Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2010 JAF Fuji Sprint Cup

It's been a couple weeks since the Fuji Sprint Cup has been run.  I was really hoping for a good couple videos of the Super GT part of the race to pop up on YouTube but after two weeks not a thing.  There are a ton of short little segments that people personally filmed but no epic 10-15 minute recap of the race like we got with the Super GT races.  I found both race digests on Super GT.net and since no one else has uploaded them I'm going to.  No guarantees though for how long they'll stay up there.  In any case on with the races.

Thankfully the Fuji raceway and surrounding area were repaired after the Typhoon that wrecked the area canceling the 7th race of the Super GT series.  With that the 2010 Fuji Sprint Cup was set to role with the East vs West challenge pitting drivers of Formula Nippon and Super GT facing off against each other in a series of races over the weekend.  As I only followed Super GT I'll be focusing on that group of races.

For the Super GT cars the Fuji Sprint Cup was ran a bit differently than normal first of all there was two races each driver of the car entered drove the car the entire length of the race.  Also different is that instead of running both classes together they ran separately so in total there were four races in two days.  Another difference for the race was the start.  The Fuji Sprint Cup featured a standing start which caught a few drivers by surprise during the races.

GT500 -- This race was dominated by the pole sitting GT500 SC430 of Zent Cerumo while the other cars fought hard for positions the Zent ran away from them.  It was a dog fight for the rest of the drivers though as they fought for positions.  The Super GT GT500 points Championship winner was stuck in 7th place as another Honda HSV-010 (Keihin) was able to fight it's way to a 2nd place win with the Calsonic Impul Nissan GT-R claiming the 3rd place finish.

GT300 -- This was the first time this season an Italian car won the race.  The GT300 race was a bit more interesting finding some cars really battling it out to get to first place and stay there.  But it was the GT300 Ferrari F430 of  Team JimGainer Dixcell Dunlop that was able to battle it's way up to first place after a horrid start and cold tires dropping it back to 13th place.  Right behind him was the Corolla Axio APR GT car in 2nd place followed by the Hankook Porsche who returned after an absence in the last Super GT race to bring home a 3rd place win.

GT500 -- The second day of racing saw a whole different race with a completely different podium finish from Race 1.  This time it was the GT500 SC430 Team Eneos that was able to take advantage of a slow start from the pole sitter to jump up early and remain in 1st from the start of the race.  Once again it was a run away win with the cars behind him battling it out to claim the last two podium places.  Claiming 2nd position was another SC430 of Team MJ Craft.  The GT500 points champion Weider Honda HSV-010 was able to fight its way from 12th to 3rd before the end of the race.  It was helped along the way by a few crashes and off track excursions one by the yesterday's winner the Zent Cerumo SC430 and another by the Raybrig Honda HSV-010.  It was a fast and furious race for the end.

GT300 -- The Italian prancing horse of JimGainer Dixcell Dunlop was able to pull off a hat trick and win both days.  Once again the GT300 battle for the Ferrari was not an easy task.  Finding himself back in the pack again he had to fight his way past several cars to find his way into 3rd position where he was able to pick up his pace even more after getting clear of traffic.  Up to then 1st and 2nd place was held by the two top points earners the pair of Nissan 350Z.  The GT300 points champion Tomica Z was in first but not for very long.  The Ferrari made short work of the pair claiming it's second win of the weekend.  The two Nissan 350Zs finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

With the races over and the points totaled the final tally was in for the Battle of the East vs West showdown.  And who was the over all winner of the weekend with the most points at 658 it was Team East with the win against Team West with only 586 points.

An interesting side note about the race though.  I thought that only teams who competed in 5 races before hand were allowed to join they Fuji Sprint Cup but low and behold there were a couple of new cars out there in the GT300 class. [EDIT] apparently I'm not all that bright as there were no NEW cars just re-skinned cars.  There was a new Corolla running by the name of Magical Carbon APR Axio <-- Actually this was the EVA car just re-skinned for a new sponser.  It had an OK race on day 1 but on Day 2 it had a pretty nasty crash that took it out of the race.  In addition there were a couple new Porsche 911s out there as well.  There was a new Sabelt Cine Citta' Taisan Porsche and a 911 GT3R from Porsche Japan <-- this was the Racing Miku 911 stripped of it's "Itasha" skin for some marketing purposes for next year.  In sad news thought these were the absolute last races for the M7 Mutiara Motors Amemiya RX7 as it has been retired to sit in a Motorsports Museum in Malaysia.

Pictures are from Car @nifty and you should check out the rest of the pictures from the races there.  

Now for those videos--
Race 1

Race 2

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