Twin Ring Motegi, November 3: The season-ending round of SUPER GT, in the final year of the current-spec cars, was every bit as exciting as one could possibly expect. In qualifying, the resurgent Honda teams made their mark at home among the dominant SC430 entries, and in the race, it became a Lexus fest as no fewer than five SC430s finished among the top six.
The only interloper was the Keihin Honda HSV-010 GT. For the Nissan teams, it was a day fraught with incidents.
The laurels went to the #6 ENEOS SUSTINA machine of Kazuya Oshima and Yuji Kunimoto, the pair turning their first pole position of the season into a lights-to-flag victory in which they were never headed.
And while the battle may have been won by the Team LeMans entry, the war went to the #38 ZENT CERUMO SC430, guaranteed the title as it counted out the laps in third place before crossing the finish line seven points ahead of its nearest rival. It was the team's first Driver's title since 2005.
For lead driver Yuji Tachikawa, this was the veteran's third title in GT500, having also won in 2001 and 2005. The popular stalwart has spent his entire GT500 career, 14 seasons, with the Cerumo squad. His teammate Kohei Hirate, who joined the GT500 class in 2009, took his first title in the series' top class.
With all cars in the GT500 class adopting the same Technical Regulations as the DTM (Deutsche Tourwagen Masters) from 2014, this race was also significant as the final regular-season event for the current machines. The post-season Fuji Sprint Cup (November 22-24) is the last time this generation of SUPER GT's top class is scheduled to compete together as a series.