Event: Super GT Round 2 – Throwdown At Fuji Speedway v.2

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We continue the coverage of Super GT Round 2 from about the middle of the race.  By now I had wandered myself around the better half of the track and started making my way back to the paddock area to get something to eat.  While doing so, I managed to miss the massive crash of the Art Taste Porsche driven by Tim Bergmeister that ended up sending him to the hospital.  I’m not sure if he had a puncture in one of his tires that threw him off, or if it was a driver error, but the accident was pretty horrific.  This delayed the race for a good 30 minutes while they cleaned up and got the car off-track.  It didn’t take long though for the GT cars to start up at full throttle again.  Click past the break to check out more racing action from Fuji Speedway.

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In the last post I mentioned how cool it was that the families brought their kids to the race, and how much they were all enjoying it.  Well, I wasn’t lying.  Even JAF had a booth set up specifically for kids to win prizes while learning about road safety.  Way to indoctrinate the youth Japan.

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The GT300 intermingled with the GT500 all day providing some excellent sites to drool over.  It’s cool that European cars participate in the Asian series – I wonder if this is an attempt to get viewers from overseas more interested in the series.  The Lamborghini’s are all driven and owned by members of JLOC – the Japanese Lamborghini Owner’s Club.  It is a private team, with what I imagine, a lot of money.

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The Weider HSV struggling to maintain pace with the race winner around the Dunlop Corner.

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In order to get some decent panning shots you’d have to get more than a few steps away from the track.  The cars are much faster than I had anticipated!  You really get a sense of how powerful these cars really are when you get on track with them.  It’s a huge difference from the stills on my computer screen!  Nothing can replace the sensation of experiencing this race with all 5 of your senses.

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Subaru’s newest born GT300 chasing after the ZENT Audi R8 through the tight hairpin on turn 5.  Despite it’s lackluster performance at Fuji, the BRZ still looks menacing!

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The deep exhaust tones of the boxer engine serenade Fuji as it powers out and gives chase to the Audi.

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the course, most teams were still playing the tire guessing game.  Rain was on and off through the mid to final laps of the race and maintaining a dry line became more and more difficult for the drivers.  The decision to switch to intermediates was a difficult one I’m sure.

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One of my favorite cars of the series, despite it’s 8th place finish, is the GT500 ZENT SC430.  ZENT, from what I hear, manufactures Pachinko machines and halls.  If you don’t know what Pachinko is, perhaps you can Google it.  If you like sitting down in cigarette smoke filled rooms, with 8-bit sound effects blaring in your ears, bright saturated lights, and the clanking of metallic balls falling through plastic for hours on end, then Pachinko might be right up your alley.

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The Prius GT300 machine puttering down the straight.  It was so quiet you couldn’t even hear it coming….just kidding.  It was actually loud as hell.  I don’t want to immerse you guys in Prius pics because I have a Close-Up feature coming soon.  I have no idea why Toyota petitioned a Prius Super GT car – it literally ruins the ‘green’ aspect of it.  Maybe so Prius drivers can pretend to go fast in their own cars?

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The beautiful hills of Shizuoka make a great backdrop to Fuji Speedway.  Unfortunately, those same hills are the ones that lock in the moisture and can cause huge downpours on parts of the track that linger for hours.

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I tried my best to not over shoot from this position; as I was shooting frames as the cars entered the pits, I knew I’d come out with close to 100 frames of similar composition.  You can see though, that I was massively unsuccessful at doing so!  Never getting the opportunity to get this close to the cars in action in the past had me deprived of getting angles like this, so I just went for it.  Plus getting a look at the GT cars from this angle is just awesome!  I could have stayed here for hours.

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I’ll have to leave it at that for part 2 of Super GT Fuji coverage.  I’m actually sitting in the lobby of Embassy Suites in Concord, NC waiting for a shuttle to the airport.  When I get back to California I’ll be sure to write up another couple posts on the Super GT racing – including a few for qualifying in the rain.  I know I’m doing it backwards, but at this point I’m too tired to care!  Still to come is also coverage from the Super Taikyu race at Twin Ring Motegi; which is a series I’d really like to extensively write on for a few reasons.  So look forward to more action soon, and thanks for visiting!

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