The recent run of difficulties in Japan’s Super GT series continued for Felix Rosenqvist and team-mate Kazuya Oshima in the penultimate round of the season, with the duo taking a ninth-place finish in Sunday’s race at the Autopolis circuit.
Rosenqvist and his Team LeMans Lexus squad went into the weekend looking for answers to a recent downturn in form, but instead missed out on a top five finish for the third race in succession.
Caught out by rising track temperatures, the #6 crew opted for the wrong tyre compound in qualifying, leaving Rosenqvist/Oshima down in ninth on the grid for Sunday’s 300 km race – which they went on to finish in the same position.
Winning the race at Autopolis were Lexus colleagues Nick Cassidy/Ryo Hirakawa.
“Not what we were hoping for, of course,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “We had a pretty positive test before this race and were hoping to validate those findings here, but unfortunately we’re still missing some pace. The last three races have been challenging. However, we know that there is potential: we were on the podium in the race just before that, so we simply need to understand what has happened since. I really, really want to end this season on a high and there’s just one race to go, so I’m fully focussed on that already.”
Rosenqvist and Oshima now slip to tenth in the overall Super GT standings. The final round of 2018 takes place at Twin Ring Motegi on November 10-11.
RESULTS (top five)
Race 7/8 | Autopolis
1: R.Hirakawa (JPN)/N.Cassidy (NZL), 65 laps
2: K.Nakajima (JPN)/Y.Sekiguchi (JPN), +0.436s
3: Y.Kunimoto (JPN)/K.Yamashita (JPN), +12.614s
4: Y.Tachikawa (JPN)/H.Ishiura (JPN), +21.331s
5: N.Yamamoto (JPN)/J.Button (GBR), +21.628s
9: F.Rosenqvist (SWE)/K.Oshima (JPN), +48.517s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
After 7/8 races
1: N.Yamamoto (JPN)/J.Button (GBR), 67 p.
2: R.Hirakawa (JPN)/N.Cassidy (NZL), 67 p.
3: Y.Sekiguchi (JPN), 55 p.
4: T.Nojiri (JPN)/T.Izawa (JPN), 50 p.
5: K.Nakajima (JPN), 47 p.
10: F.Rosenqvist (SWE)/K.Oshima (JPN), 36 p.