Bjorn and the GAINER team finished 7th in Fuji Round 6 of the Super GT Championship. The result moves the team into second position in the championship, 14 points behind the leader with three rounds to go and 48 points up for offer.
It was a sad return to Fuji for the GAINER team who recently lost their team director, Yamamoto-san after a period of illness.
The weekend started well with a qualifying result exceeding expectations considering the 84kg of handicap weight the team was carrying coming into this race. Kazu Hiranaka easily brought the car through to the second knockdown session where Bjorn was able to secure a 6th starting position.
Sunday morning warm-up was run in wet conditions and the two GAINER DIXCEL SLS were trading top positions throughout.
“We were really hoping for rain and it looked promising on Sunday morning. Wet conditions evens out the handicaps and the Dunlop wet & intermediate tyres are extremely competitive,” said Bjorn.
The race started in dry conditions and Bjorn drove the first stint advancing into 4th position early on. Nearing his pit window there was a safety car period when a GT500 suffered a tyre blowout.
“We were just about to get into our window and realised that the safety car was only going to stay on track for a few laps. Most people around us pitted at that point except us and the championship leader that was running in front of me. It looked like it was going to rain and I guess the team wanted to hold off for a few laps longer to see if we could gain an advantage by pitting for wet tyres and driver change at the same time,”
“However, it didn’t really rain enough for wet tyres and even though I secured the lead we were always going to fall back once we finally made our stop. We took it as far as we could and I stopped on lap 44 of 66. Kazu dropped to 10th but fought his way back into the points and a final 7th position. Really a shame as we had the pace to finish 2nd.”
Nevertheless, the result moves the team into 2nd position in the championship with three rounds to go.
“Fortunately the other championship contenders were struggling too and as a result we closed the gap to the leader by two points. Even though we haven’t been able to get a result in the three last rounds due to different circumstances the pace has been there to finish on the podium every time. It feels very promising for the final few rounds remaining.”
The next round will take place at Fuji Speedway where the GT300 class will be awarded championship points for participating in the Asian Le Mans Series.
2013 Super GT Round 6 Fuji – Highlights