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Oct 20th, 2023
Round 7 of the 2023 SUPER GT, held at AUTOPOLIS on October 14th and 15th, saw feverish battles in the latter part of the race as Astemo REAL RACING contended for the top spot.
In the Q1 qualifying, the track surface temperature didn’t rise, which made for challenging conditions, but Tsukakoshi drove calmly to advance to Q2 at sixth place.
The final race was the first 450-kilometer race at AUTOPOLIS. The race start saw similar low ambient and track surface temperatures as the qualifiers, but Matsushita in the first stint and overtook two machines in the opening lap to move up to 4th. He then overtook another machine to move up to 3rd position on lap 6. At the first pit stop on lap 20, Matsushita continued to drive with only changing tires and refueling. He continued to manage tires and completed lap 57 without losing any positions before switching to Tsukakoshi on his second pit stop.
The team was able to close the gap to contend for the top position. But in a tough battle with car #38 ZENT CERUMO GR Supra, our car sustained damage to the tires and was unable to improve the pace. We finished 6th, in what was a hard-fought but unfortunate result for the team.