As the laps were winding down, the action of the Fuji 24 Hours didn’t slow down one bit. Asian Motorsport reviews the racing during the closing stages of Fuji Speedway’s headline race.

By Marco Albertini

The #38 Tracy Sports with Delta Lexus RC 350 spun in the second corner after suffering a brake problem, but quickly got back to the pits, replacing the brakes and going back out on track.

A full-course yellow was put in place to clear debris at the Dunlop corner. It was around this time that the overall leaders, TKRI Matsunaga Kensetsu, pitted for their mandatory maintenance stop, giving back the lead to Zhongsheng Rookie Racing.

Another full-course yellow was thrown on track when the #120 Mazda Spirit Racing Mazda Roadster stopped at the last corner with a broken rear right suspension.

At the front, TKRI Matsunaga Kensetsu had been chasing and decreasing the gap to Zhongsheng Rookie Racing, but as soon as both teams completed their last stop and driver change, the Akio Toyoda-run team managed to pull away from the #23 AMG GT3 Evo.

After 773 laps, Giuliano Alesi drove the #1 Zhongsheng Rookie Racing AMG GT3 Evo to the win, making it the second consecutive win for the team in this event and the third win for a Mercedes. The #23 TKRI Matsunaga Kensetsu AMG GT3 Evo finished second in the ST-X class, with the #31 DENSO Lexus RC F GT3 completing the overall podium.

Despite a magnitude 4.6 earthquake being felt during the race, the Fuji 24 Hours was completed without a hitch.

Winners by class

  • ST-X – Zhongsheng Rookie Racing – #1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo – Ryuta Ukai, Giuliano Alesi, Naoya Gamou, Tatsuya Kataoka
  • ST-Z – Shade Racing – #885 Toyota Supra GT4 – Hiro Hayashi, Katsuyuki Hiranaka, Eijiro Shimizu, Morio Nitta
  • ST-Q – GR Team Spirit – #92 Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept – Keizo Kato, Takamitsu Matsui, Shunsuke Kohno, Kenta Yamashita, Kazuki Nakajima
  • ST-1 – K’s Frontier KTM Cars – #2 KTM X-Bow GTX – Taiyo Ida, Hiroki Katoh, Kazuho Takahashi, Hiroki Yoshimoto, Takashi Kobayashi
  • ST-2 – Endless Sports – #13 Toyota GR Yaris – Masaya Hanazato, Mizuki Ishizaka, Hitoshi Okada, Reimei Ito
  • ST-3 – Tracy Sports with Delta – #39 Lexus RC 350 – Shinya Fujita, Takashi Itoh, Dai Mizuno, Takumi Sanada, Takuya Otaki
  • ST-4 – Shade Racing – #884 Toyota GR86 – Masahiko Kageyama, Yuji Kunimoto, Shinnosuke Yamada, Teppei Tsuruta
  • ST-5 – Team NOPRO – #17 Mazda2 Diesel Turbo – Hideyoshi Nishizawa, Tobio Ohtani, Misaki Konishi, Toshihiko Nogami, Hiroaki Yamamoto, Junichi Agematsu

Header photo credit: Tatsuya Kataoka

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