Lexus Shines at 2018 AUTOBACS SUPER GT500 Series with One-Two Finish in Round 5
No. 36 LC 500 au TOM’S takes the come-from-behind win and No. 1 LC 500 KeePer TOM’S finishes second in Fuji 500-mile race
Amman, September 2018: Lexus has taken its remarkable performance in the 2018 AUTOBACS SUPER GT500 Series to a new level, with Kazuki Nakajima and Yuhi Sekiguchi clinching victory at the wheel of the No. 36 LC 500 au TOM’S in the fifth round of the season. Held recently at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture, the closely fought 500-mile contest also saw the No. 1 LC 500 KeePer TOM’S speed to a podium finish, as Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy emerged as the second fastest team in the GT500 class race.
“It gives me great pleasure to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Lexus teams on their outstanding victory in the Fuji 500-mile race. While participating in motorsports, we focus on testing our cars under extreme conditions on racetracks and bringing the best of Lexus’ amazing engineering and design to stimulate our customers’ emotions. On behalf of everyone at Lexus, I thank our loyal fans for their continuous support and for inspiring us to create amazing experiences,” commented Yugo Miyamoto, Chief Representative of Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation.
In the early stages of the race, the No. 23 and No. 24 competitor vehicles led the rally, followed by the No. 36 LC 500 au TOM’S. On the 23rd lap, it moved up from third to second position. Then, as it began closing in on the leader in front, the No. 23 competitor vehicle opted to make its first pit stop on lap 31.
This left the No. 36 LC 500 au TOM’S running as the tentative leader until it made its pit stop and returned onto the track in 4th position. The No. 23 competitor vehicle kept this lead until the middle stages of the race, when it lost first place to the No. 12 competitor vehicle.
The No. 12 competitor vehicle remained in the lead, followed by competitor vehicle No. 23 and No. 1 LC 500 KeePer TOM’S. The No. 36 LC 500 au TOM’S was pushing hard to make up the ground lost due to extended pit time. By the 79th lap, it had caught up and passed the No. 1 LC 500 KeePer TOM’S to move into third place once again.
As the race passed the midway point, the No. 12 competitor vehicle continued to hold the lead. Behind it, the No. 23 competitor vehicle and No. 36 LC 500 au TOM’S kept in pursuit. After a successful third pit stop, the No. 36 LC 500 au TOM’S managed to move up to second position.
On the 125th lap, the No. 1 LC 500 KeePer TOM’S passed the No. 23 competitor vehicle. Then, on the 148th lap, the No. 12 competitor vehicle had to repair a mechanical issue that required a three-minute pit stop. With this, the No. 36 LC 500 au TOM’S took over the lead, with No. 1 LC 500 KeePer TOM’S second place, to secure a one-two finish for the Lexus teams.