Activities for both GRM drivers on August 17th

GRM’s Andre Couto and Loic Duval spent their midsummer days active in Tokyo and Germany respectively.

Andre Couto, driver of the SUPER GT-entered DENSO DUNLOP SARD SC430, took part in the “TGDA Summer Festival at MEGA WEB” in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, in an event sponsored by the TGDA (Toyota GT Drivers Association), alongside the other Toyota drivers in the GT500 class. It was early summer vacation, and a lot of GT fans gathered at the venue from early in the morning. On the other hand, drivers who normally aren’t able to give such attention to the fans were able to get really close and enjoy the interaction.

In a rousing opening, the start of the event featured a talk show, the popular SUPER GT “Geki So!” recorded for broadcast. Then the TGDA members got together for a white-hot battle with radio-controlled cars, with the fans cheering them on all the way. The climax came in the auction, where Andre Couto put up a pair of his racing overalls from last season. The event wrapped up with an autograph session where once again the fans were able to embrace their heroes.

Andre Couto:“I always say this, but the Japanese motorsports fans are No. 1 in the world. Too see everyone lined up for the autograph session was a big surprise. Also, the TGDA always makes it an exciting event for the drivers. I think it makes each and every one of the members happy. This coming weekend is an important one, with the 1,000kms at Suzuka (SUPER GT Round 6). Please continue your unwavering support for us!”

Meanwhile, Loic Duval was with the team in which he put in a brilliant performance in this year’s Le Mans 24Hours, the Oreca Matmut entry, for Round 4 of the Le Mans Series, the “1,000 Kilometres of the Nurburgring.”

With regular drivers Stephane Ortelli and Soheil Ayari, Loic was the third of the trio of French drivers driving the Courage Oreca Judd (LMP1 class; car No.5). The No.5 machine qualified in eighth position. Though unable to match the pace of the diesel-powered cars, they ran hard in an effort to be the best of the ‘petrol-powered’ machines. Unfortunately, the desired goal was not reached, but the team did a splendid job to bring the car home 6th, for the team’s first points.

Loic Duval:“This was my first time competing in the Le Mans Series. Neither of my 2 stints was easy. In my first stint, I locked up the tyres on my first lap, and had to drive for one hour with flat-spotted tyres. Fortunately, I never lost time. The second stint started off well, but I later spun. That was a mistake that I had wanted to avoid… However, 6th was a good result for the team, and I am also satisfied because I played a role in the outcome.”