Michelin and Nissan Motul Autech claim Super GT/GT500 crown with QUINTARELLI/MATSUDA and their Nissan GT-R
The Michelin Group has always been in favour of direct competition with rival Tire manufacturers and the blue-ribband GT 500 category of Japan’s Super GT series offers the firm a chance to compete with three global brands from Japan at a variety of technically exacting circuits.
Given the ferocity of this championship, the win secured by MICHELIN tires on last weekend’s 250km race at Motegi, which allowed it to seal the 2014 GT500 title, was doubly important.
In sporting terms, Ronnie QUINTARELLI (third title) and Tsugio MATSUDA (first title) produced a surefooted performance, while the N°23 Nissan GT-R combined speed and reliability once more. Its MICHELIN Tires were particularly competitive at Motegi, too, and played in major role in the package’s success.
On the technical front, Michelin provided another illustration of its know-how and will use the valuable technological data it has gathered over the season to develop new solutions for the Super GT series, other racing championship and its range of road-going sports tires.
The solutions made available by Michelin for Motegi were outstanding during Saturday’s qualifying session which was dominated by the French company’s three partners. The fastest time in Q2 round the 4.801km track was secured by Motul Autech’s Nissan GTR (1m38.258s), ahead of the S Road MOLA Nissan GT-R (MOTOYAMA/YANAGIDA, 1m38.592s) and the Honda NSX CONCAPT-GT run by Weider Modulo (YAMAMOTO/IZAWA, 1m38.881s).
Sunday’s dry race saw these three Michelin-equipped cars getaway to a strong start to pull gradually clear of their chasers. But while the N°23 Nissan GT-R of QUINTARELLI/MATSUDA was never challenged, MOTOYAMA/YANAGIDA took a penalty for overtaking under yellow flags and the Honda was forced to make an unscheduled stop to cure a minor technical issue. The Motul Autech Nissan GT-R went on to cross the line with a 51.744s margin over the second-placed car, and the Weider Modulo Honda NSX CONCEPT-GT came a close third!
What a resounding win! A big bravo to Ronnie QUINTARELLI and Tsugio MATSUDA, as well as to everyone at Nissan Motul Autech.
“This success is a highly emotional moment for me. Michelin’s approach to Super GT is extremely humble but that doesn’t stop us from being perfectly aware of our expertise. What really interests us is the technological feedback Super GT racing brings us. It is an incomparable laboratory. I would also like to underline the professionalism of Michelin Japan’s motorsport team and its manager Hiroaki HODASHIMA.”
Michelin will continue in Super GT racing in 2015 and looks forward to another entertaining sporting battle which has no equivalent anywhere else in the world.