Disaster in Okayama for the AMR GT3 crew of D'Station Racing at the Japan Cup finale

Saturday, August 19, 2023


It proved itself to be a challenging and championship ending opening race to the final race meeting of the GT World Challenge Asia Series earlier this morning at Okayama for the D’Station Racing team after issues on and off track didn’t exactly do the any favours as they chased down the Japan Cup title.

Going into this round seventeen points behind the leading #18 Porsche and with just two races remaining, the #47 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 of Satoshi Hoshino and Tomonobu Fujii needed another of their recent podium finishes to bolster their chances before going into Sundays finale.

Qualifying tenth on the grid and eighth within the overall GT3 Pro-Am class, Hoshino would ultimately take the start the start of his opening half hour stint from the rear of the grid (not known why) but that was soon cut short anyway as multiple incidences upon the opening lap brought out the red flag for barrier damage and circuit clean up.

After a lengthy delay, the race eventually got back underway behind the Safety Car but with the #47 having gained nearly half the grid by the time the race originally went under caution before the red flag and with just over 45 minutes of the race then remaining by the time as it went back to green.

A further incident for a Porsche lead to another caution period and that saw Hoshino leap up to P11 before apparently faltering on track at the restart and plummeting down to P22 as a whole host of cars passed him for position just ahead of the pits stop window.

Absolute disaster!!

Even with Fujii then jumping aboard, the gap to the GT3 Japan Cup Championship leader in the #18 Porsche ahead was too great and with that car eventually finishing P8 overall and more importantly P3 within the Japan Cup stakes, these issues during race 1 would prove too much for the D’Station Racing GT3 team with the #18 crew going onto to secure the Japan Cup Championship win with one race remaining.

The series also saw their first ever solo GT4 class race at Okayama with seven such cars taking the start to today’s race with the #48 D’Station Racing AMR Vantage GT4 of Tatsuya Hoshino and Kenji Hama aboard within their Am classed car.

Debuting within the series only today, this was more of inclusiveness and experience for the crew as Hoshino placed the car upon the front row to today’s race in second.

Going someway to make up for the disappointment within their GT3 garage, but unfortunately at the cost of the greater D’Station Racing Super Taikyu Series driver Max Orido, Hama eventually brought the #48 car home to claim P5 overall and P2 in Am.

Photo credits – Team / Series
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