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Test Report from Shun – The All-New GT Driver


 

Shun has submitted a report on the Tire Test at Suzuka!  I wonder how he was feeling as he performed the rookie test?

You’ll want to read this one for yourself!

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First of all, let me say that I was able to complete the official tire test without any issues!

 

No issues!  Without breaking anything, or picking up any gravel…

And on the 2nd day, when I took the rookie test, I was able to pass it, too!

Over the 2 days, we did the usual tests and checks for the tires.  We were completely unable to get a good read on the weather this time, so from day 1 Driver Kataoka flew through all the scheduled tests at an amazing speed.

And amidst all that, with only 10 minutes left during the morning session, during the sports car practice I was able to make my debut with the Miku Z4 2014.

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I was really nervous.  Everyone on the team was like, “Don’t wreck it  – alright!”  Which kind of freaked me out…  I drove especial discretion.  Looking at the video of my out-lap, I was actually surprised at how tense I looked – lol.

But I was able to let all the 500-class cars pass me no problem, which gave me a bit of reassurance.   That was all for my first day.

There was rain forecast for the 2nd day, so I was pretty much praying, “Please don’t rain, please don’t rain…” the whole time.  As a GT novice driving a potential champion car in the rain is just too much of a risk…

And then, as if my wish was granted, rain gradually began to stop falling on the wet track, and by the afternoon it looked like it would dry!

With only 30 minutes left of the afternoon session, the road had dried, but the tire test still wasn’t over…  It should have been over, but Kataoka is just a bit too thorough. (>_<)

But in the end it was finally my turn – time for the Rookie Test!

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First of all I had to make it out of the pit and whatnot, so proceeding with extreme caution, I kept up the pace as best I could.  I was able to enter the course in a relatively clear spot, and was able to drive the last 2-3 laps without any other cars in the way.

As soon as I returned to the pit, they immediate radioed in to say that I’d passed – what a relief.

On day 2 during the afternoon session, the tire test was complete, and there was a bit of time left over so they let me drive.  I usually come to the GT as a mechanic, and I’ve always though about how much I’d love to drive this car, but I never in a million years dreamed that I would get the opportunity so soon.

Compared to the top driver, Kataoka, there are still a lot of places that need improvement, but just by driving the GT car in and of itself, my skill set has dramatically increased!

I’d like to thank the Team Owner Takanori Aki, as well as everyone at GSR, Driver Taniguchi, Driver Kataoka, Team Manager Ukyo Katayama who gave me a lot of advice on Friday, the mechanics who are always looking after (picking up after) me, and Manager Takesawa who helped with the test application and everything.

Thank you all for giving me this incredible chance!

And to all of you GSR fans, I’m sure you were all worried about the Miku Z4, so I just want to let you know that she made it back to the shop safe and sound, and we’re now getting her ready for the SUGO race!

I was really nervous about the pit walk, and had planned to hide behind Kataoka, but more people turned up than I would have ever imagined, so there was no time hide – lol.

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I made it through though, thanks to everyone’s kind words of support!  Thank you all so much!!

Nothing is for sure yet about the Suzuka 1000km race yet, but as I’m still just a mechanic this year at the GT so don’t get your hopes up to high just yet!

But I’ll be sure to change out a lot of tires that race!

I hope you’ll continue to cheer me on!   Thank you so much for making it through this long report!

- Shunsuke

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