• 2019/09/02
  • OTHER(日本)

IPS “Jinba Ittai Driving Academy” grabs double podium

Over August 31 and September 1, Round 2 of the Inter-Proto Series was held at Fuji Speedway, where the #55 “Jinba Ittai Driving Academy” (Yasunori Mushitani / Kazuto Kotaka) competed in the gentleman class and in both races Mushitani finished third and went up to the podium. Kenta Yamashita, who usually partners with Mushitani, was absent due to participating in the WEC (World Endurance Championship) Silverstone 4-hour race, and so this time, 20-year-old Kazuto Kodaka, who is active in the All Japan F3 and SUPER GT races participated. Yasunori Mushitani is a senior engineer at Mazda’s Drivability Development Department.


Mushitani, who grabbed 5th in the Gentleman class official qualifying, finished 3rd in the 3rd round on Saturday. After that he participated in the champagne fight on the podium. This race saw 22-year-old Miki Koyama, who is competing in the Inter-Proto series as an expert driver, start from pole position. He achieved a debut win with a fast run that extended his lead by more than 1 second per lap. During the race there was an accident involving 4 cars in the early stages, and Mushitani, who passed through it calmly, secured the 3rd place. “In the second half of the race, it was too hot, which took a toll, and I lost a lot of lap time,” said Mushitani.. 


The final race on the second day started at 9:15am. The sun less harsh than the previous day, and the temperature was more bearable. Starting from overall 5th on the grid, Mushitani’s #55 fell slightly behind the top four cars in the early stages, but was running at 2nd in the class from the middle of the race, but ultimately relinquished the position to the #7 and finished 3rd in class. “I fell a bit behind in at the start of the race because I lost my composure a little at 13-corner, and so the opposition pulled away while I was recovering. At the end of the race I caught up to the CCS-R car and but was overtaken by the #7 car. I came to realise I still have a lot to learn in terms of tactics. However, I was able to calmly look around at the situation during the race and enjoyed it.”


We asked Mushitani about the merits of the IPS race. He said, “As I’ve said before, the purpose of this project is to cultivate Mazda’s development drivers. However, I personally have been able to learn a lot of things through my participation. Within the so called SKYACTIV Vehicle Architecture technology, which was adopted in the development of Mazda 3, the first theme was “to build the pelvis”. This is because the pelvis serves the balance adjustment function inherent in humans. The same thing can be said for this IPS race car, and this has been proven in the driving seat. That is also agreed by “Yamaken” (Kenta Yamashita) agrees.


Rounds 3 and 4 of the professional class was held on Sundays. In the qualifying session, Kazuto Kotaka drove the #55 Jinba Ittai Driving Academy recorded times close to the top runners and finished 3rd in round 3 and 10th in round 4. He gained more experience and acquired a lot of pace in the race.


The third round of the InterProto series will be held on October 19th (Sat) and 20th (Sun). The numbered car race “Roadster Cup” where different generations roadsters compete together, the KOJO CUP for female drivers only, and the legendary cup competed by famous drivers from the past will also held on the same day.


Text and Photos by MZRacing


©  MZRacing. All Right Reserved.