formidable competitors.
Calsonic GTR wins in a tough and intense battle
The tight first two corners during the start of the race
On the GT500, the Calsonic GTR of Joao Paulo de Oliveira & Tsugio Matsuda, faced intense pressure from the ZENT SC430, only the later spurn off a few laps later which bought relief to the GTR. Last year’s winner, Weider HSV Honda, which qualified on eight, managed to catch up with the Calsonic GTR and overtook the later on lap 18. Chances of Weider to repeat their success in Sepang was faded by due to an unfortunt lengthy pitstop which drops the HSV into no 7th. That bought the Calsonic GTR to retain the lead, followed by DENSO SC430 and Raybrig HSV on third. That remained status quo until the final lap when the Calsonic emerged as winners after 54 laps of intense racing. Last year’s winner Weider ended up a consolidating forth overall, while local favorites Petronas TOMS SC430 only managed to finish a disappointing 11th.
BBQ Time from 2012’s GT500 champion
It was also Joao Paulo de Oliveira’s third victory in Sepang after he was won in the GT500 category in 2007 and 2008.
The Battle of the Hybrids!
On the GT300, it was the battle of the Hybrids as the ARTA CR-Z and Mugen CR-Z duke out on an intense and nail biting dogfight from start to finish. As this race has proven that Hybrids may have a bright future in motor racing, both CR-Z were neck to neck to claim top honors and eventually the ARTA CR-Z of Shinichi Takagi and Takashi Kobayashi defeated the Mugen CR-Z to claim their first victory by a close two seconds. With the Mugen CR-Z won the last race in Fuji, the Hybrid technology has shown maturity and relevance in motor sports. Meanwhile the Subaru BRZ R&D Sports which qualifies third, suffered from a spurn, an mistaken taken advantage by Gainer DIXCEL SLS which eventually finishes on third while the Subaru settled for forth.
May the best CR-Z wins!
GTR form the GT300 in front versus the GTR from GT500. Notice the obvious bodyparts difference
Despite the hazy skies and humid conditions, this year’s edition has produced some of the most exciting races in Sepang for many years. The next round will be at Sugo in Japan in a month’s time. With a record of 67,000+ race fans over the weekend, there is no reason not to bring a successful Super GT race in Malaysia for 2014!
As always, picture credits courtesy from our regular photographers Eric Lim (https://www.facebook.com/EricLimPhotography), Woay Chee (www.woaychee.com) and Ridzuan (https://www.facebook.com/detikindahphotography)