Subaru BRZ GT300 finishes 8th in Super GT Sepang
Round 3 at Sepang International Circuit, 10 Jun 2012
The final race of Round 3 of the Super GT – run over 53 laps and a distance of 300km – was held at Sepang International circuit on 10 June. The Subaru BRZ GT300, driven by Tetsuya Yamano and Kota Sasaki, started from 12th position after the qualifying round and finished the race in 8th.
On race day at Sepang, temperatures reached as high as 35°C. Even though the scorching heat had been expected, it made conditions a lot tougher for the drivers than on other circuits. Before the race, driver Yamano had commented with a smile, "The only countermeasure is to get my body used to the heat to prevent heat stroke. I have done some things like running in a racing suit to accustom my body to exercising in high temperatures. Meanwhile, Sasaki said, "I already got in shape for last month's Nürburgring 24-hour Race. I'm confident that I'm still physically strong enough for this race".
Before starting the race from the 6th row back, Yamano had said, "I will be surrounded by cars which are faster than the Subaru BRZ at the moment. So, it's important not to wear out my tyres by trying too hard." And so despite falling to 15th at the beginning of the race, he recorded consistent lap times. He also explained his reason for coming back to the pit early on Lap 19, "It's easier to build up my rhythm without feeling any stress when I'm on my own rather than in a group". His strategy paid off and Sasaki had gradually moved up to 8th by Lap 31 after taking over from Yamano for the final part of the race.
Sasaki held back in the last half of his turn because he had to drive a long distance, and so dropped to 9th. However, as the car in front ran out of fuel and stopped on the track on the final lap, the Subaru BRZ climbed back to 8th. As the team had acquired championship points for a second consecutive race following the Fuji round, STI General Director Hideharu Tatsumi said, "At this stage, 8th is an excellent result. The drivers didn't give in to the heat until the end of the race. I think this is the reason for the good result above everything else. All of us in the team will be brainstorming to make the car even faster".
Addressing the fans, Yamano said "Thank you very much for your support. Our strategy worked and we got this result. I think the team is on track, but we can't hope to beat the top teams unless we make our car a lot faster. In saying so, I think the Subaru BRZ will be able to come into its own in the next race at SUGO because that circuit doesn't have many long straights, on which FIA GT cars fare better. It also has many technical corners, which our car is good at. Please follow our race".
- At age 18, Dean Herridge made a distinct impression on the rally scene by winning the 1994 WA Clubma
- Cody Crocker is the most successful driver in the history of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.