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May 9th, 2024

First pole position and podium finish for Astemo

Round 2 of the 2024 SUPER GT was held at Fuji Speedway on May 3rd and 4th, with the event seeing approximately 90,000 total spectators across the two days. Many employees and their families came in support of the event.
As though to redeem the performance from the season opener, No. 17 (Astemo Civic Type R-GT) set the best lap time overall in the practice session. In the qualifying, Ota took on Q1 and continued his strong performance from the practice session to again set the top time. Tsukakoshi took on Q2 and compiled the third fastest time overall, resulting in the team to take pole position—an Astemo first.
The final race was a 3-hour race newly introduced this season. Tsukakoshi started off and was passed by No. 3 (Niterra MOTUL Z) on the opening lap with a different tire choice, and then he managed to keep his position despite being closely followed by No. 23 (MOTUL AUTECH Z), which had a better pace. On lap 23, No. 23 overtook him, dropping back to 3rd, but after the first pit stop on lap 34, he overtook the No. 23 and regained 2nd place.
The team desperately chased the leading No. 3, but couldn’t close the gap, and on lap 74 the team made its second pit stop with a driver switch to Ota. However, the team lost time in the pit and dropped to 4th. Ota desperately tried to catch up with No. 8 (ARTA MUGEN CIVIC TYPE R-GT #8) in front, and they battled fiercely for several laps for a podium finish without successfully passing. However, with less than 10 minutes remaining in the race, No. 8 experienced machine trouble and unexpectedly slowed down. Our No. 17 moved up to 3rd place while holding off No. 36 (au TOM'S GR Supra) until the checkered flag.
As a result, we achieved our first podium finish of this season in the Civic Type-R GT and moved up to 6th place in the series rankings.