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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Autobacs Super GT kicksoff at Fuji Speedway - Malaysia Super GT 18~19 June 2011

In a twist of events, the 2011 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Round 2 in Fuji Speedway is now the season opener of the 2011 SUPER GT Series. This week, the highly anticipated Round 2 FUJI GT 400km RACE will take place on 30 April and 1 May, while Round 1 in Okayama International Circuit is now scheduled for 21st and 22nd May.

Previously, the official test which was scheduled for the Okayama International Circuit on 19th and 20th March was cancelled, and Round 1, scheduled for 2nd and 3rd April was postponed due to the devastating earthquake that hit Japan on March 11.

The Japan 9.0 magnitude earthquake is the strongest earthquake to ever hit Japan. The decision to postpone the official test was made out of respect to the tragic loss of life and property caused by the earthquakes and tsunamis. The GTA also feared that the logistical requirements of the event may impede relief efforts and were concerned for the safety of the spectators, drivers and team personnel in light of possible aftershocks.

The unprecedented earthquake disaster further impacted SUPER GT by causing suspension of testing and events for about one and a half months since the quake. Usually, teams spend this time building the base for upcoming season by collecting tire and machine data and enhancing communication among new team members as well as drivers in pre-season, but they could not run their cars at all during the period this year (except the shakedown of newly introduced cars).

In contemporary racing, teams put their effort in collecting data to simulate their strategy before taking on the actual race. But for this season, with data collection at zero, all teams will have to battle off the cuff, possibly resulting in increased unpredictability and errors than usual. Tires may lose grip suddenly or cars may run out of gas just before the finish. In this race, you really never know what will happen.

Being unable to do any testing up to this point, how will teams take on the battle? It would be interesting to see especially the new comers to the series and the teams with new cars, new drivers, and new changes. What about the race itself?

The lack of data is still a huge concern with the teams, which means that the data accumulated in Round 2 should become the significant factor. How promptly can a team respond to a sudden change in circumstances? Adaptability may become the key for winning the race in Fuji.

“We predict that Round 2 will be a thrilling race from start to finish”, said SUPER GT Round 3 race organizer, TJ Chin of JP Performance Motorsports.

JP Performance Motorsports (JPM) acquired the rights to hold the 2011 and 2012 Malaysian round at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC). SUPER GT Round 3 will take place at SIC on 18 and 19 June.

TJ added, “As the Malaysian round is the only round held outside of Japan, we hope that the SUPER GT will boost Malaysian tourism as well as strengthen ties between Malaysia and Japan”.

The SUPER GT, the fastest Super Grand Touring car race in the world offers a whole list of fun activities for the whole family. Mini concerts, a carnival city, GT queens, cultural exchange performances, and the pit walkabout, where fans can get up close and personal with their favourite drivers and teams are just a few activities which will take place at Sepang this June.

Tickets for the SUPER GT in Sepang are priced at RM100 (for two day Grand Stand passes). JPM is currently offering an early bird price of RM 88 per ticket. The SUPER GT tickets can be conveniently purchased at all 7-11 outlets nationwide. For more information on the SUPER GT or on how to get your tickets, log on to /

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