Recap – Super GT 2009 at the Sepang International Circuit

Ahead of this year’s 4th Round of the AUTOBACS Super GT Series 2010 this weekend, we look back at some of the key moments during last year’s event.

The 4th Round of the AUTOBACS Super GT Series 2009 was held at the Sepang International Circuit. It rained heavily during the first 45 minutes of Saturday’s Practice Session.

As the weather improves, in the GT500 class, the EPSON NSX driven by Loic Duval and Yuki Nakayama set the fastest time with a 2:04.677 lap. S-Road MOLA Z driver pairings of Kazuki Hoshino and Masataka Yanagida set the fastest time for the GT300 class with a time of 2:24.907.

S Road MOLA Z (front) inherited pole position after the I.M JIHAN CO.LTD•APPLE•Shiden (back) was demoted to the last place on the grid.

The sun started to shine again in the evening, so it was a dry qualifying session with the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R grabbing pole position with a time of 1:58.124, just 0.071 seconds faster than the 2nd place car, HASEMI TOMICA EBBRO GT-R. The I.M JIHAN CO.LTD•APPLE•Shiden took pole for the GT300 class, only to be penalised later due to a handicap weight infraction. The pole went to S Road MOLA Z and the I.M JIHAN CO.LTD•APPLE•Shiden was penalised and will start the race from the back of the grid.

Ronnie Quintarelli heads the field into Turn 2 after a brilliant start off the line.

The race was scheduled to start at 16:00 local time on Sunday. As teams took to the grid, unexpected transmission problem for pole sitter MOTUL AUTECH GT-R forced them to start from the pitlane. This puts the HASEMI TOMICA EBBRO GT-R driven by Ronnie Quintarelli effectively on pole. Quintarelli puts a brilliant performance from the start leading into Turn 1 and kept his place until lap 30 when he pitted and handed the car to Hironobu Yasuda. Yasuda kept his cool and drove to the chequered flag to take their 1st win of the season. The KEIHIN NSX driven by Toshihiro Kaneishi and Koudai Tsukakoshi took 2nd while the ARTA NSX driven by Ralph Firman and Takuya Izawa took the last step of the podium.

Ralph Firman heading into the pitlane, with the Sepang International Circuit’s main grandstand in the background.

In the GT300 class, the I.M JIHAN CO.LTD•APPLE•Shiden took the win with an impressive charge from the back of the grid. The starting driver Hiroki Katoh took advantage when a crash occured on the 1st lap and took several cars out. Katoh moved from 19th to 10th in just a single lap and continued pushing until the 1st pitstop. Hiroki Yoshimoto took charge from there to record a superb win by finishing 9 seconds ahead of the WedsSport IS350 driven by Manabu Orido and Tatsuya Kataoka. M7 MUTIARA MOTORS AMEMIYA SGC 7 driven by Nobuteru Taniguchi and Ryo Orime took 3rd place.

Despite starting last on the grid, the I.M JIHAN CO.LTD•APPLE•Shiden driven by Hiroki Katohand and Hiroki Yoshimoto blitzed the field to record an impressive victory.

Not a good outing for the ZENT CERUMO SC430 pairing of Yuji Tachikawa and Richard Lyons after they only managed to finish the race in 10th place.

The ENEOS SC430 driven by Daisuke Ito and Bjorn Wirdheim.

Super GT kicks off this Saturday for the 4th round of the 2010 championship at the Sepang International Circuit. Stay tuned!

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