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Shun’s Thailand Race Report!


 

This report from Shun on the Thailand Race is just in, so let’s check it out!  Prepare to see a lot of photos!

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The Super GT Round 7 race was held last weekend at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.

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So let’s do a bit of reflection, shall we? (^^)/  The first thing that stands out more than anything was actually getting there!

The flight from Tokyo to Bangkok is 6 hours, and then straight from that it’s a 6 hour bus ride from Bangkok to Buriram…

It was long…

But we had a lot of fun in our Benz van.

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We went right into setting up!

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Due to way everything had to be carefully packed we had to disassemble a lot of parts and equipment, meaning we needed an extra day to set up.

This is what the pit looked like once we’d finished.

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It looks exactly the same as it does in Japan, no?

We took a stroll around the course as well!

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Mr. Aki and I had race down the final stretch to the finish line – lol.

Another thing we were looking forward to was…

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Team Coordinator Takezawa’s home cooked lunch!  It smelled so good as she was preparing it, other teams cried out, “That should be a crime!”  lol

She made us delicious meals every day, like ginger stir-fried pork, curry, beef bowls, and even somen noodles.  I ate so much I was barely able to keep on working (>_<)

Mr. Bando came to eat with us everyday as well!

Alright, now to talk about the race.  First was the Free Practice on Saturday.

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Driver Taniguchi was the first behind the wheel!  He drove lap after lap, checking and changing the settings.

Then he passed the wheel to Kataoka.

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He drove a few more laps and then the free practice was over.  Things were looking good.

Taniguchi cleared the Q1 in 13th.  (You may be thinking we just barely made it into the top 14, but there were cars that went completely off course, which ate into our time.)

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But the Q1 was actually quite close…

Kataoka manned the guns for Q2!  He clocked the 9th best time, earning us role 9 on the starting grid.

After the qualifying, we did a few pit simulations with the mechanics.

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And then, on Sunday…

Just before… the final race…

During… the grid walk…

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What quality… lol

He’s really improved since last year, don’t you think?  lol

So as you can tell, we also took winning the race very seriously.

Kataoka got held up during the start, then the wheel was passed to Taniguchi.  I think things on the course went well, our strategy was good, and all pit work went smoothly.

But we finished the race in 8th place.  That’s pretty disappointing.  I wish there was a race we could walk away from feeling good for once.

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All that leave us is Motegi!

The series finale will be at Motegi – two races.

And if you count my FIA-F4 race, it’s three!

We hope to have a race everyone feels good about in the end, and will do our best to work towards that goal!

A big thank you out to everyone who came all the way out to Thailand for the race, as well as those of you who attended the public viewing to cheer us on!

We’ll work hard to make our performance in the final race leave a smile on  your face, and hope you’ll be cheering us on!

- Shunsuke

 

 


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