Naoki Yamamoto/Takuya Izawa, Honda NSX, Super GT, Sugo, 2015

Pit lane pile-up at Super GT Sugo race

Weekend racing wrap

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Sportsland Sugo in Murata, Japan is one of the largest sporting facilities in the country, but has one of the smallest pit lanes. So when almost the entire 42-car Super GT field tried to pit at once during a Safety Car period, chaos inevitably followed.

Also this weekend Porsche took their third win on the trot in the World Endurance Championship, the Circuit de Catalunya hosted the World Rallycross Championship for the first time and the Chase for the Cup began in NASCAR.

And the there was a very lucky escape for an F1 driver’s son in Brazil.

World Endurance Championship

Round 5: Circuit of the Americas, USA

The number 17 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley took its second win in a row as they closed to within ten points of the championship leading Audi of Andre Lotterer, Marc Fassler and Benoit Treluyer, who had to settle for second.

For the third race in a row the number 18 Porsche took pole position, but failed to capitalise as an electrical problem cost them the win just thirty minutes from the end. The sister car didn’t have a troubl-free race either – a one-minute penalty and an overshoot in the pits from Webber proved costly – but the pace was so quick compared to Audi, they were able to pick up the pieces. The second Audi of Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis completed the podium while Toyota struggled once more.

Next race: Fuji Speedway, Japan

World Rallycross Championship

Round 10: Circuit de Catalunya, Spain

Petter Solberg dominated the Spanish round of the World Rallycross Championship, leading the final from start to finish as he took a comfortable, unopposed win to extend his Championship lead. Johan Kirstofferson and Timmy Hansen – Solberg’s closest title rivals – completed the podium to limit the damage, but fourth placed Andreas Bakkerud failed to make the final round, being knocked out in the semi-finals.

Next race: Istanbul Park, Turkey


Round 27: Chicagoland Speedway

Denny Hamlin bounced back from a spin on the first lap of the race to win the first round of the Chase for the Cup. He led a one-two for Joe Gibbs Racing

Next race: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Guest series: Super GT

Round 6: Sugo

The pole-sitting Nissan GT-R of Satoshi Motoyama led the field away ahead of the Honda NSX of Naoki Yamamoto, and they were both tight at the head of pack throughout the early stages. On lap 27, two backmarkers collided and spun into the barriers causing a Safety Car period, which brought everyone into the pits, and caused the ensuing drama. As all but two of the field made for the small pit lane, cars got stuck and half the grid ended up stuck and losing a lap.

Following the drama the Nissan, now driven by Masataka Yanagida, and the Honda, now driven by former GP2 driver Takuya Izawa, were pulling a gap to the rest of the field, and Izawa made use of his hybrid system to overtake Yanagida on the main straight to lead on lap 37. Izawa led thereafter, taking the first win for both himself and co-driver Yamamoto.

Next race: Autopolis (1st November)

Guest series: Brazilian Porsche GT3 Cup

Round 5: Goiania

Pedro Piquet, son of three-times world champion Nelson Piquet, was fortunate to survive this incredible crash in a Porsche GT3 Cup race at Goiania in Brazil yesterday.

The 17-year-old had been dominating the weekend up until that point, winning the opening race from pole position, before being launched into a series of barrel rolls after tangling with rival Ricardo Baptista.

Next race: Curitiba (24th October)

Also last weekend

Another romp to victory for Lewis Hamilton? Hardly: Mercedes were all at sea at Singapore, allowing Sebastian Vettel to take his third victory of the year, pursued by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Over to you

Which events did you see this weekend and what did you enjoy? Let us know in the comments below.

Next weekend we have the second consecutive Grand Prix as Formula One returns to what is likely to be a very sombre Suzuka after the events of last year. Elsewhere Formula Renault 3.5, European F3, WTCC, DTM, NASCAR and the BTCC are in action while La Conco in Italy hosts the CIK-FIA Karting Championship.

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  • 17 comments on “Pit lane pile-up at Super GT Sugo race”

    1. Shame the WEC race was at night for me. Didn’t see a lap. Would’ve chosen it above F1 had it been broadcasted at the same time. Really cheering Webber on, this might be his best shot at a world title!

