#456 Roadster Wins ST-5 Class in Final Round of S-Tai. #66 Takes Series Championship
This time, Mazda announced that the No. 37 Demio equipped with a SKYACTIV-D 1.5L diesel engine will compete in the ST-Q class using 100% bio-based next-generation biodiesel fuel (Susteo by Euglena) made from used cooking oil and microalgae fats. This became a topic of much discussion. Mazda has announced that it will continue to participate in this project for the 2022 season, which aims to address the social issue of increasing carbon-neutral energy options. For more information, please visit >>> https://mzracing.jp/en/news/6830
The weather for the official qualifying session held on Saturday was cloudy. Although the track surface was dry and blue skies were visible, it was a chilly day. The Super Taikyu Series has introduced a point system that allows drivers to earn points throughout the season, in addition to awards based on their position in each race. These points are awarded based on race position and vary depending on distance and time. Additional points are awarded for pole position. The team with the most points (5 valid points per race) throughout the year will be awarded as the series champion. As a result, according to the results of the preliminary race on Saturday, the series championship was confirmed for car 66 without waiting for the final race on the following day.
The circuit was blessed with clear autumn skies on Sunday. On the other hand, the temperature was low, with 3 degrees Celsius in the early morning, and the road surface in the shade a bit damp for the start of the race. This year’s race was divided into two groups, Group 1 and Group 2, with the ST-5 class, in which the largest number of Mazda cars competed, being classified as Group 2 and racing in the morning. The No. 37 MAZDA SPIRIT RACING Bio concept DEMIO (Kaoru Ijiri, Ikuo Maeda, Kazuhiro Terakawa, Yutaka Seki) and the No. 32 ORC Rookie Corolla H2 concept hydrogen car, which are classified as Group 2 due to their similar performance (lap times), also raced at this time.
At 8:33 am, the race started with a rolling start from the formation lap. Starting from pole position, record holder Kanai took charge of the start for car #72. From the very beginning, the car drove at a high pace and extended its lead. Meanwhile, behind them, No. 456 and No. 66 were engaged in a clean battle. These three cars battled it out, swapping positions until the end. The No. 72 car, which had some concerns about fuel, had to splash refuel at the end of the race. During this time, No. 66 and No. 456 made their way to the front and once again battled for the top position. At 11:34am, the checkered flag was waved, and No. 456, which took the checkered flag at the top, had only 350cc of fuel remaining, showing just how close the battle was. Car 456 has announced that it will be graduating from the S-Tai race this season. When the driver came back, the team was filled with joy. In the series ranking, Car 66 was crowned champion, followed by Car 456 in 2nd, and Car 72 in 3rd.
The No. 37 MAZDA SPIRIT RACING Bio concept DEMIO, which uses 100% biodiesel fuel and competed in the ST-Q class, completed 3 hours and 94 laps with no problems. This was the first time for the team to compete in this event, but it was also the first time for them to finish the race. At the end of the race, the team crossed the finish line side by side with the No. 32 ORC Rookie Corolla H2 concept, a scene that was fitting for the opening of the challenge to expand the use of carbon-neutral fuel options.
No. 88 Murakami Motors Roadster (Hiroyuki Murakami, Tatsuya Tanigawa, Naoki Yamatani) finished 5th in ST-5 class, No. 103 Hiromatsu Demio Mazda2 (Kouta Sasaki, Soichiro Yoshida, Tomomitsu Seo) finished 6th, No. 17 NOPRO Demio Diesel (Tobio Otani, Masaki Inoue, Kazunari Yoshioka, Toshihiko Nogami) finished 7th, and No. 78 No. 78 LOVE DRIVE Roadster (Junko Fujii/Jco Iinuma) finished in 8th place.
[Comment from Takayuki Takeji, driver of Car 66] This is my sixth year in the S-Tai, and I’m finally able to win the championship. This year, we had no trouble with the car and were able to finish on the podium in every race. The drivers drove without any mistakes, and I’m grateful to the mechanics for making the car unbreakable.
Comment by Yasuhiro Takasaki, Representative of Car 456 “We missed out on the series championship this time, but we went into the race as a race to fight for the drivers and the team. Although we were not as fast as usual, the three drivers were able to work together and win the race, so I am happy about that.”
Please click the link below to see the video report. 2021 S-Taijin Round 6 Okayama 3 Hour Race Record Video (YouTube 5’43”)
Text and Photos by MZRacing