The FUJI GT 500km round 2 of the 2019 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series, took place at Fuji Speedway on Saturday. After a strong thunderstorm forced a halt to the race in the early going, the weather improved to allow a great race to unfold.
In the GT500 class race, the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO LC500 (Yuji Tachikawa/Hiroaki Ishiura) took the race win while the GT300 class win went to the No.11 GAINER TANAX GT-R (Katsuyuki Hiranaka/Hironobu Yasuda). Eighth place went to the #37 KeePer TOM’S LC500 (Nick Cassidy/Ryo Hirakawa).
The race was started behind the Safety Car for two laps before the actual racing began. From that point, the pole-starting No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli) in the lead was chased hard by the No. 37 KeePer TOM’S LC500 (Nick Cassidy) in what developed into a fierce battle for the lead that saw the machines slipping when they hit wetter spots on the track.
Before long, they were joined by the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO LC500 (Yuji Tachikawa) that had worked up steadily through the rain from a 7th-position grid start. Car No. 38 eventually passed the two cars in front of it to take the lead on the 13th lap.
Just before that, the ran had begun to fall heavily as thunder and lightning cracked, forcing the officials to bring out the red flag and temporarily suspend the race.
Once the race restarted, damp conditions, pitstops and several off road excursions played against Cassidy and Hirakawa. Their #37 car finished eighth giving them just four points for the round and ninth overall on the championship table. The third round takes place May 25-26 at Suzuka.