JEGT Rd.3 “EVANGELION e-RACING with Hiroshima Mazda” takes victory
The third race of the series was held at the 4,655m-lap Catalunya Circuit in Spain, with a Super Lap to determine the grid for Race 1, 5 laps for Race 1, and 10 laps for Race 2. According to the regulations, two types of tires are available, racing medium and racing hard, and in race 2, racing hard tires must be used and one pit stop is required. 4 MAZDA RX-VISION GT3 CONCEPT cars advanced to the final race. As a result of the Super Lap, the pole position for Race 1 went to car 105, followed by car 01 in 2nd, and car 777 D’station Racing (Ryosuke Tsujimura/Takuya Takahashi/Yusuke Tomibayashi) in 3rd. CONCEPT dominated the top grid positions.
Race 1 started with a rolling start, and car 105 made a good start and led the race. Meanwhile, No. 54 TC CORSE Esports MAZDA (Tadato Sasaki, Shunsuke Tsuboi, Junpei Inaba), which started 4th and wanted to get ahead as much as possible, pushed the No. 777 to the rear. These two cars battled cleanly for a while. Midway through the race, the #54 car tried to overtake the #777 car from the inside at the hairpin corner, but its momentum was too much and it allowed its rival behind to take the lead, causing both cars to lose positions. On the other hand, in the final lap, Car 01 in 2nd place was caught up by a GT-R that had closed the gap in the straight, but at this point, Kusano, the driver of Car 01, showed his determination. Despite numerous attempts at overtaking, Kusano showed no signs of letting up, and the race reached the checkered flag. As a result, Car 105, with its large lead, took the top checkered flag in Race 1, followed by Car 01 in 2nd, Car 777 in 5th, and Car 54 in 6th.
The starting grid for Race 2 will be in the same grid order as the results of Race 1. No. 105, starting from pole position, chose to start on medium tires, while No. 01, in second place, chose to start on hard tires. After the race started, No. 01 pitted in on the second lap. After the start of the race, No. 01 pitted in on the second lap, immediately switching from hard tires to medium tires. After pitting out, the team continued to lap at a high pace. On the other hand, No. 105, who wanted to change tires at the end of the race and get away with the hard tires, kept the top position as the race entered its final stages. In the final lap, No. 105 pitted out and returned to the course at almost the same time as No. 01 passed by. However, at the first corner, No. 01 came out in front and took the lead. At this time, Car 01 was already running on medium tires that had worn out, but the gap to Car 105 did not close, and the team took the checkered flag with Car 01 in 1st place and Car 105 in 2nd place. Akiakira Kato, the manager of Car 105, commented, “In Race 2, Car 105 used too many tires in the first half of the race in order to get away from the GT-Rs coming from behind and prevent them from entering the slipstream. In the final race, any of the top four teams can win the championship no matter which car wins. I’ll just aim for first place and try my best to get good results for both cars.
Comment from Kota Sasaki, General Manager of Car 01 After the disappointing results of the previous race, I think there was a lot of pressure on Mr. Kusano, who was in charge of the first race this time, due to the changes in regulations. However, he was able to defend his 2nd place position. His exquisite line control and braking on the final lap were particularly impressive, and I could feel his strong will and persistence. I think his driving brought the flow of the race to the team. The next round, the Grand Final, will be held at the Auto Salon, where everyone will actually gather to race, so we will need more team strength than ever before. We are only 4 points behind the leader, so we want to refine our strategy so that we can win and win the championship.
The next round final of the “AUTOBACS JEGT GRAND PRIX” will be held at TOKYO AUTO SALON 2022 in Makuhari Messe on January 15, 2022.
Text by MZRacing, Photos by EVANGELION e-RACING and © 2017 Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. Developed by Polyphony Digital Inc.“Gran Turismo” logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.