Bjorn and his GAINER team qualified their DIXCEL Mercedes SLS AMG in 18th position for the start of the 500km race. The victory in the opening race had resulted in the team carrying an extra 40kg handicap weight, and as a result the lap times around Fuji Speedway suffered. Bjorn drove the longer middle stint and moved the car into 6th position before it was time to hand back to teammate Kazuyuki Hiranaka who had been penalised with a drive-through early on in the first stint.
“We had high expectations at Fuji considering the margin with which we won the Okayama race. It was a surprise that those extra 40kg affected us that significantly, but our tyre choice was also aimed at a race performance in the longer stints and as a result the qualifying performance was hampered,” said Bjorn
“Kazuyuki ended up being given a drive-through during the first stint but with the extra 200km race distance for this event it gave us a chance to recuperate what had been lost. In the end we finished 6th which was better than we realistically could have hoped for. The speed to fight for podiums is clearly still there despite a handicap weight totalling 50kg following this race.”
“We’ve got a long break now, almost seven weeks before round 3 at Sepang. The heat and humidity in Malaysia in combination with a very abrasive tarmac means that the circumstances will be totally different for that particular race. The team and Dunlop have achieved good results there in the past so we will be targeting another podium finish. A 5 point championship lead this early on in the season is brilliant and means that we’ve established ourselves firmly as favourites for the Championship.”
The next round of the 2013 Super GT Championship takes place at Sepang in Malaysia on the 16th of June.
2013 Super GT Round 2 Fuji Speedway – Highlights