      1. I agree. Although i support Lotterer, Fassler and Treluyer aren’t nearly as good as him, whereas Webber has a pretty solid Driver duo alongside him. Would be fasinating to see Web/Lot in the same car.

        P.S. If Web and co, hadn’t retired in Silverstone and finished 2nd, they would’ve been tied on points with Lotterer an co by now. 3 exciting races to go ;)

        1. Of all P1 drivers I think Lotterer remains the top dog. My ideal trio would include both Webber and Lotterer, and in the third spot I’d put Buemi of Toyota.

          1. Same

        2. Treluyer, Lotterer and Duval are all top shelf drivers for Audi, they could easily make it in F1 if they had the right sponsorship/interest, all three of them are championship winners from SuperGT (back when it was real racing)

      2. Can’t record it?

    2. Piquet’s accident sure was nasty. He wrapped up a second Brazilian F3 title a week or two ago, driving a car with a similar livery to Nelson’s 1980 Brabham-Ford.

      Honda blocking the pit lane in Sugo was just madness! Good on Team Kunimitsu for the win though, great race from Izawa/Yamamoto. As I had predicted in previous round-up though, it wasn’t a low-ballast whitewash like we saw in the DTM. The top cars in the race were on medium ballast, while the heaviest cars were actually put out of the points running by problems and penalties (50 seconds of stop-go in total for the championship-leading Impul Nissan, which was carrying 100 kg!).

      And then there was the SRO Endurance Series finale, which I enjoyed every minute of. A fantastic championship decider! I summed up my feelings on my tumblr blog, I’ll link to that instead of writing a dissertation. I’ll just say again: if you’ve got three hours to spare, the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series race at the Nürburgring is a classic worth watching, assuming SRO will publish the full race broadcast shortly.

    3. That super gt race was just astonishing. I have never, ever, seen something like that in all the years I’ve been watching motorsports.

      As for Pedro, I think he has his own new anthem:

      1. You should watch Super Gt more then. I have been watching it since I was 13 when it was called JGTC. The Racing weekends of super gt when I was in japan where amazing! Super Gt is all about the fans so the drivers are approachable, open pits garage are open to see in and see the mechanics work is amazing.

    4. The title decider for the GT Blancpain Endurance Series had 55 cars on the grid, some great racing and was worth a mention

    5. I’m so happy SGT got featured, albeit for the wrong reasons!

      If those reading have several hours of spare time, do watch the series in its entirety on the NISMO channel. The racing in the series is just incredible – without any DRS and without the success ballast being a total game-changer to the effect that it is in DTM.

      1. I agree entirely, @rjoconnell. The French specialised website endurance-info regularly praises GT500, calling it the most professional racing category on the planet. Every one of the 30 drivers in the class is a works driver, and they are expected to have driving standards to match, all this in the middle of manufacturer and tyre wars.
        Ultimately, I’ve worked out that what makes the weight in the DTM so devastating is that everyone is doing exactly the same thing: they have the same control tyres, the cars have same design with the V8 format everyone knows so well, the drivers follow the same training… In a sense, the DTM is too perfectly engineered, prepared and optimised, and in that situation, any little help or hinderance, DRS or ballast, has a huge effect.

        1. I like how despite being called so professional, that pit lane incident looked comically unprofessional! :P But you are probably right on the DTM. Super GT sounds interesting!

          1. FlyingLobster27
            22nd September 2015, 7:30

            @fastiesty, I put that down to the size of the pit lane, and the fact that everyone came in at once. While the drivers and teams are highly professional, it is only a national championship. Beyond Suzuka and Fuji, the other tracks they visit in Japan aren’t exactly F1-grade… TI Aida anyone? ;)

    6. Did Piquet’s crash happen while the Grand Prix was on lap 13?

      1. Piquet thought if he crashed hard enough Charlie Whiting would call a safety car out thousands of miles away in Singapore to help Alonso?

    7. My Ohio State Buckeye’s offense ran like a Manor, but the defense was as formidable as a Mercedes. It wasn’t lights to flag but it was a win. A driver change on offense will definitely be a topic of conversation this week.

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