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2012 Racing Program

As has been announced last week I will drive this year in the Japanese Super GT Championship partnering Satoshi Motoyama in Nismo's #23 Motul Autech GTR. It's been 3 years that I raced outside of Japan and I'm very much looking forward to be back racing in Super GT. The GTR has changed quite a lot since 2008, with paddle shift systems replacing the manual shift system and improved aerodynamics and a totally different engine used. Also the handicap system is different now with success ballast assigned to every point scored. This makes the championship much more interesting as now we don't need to slow down on purpose anymore in order to lose handicap weight at some races. It's 100% full attack in every race

Also the GT300 class has changed and the cars have become faster and its especially exciting to see the GTR GT3 model also racing with us. I drove the car myself in Dubai this year and I think it has great potential for the future. As with every new car it will probably take some time to sort out some issues in the beginning though.

So all in all there are lots of changes, getting used to the car and the new 'traffic' situation with the improved speed of the GT300 cars. It might take a couple of races to get fully used to all of this.

The qualifying format has also changed and its more like last years GT1 World Championship where both drivers have to attack, which makes it all the more a fairer race, as both drivers performances will count for the grid position. There will be the knock down system (Q1,2,3) as well as the Super Lap system.

I'm also thrilled to partner with Motoyama again, after we took the Super GT title together in 2003. Motoyama is a long time friend and rival and we got along very well right from the first test already. Communication and good partnership is essential in winning the Championship as Lucas and I have proven last year. I have a good feeling for this year as in the past 9 years Motoyama and myself gathered so much more experience and race craft. I really can't wait to get started for the first race in Okayama.

Other than that I'm planning some races in Europe as well. Nothing has been decided for sure yet, but I hope to take part at the Nurburgring 24h race again as I have done this in the Nissan 370Z for the last 2 years and its been an incredible experience. I let you know as soon as there are more events scheduled.

I'm looking forward to see you all at the races and can't wait to see all the Nissan
flags waved, pushing us to hopefully victory!


2012 レース予定

先週発表された通り、今季は本山哲選手と組んでNismo #23 Motul Autech GTRで日本のスーパーGT選手権に参戦します。日本から離れてレースをすること3年になりますが、スーパーGTのレースに戻ってこられることをとても楽しみにしています。GTRは2008年からするとかなり変わった部分があり、たとえばマニュアルシフトシステムからパドルシフトシステムに替えられたり、空気力学の改善だったり、使用されるエンジンもまったく違っています。そして、ハンディキャップ制も現在は異なり、サクセスバラストは得点したすべてのポイントに割り当てられます。これにより、ハンディキャップウェイトを失くす目的で遅くする必要がないので、選手権はもっと面白くなります。どのレースも100%フルアタックです。

GT300クラスも変わって、クルマはもっと速くなり、GTR GT3モデルが一緒にレースをすることもかなりエキサイティングです。僕は今年に入ってドバイで運転しましたが、将来的に高いポテンシャルがあると思いました。新しいクルマというのは得てして最初は問題が出てきて時間がかかるものですが。




他には、ヨーロッパでも同様にいくつかのレースを予定しています。まだ何も確定したわけではありませんが、ニュルブルクリンク24時間レースに2年間Nissan 370Zで参戦しましたが、最高の経験でしたので、また参戦したいと思っています。



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comments (2)

supporter:古山 |date:February 29, 2012 7:57 AM


supporter:Michael |date:February 28, 2012 7:24 PM

Great news, Michael. As a fan of yours its great to hear. I followed you in Super GT years ago and over the last few watched the GT1 on the internet.

I'm looking forward to reading your blog over the season as we dont get any Super GT news here in Australia.

Cheers, and gambatte!

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