Saving their best till last in Super GT

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Japanese Aston Martin Racing Partner team, D’Station Racing certainly saved their best till last with their best performance of the season at the finale of the 2020 Super GT Series from the Fuji International Speedway earlier today.

Having endured what could only be described as a ‘difficult’ season with their AMR Vantage GT3 competing in the GT300 class, circumstance finally allowed the green liveried #9 car to race its own race at a chilly Fuji circuit to end the year with a magnificent P5 result. 

Placed more than on the back foot with the troubles that the CV-19 would present them at the start of this delayed 2020 season, both with the lack of preferred Pro driver in Nicki Thiim to double with their own Tomonobu Fujii as well as not being able to have the engineering services of Prodrive team directly available on site each weekend, the team continued their racing obligations to the honourable standards usually expected from any team within this racing arena.

With Kei Cozzolino having usually helping out with Fujii within the car after it became clear that Thiim would not be able to travel, it was to be their own GT4 racer, Takuro Shinohara who would get to see out the season at the eighth and final round of the season at Fuji.

Having Qualified down in P22, it didn’t take Fuji long to start showing what he could do as he and the #9 car steadily improved its track position – four places on the opening two laps alone before circulating just outside of the top ten in class by the end of the fifteenth lap.

Just before halfway through the sixty-five lap race, Fujii even went as high as leading the class as those in front pitted before he had to do the same on lap 28, passing the car over to Shinohara for only his second race within the Vantage GT3 in the Series.

Not losing any track position or indeed time to any untimely Safety Car periods this time as in previous rounds, Shinohara was able to consolidate the cars position on track after their stop to climb back up the leader board from P7 (after the final GT300 car had pitted) to run a solid P5 until the chequered flag to claim their best finish of the season.

This result being only their third Drivers Championship points scoring finish of the year sadly left the team and drivers languishing further down the order than their efforts deserved – P19 out of 30 in the Team’s Championship and P22 out of 30 in the driver’s Championship.

Having completed this series but still have two rounds of their Super Taikyu commitments remaining over the next two months, we now look forward to see what they have planned for 2021 in and (potentially) outside of Japan but as usual, until they confirm anything else is simply speculation!!

Photo credits – D’Station / Pacific / Super GT
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