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JGTC Round 8 Autopolis 300km - Season Closer
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 11:45am

The dark cloud over the RE-Amemiya's dissapointing season materialized over the Autopolis 300km race, for real! Ominous black patches delivered rain and more rain causing the final race of the year to be cut short because of the conditions. The race was shortened to 75% of its original distance from 52 to 39 laps. 33,500 people watched the soggy race, 17,000 watching the qualifying. With the rain came cool temperatures air temperature was 18 degree C and the track surface was 18 degrees C, or about 64 degrees F.

The AsparaDrink RX-7 piloted by Shinichi Yamaji and Hiroyuki Iiri qualified 13th with a 2'05.761, and a weight handicap of 5kg. The race conditions were hard, with the Safety car used to start the race, and at various times in the race to slow the cars down. The pole-sitting #31 Kicchouhozan MR-S went clear back to 12th place by lap 22. The #11 Jim Gainer Ferrari Dunlop, went from 8th into the lead of the class at the start. The driver pair of Tetsuya Tanaka and Paulo Montin had a perfectly-planned run, and finished victorious some 25 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals. The #0 EBBRO M-TEC NSX finished the race second, while laden with 100kgs of ballast. The #7 RX-7 finished up one position, 12th, but earned no points.

Team RE Amemiya Racing started the season in second points, but by this last race, was 52 down from the leader, to finish in 9th place, points wise, over the season. The team won points in 5 of the races this year, a disappointing season. Word has it that Amemiya-san will be back again next year with an impressive set to teamwork and technology, to show all who watch the power of the Rotary!

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