SUPER GT Rd.2 Fuji

Andrea Caldarelli now with two consecutive P2, podium results!


17gt2-CAL12017 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Round 2 “FUJI GT 500km RACE” was staged at Fuji Speedway located in the famous Fuji mountain ranges over May 3rd – 4th. Also during Japan’s long holiday week, the “Golden Week”, over 92,000 GT fans showed up at this big event, had their fill of the 500km long-race spectacles.

(Official attendance figures: May 3 (WED) 33,100 / May 4 (THU) 58,000)





May 3 (WED, National holiday) – Official Qualifying


17gt2-CAL7Wednesday morning, from 9:00 – 10:45, Official Practice began under clear blue skies with 15 cars of the GT500, 29 cars of GT300 classes present in the session. Andrea Caldarelli and Kazuya Oshima pair of LEXUS TEAM LEMANS WAKO’S brought WAKO’S 4CR LC500 under their control, marking a P2 time (1’28.712)in spite of the 30kg Weight Handicap (WH).

Their pace was consistently good throughout the long run as well, able to show that the machine has been prepared to a secure package. 




Before long, the day’s program proceeded to the Official Qualifying session.

Andrea Caldarelli of LEXUS TEAM LEMANS WAKO‘S appointed to drive the Q1 (14:50–15:05, Air temp. 18℃ / Track temp. 30℃) pushed with the utmost forces, delivering there a P3 time (1’28.241) and unquestionably advanced to Q2. Likewise, in Q2 Kazuya Oshima pushed more and #6 WAKO’S 4CR LC500 was able to finish the qualifying day with the time of 1’28.217, positioning 3rd overall.



Andrea Caldarelli

“Considering the WH we were carrying, today’s qualifying went quite well. Our team prepared us an excellent package and its feeling was great as well! Tomorrow, starting from P3 on the grid should give us good chances to target winning the race!”





May 4 (THU, National holiday)  RACE


17gt2-CAL3Covered with a light overcast of clouds, the mountains of Fuji were found in pleasant weather again on the Race day. From 9:30, the Pit Walkabout began as part of the fan service functions, followed by numbers of event ceremonies during the hours preceding the Race. Introduction of the teams and drivers were given to the spectators as well.







After 20 minutes of Warm-up session at 12:35 and various starting procedures, eventually at 14:10 (Air temp. 19℃ / Track temp. 29℃), the long Race got underway with the total of 44 machines – 15 machines of GT500 and 29 of GT300 fired up towards the chequer of 110 laps ahead!







17gt2-CAL10At LEXUS TEAM LEMANS WAKO’S, first it was Kazuya Oshima up driving as the Starting driver. Oshima kicking off from the second row with a fine rolling start, his race pace did not improve as expected and by the 9th lap positioned down to P6. But overtaking a car on the 18th lap, and then on its 35th lap WAKO’S 4CR LC500 returned to the pit for scheduled pit stop. After refueling and tyre change, #6 was now in the hands of Andrea Caldarelli who joined the field in P6. The 27 year old Italian driver gave further strong pushes and already in the 39th lap 17gt2-CAL8got into fierce battling with #23 (MOTUL AUTECH GT-R), seized this fight, and climbed to P4! On the 55th lap, passing another, #1 (DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500) and then another which had to draw back due to penalty, LEXUS TEAM LEMANS WAKO’S captured the P2 standing. Soon, after the last drivers’ switch to Kazuya Oshima, WAKO’S colored machine ran at steady pace trying to reduce the gap with the race leader #38 (ZENT CERUMO LC500) be less than 5 seconds but not quite, #6 accepted the chequered flag in 2nd place from the long, hard-fought race.   



17gt2-CAL2Andrea Caldarelli:

“Our result of P2 finish (scoring 15 points) is great in terms of the championship standings. This weekend, the race itself was not easy – especially tyre management wise, but I did enjoy overtaking a lot in my stint. Only, after pushing hard in the early laps chasing up the cars ahead, our tyres suffered during the last half and it was a bit of a struggle driving. In any case, up to now the flow (in this new season) has been fantastic for the team too, so we are getting excited for the next race in Autopolis!”






17gt2-COU1The next SUPER GT Round 3 will be staged at Autopolis (Oita Prefecture) over June 24-25.

In this 3rd round, as well as in Rd. 4 (SUGO), Rd. 5 (Fuji), Andre Couto will be making entry with D’station Racing of GT300 class, along with a Japanese teammate, Tomonobu Fujii. #33 D’station Porsche (911 GT3 R), which captured a P3 podium place from Rd. 2 Fuji, impressed everybody with its high potential and next, with the veteran driver Andre Couto joining and adding force to this machine will definitely arouse further expectations for this team.