Now for a quick update on our performance in the 2016 Super GT Round 3 race held today at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit! Today’s schedule was a bit unusual, with only one round of qualifying leading right into the final race.
Kataoka drove for the qualifying, and as we anticipated that the road surface would be dry, competed with slick tires. Unfortunately, the road temperatures didn’t rise, and it started raining mid-session…
Driver Kataoka 1’58.885 19th
is how we completed the qualifying, meaning we started the final race in role 19.
Kataoka was the starting driver for the final race, and he pulled into the pit during lap 17 with the intention to catch up, but the tires just weren’t working out, requiring another pit stop and basically disqualifying us from the winners circle.
We finished the race in
Below are comments from the team.
■ Team Owner Takanori Aki
Our inability to get ahead in the qualifying made it a tough circuit, and probably contributed to our difficulty gaining speed… We’re still going to do everything we can for tomorrow’s race.
■ Team Manager Ukyo Kataoka
Considering the qualifying, it’s all relative. If the conditions had remained dry, and we’d pressed forward a bit more, the results would probably be different. And if we’d gotten ahead in the qualifying, the flow of the race would have probably been different, too.
■ Communications Director Itsuo Ohashi
Making 2 pit stops in a 250km sprint race is what killed us. But I think we’ve learned what tires won’t work today, so we’ll probably be making a better choice tomorrow.
■ Driver Nobuteru Taniguchi
As for the team, we headed into the qualifying with the plan to take the pole position, but then the unthinkable happened. Kataoka did the best he could in the qualifying, but the chance just never presented itself to him. We unfortunately also had to make 2 pit stops, but at the same time we got our fastest lap, and our overall average wasn’t bad either – that’s the one saving grace.
■ Driver Tatsuya Kataoka
I’m really not sure what I should say, and the words just aren’t coming out. Everything just took a turn for the worse this race…
Well, we’ve got the very same schedule waiting for us tomorrow, with both qualifying and a final race. All weight handicaps will be removed, making it a fair and square race. We want to win by any means possible! Please cheer us on as loud as you can!