Heading into the final three races of the 2020 season, Honda’s highest positioned crew within the championship is Real Racing duo Koudai Tsukakoshi and Bertrand Baguette, who took the primary two race wins for the brand new front-engined NSX-GT.
The first of these got here within the second spherical of the yr at Fuji, whereas the second adopted at Motegi, though the #17 automobile’s failure to attain strongly elsewhere has left Tsukakoshi and Baguette third behind the #14 Cerumo Toyota and the #37 TOM’S Toyota.
Toyota dominated the season opener at Fuji in July with its new GR Supra, locking out the highest 5 locations, and with the burden handicaps not making use of for subsequent month’s season finale on the identical monitor, Honda’s SUPER GT challenge chief Masahiro Saiki admitted that he is involved that historical past may repeat itself.
He believes outscoring the highest Toyota crews on this weekend’s Suzuka spherical and at Motegi in two weeks time can be crucial for Honda’s title hopes.
“The final race of the season is at Fuji, and after racing there three times this year, we have realised we’re in a situation where Fuji is tough for us,” mentioned Saiki.
“Furthermore, since the final race is also a non-handicap race, it is possible that the situation is the same as the opening race [when Toyota swept the top five].
“If we carry out nicely at Suzuka and Motegi and arrive at Fuji in the next championship place [than Toyota], I feel there’s a risk [of winning the title]. We are nonetheless challengers.”
#38 ZENT GR Supra
Photo by: Masahide Kamio
The #100 Kunimitsu Honda of Naoki Yamamoto and Tadasuke Makino will begin Sunday’s Suzuka race from eighth, one place forward of the #17 machine of Tsukakoshi and Baguette.
“In tomorrow’s race, I feel some automobiles ranging from excessive up the order could fall again, and I’m certain the Bridgestone Toyotas will enhance their place,” said Saiki.
“Suzuka is a comparatively good monitor for the NSX-GT, so I hope that automobiles #17 and #100 can end in a excessive place as nicely.”
The only podium position for the #100 Honda so far this year came in the August Suzuka race, where Yamamoto and Makino finished second behind the victorious Nissan GT-R of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda.
Makino agreed with Saiki’s view that any hopes of lifting a second title in three years for Kunimitsu depends on entering the season finale with points in hand.
“I feel Fuji goes to be a extremely tough race, so this spherical and Motegi can be essential,” Makino told Motorsport.com.
“Toyota is basically sturdy at Fuji, so we now have to get a number of factors earlier than Fuji, at this spherical and Motegi. It can be an essential two races.”
#100 Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX-GT: Naoki Yamamoto, Tadasuke Makino
Photo by: Masahide Kamio