After a run of disappointing results during the opening rounds of this years SuperGT championship, Richard Lyons and Team Hitotsuyama entered summer testing with the aim of working out the kinks and to push their R8 to the limits. Testing with the R8 turned out well for the team, with vital information learned, essential data collected, and importantly more valuable seat time with the R8 machine for new team mate Masataka Yanagida.
Expected to be higher in the championship at this stage of the season, the experienced partnership of Lyons and Yanagida, both former GT500 champs, will look to delve deep into their bag of tricks to keep the team in the hunt and turn the season around. The 3.7KM stretch of Sugo circuit itself is nestled in the Japanese countryside and
drivers have to navigate not only the narrow circuit at highspeed, but also at this time of year, mother nature herself. Sugo is always full of suprises. With all the boxes checked from testing this weekend should prove a fruitful one for Richard and team Hitotsuyama.
“The last month has been very low key on the racing front, but we have been quietly testing……Well, actually, not so quietly as it happens! In true Super GT fashion thousands of Super GT fans have attended the testing sessions! We have had 2 days at Sugo sportsland and two days at Suzuka circuit. These two tracks are among my favourite circuits and are also very well suited to our Audi R8 LMS. Over the course of the 4 days of testing we were able to evaluate our Dunlop tire options and also give Yanagida San some extra mileage to become more comfortable with new tires and these circuits. Overall we left very happy with our performances having comfortably run in the top 6 at each venue and Ma (Yanagida) also produced really fast long run performances. Our whole team is really excited about this weekends race at Sugo.
After a strong test performance here, our first podium here last year, and Yanagidas victory last year in GT500, we are really feeling this is our chance to aim for the podium. Sugo normally throws up a surprise somewhere, whether its the weather conditions or something in the race itself. Its something of an old school circuit, not much run off and deep gravel traps means there is precious little room for error. The beginning of the lap starts off with a slow technical section finishing off with 3 fast corners, with the final corner being one of the best of any circuit, downhill, cambered into compression then uphill, hitting speeds of 200km/h. Awesome!
I’m ready to spray some champagne this weekend so I will get my head down and get the job done! I also have some really exciting racing news coming in the next few days, stay