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May 9th, 2023
Round 2 of the 2023 SUPER GT was held at Fuji Speedway on May 3rd and 4th.
The event saw a total of approximately 80,000 spectators visit over the two days, partially due to the easing of COVID-19 measures.
The team finished the qualifying race in 8th position, and in the final race, the team remained patient until the latter half of the race, where the team's brilliant pit strategy and the driver's determined driving allowed the team to finish in 3rd place and achieve its first podium finish of the season.
The skies above Fuji Speedway cleared since the opening of the event, setting the stage for Tsukakoshi, who took on Q1 and set the 6th position time to advance to Q2. However, Matsushita was unable to improve on the time in Q2, finishing the qualifying session in 8th position.
The final race was a lengthy 450 km (100 laps). Matsushita had a collision with car No. 36 (au TOM'S GR Supra) at the first corner right after the start, but there was no serious damage to the machine, and he quickly regained the position he had lost. After that, it was a struggle to break away from the group fighting for 5th position, but as his rivals made their first pit stops, Matsushita continued to drive full speed ahead without dropping the pace. The team made its first pit stop on lap 40 and the driver was switched to Tsukakoshi.
Although his position did not change, his pace was good as he was able to push his best time. He completed his second pit stop, which was obligatory in this race, on lap 76, later than his rivals and returned to the race in 7th place after only changing tires and refueling.
Tsukakoshi improved his pace even further, and on lap 90, he passed car No. 3 (Niterra MOTUL Z) for 5th position, and soon entered into a side-by-side battle with car No. 8 (ARTA MUGEN NSX-GT). Car No. 24 (Realize Corporation ADVAN Z), running in 3rd position, retired due to machine trouble. Tsukakoshi was again making a brave advance on car No. 8, and No. 8 ran out of fuel and had to pit in. Astemo NSX-GT moved up to 3rd place on lap 99 and was able to defend the position against the catch-up of car No. 14 (ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra) to the checkered flag.