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JGTC 2007 - Round 2 - OKAYAMA GT 300km RACE
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 10:16am

The OKAYAMA GT 300km RACE, Round 2 of the 2007 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, was held at the Okayama International Circuit (one lap 3.703 km x 82 laps) in Okayama Pref. on April 8. The GT500 class winners were the 2nd fastest qualifiers, the ARTA NSX driven by Daisuke Ito and Ralph Firman, who ran virtually the whole race without ever giving up the lead. In the GT300class victory was claimed by the No.101 TOY STORY Racing apr MR-S driven by Kazuya Oshima and Hiroaki Ishiura, the RE-Amemiya #7 finished 12th, down 1 lap.

In the GT300 class, the third position starter, No. 62 WILLCOM ADVAN VEMAC408R (Haruki Kurosawa) ran off the track at the first corner of lap 15. Then the 4th starter, No. 43 ARTA Garaiya (Morio Nitta), also went off the track at the Atwood Curve, as the upsets continued. In both cases the cause appeared to be contact with other machines. The result was that the pole starter, No. 2 Priv_e KENZO Asset Shiden (Hiroki Katoh) and No. 101 TOY STORY Racing apr MR-S (Kazuya Oshima) in 2nd position were able to open up a big lead on the following pack.

Later, No. 88 AKTIO MURCIE RG-1 (Marco Apicella) was also forced to leave the track and retire from the race due to steering system problems. After moving up into 3rd position, the No. 13 ENDLESS ADVAN SENZAIKAKUMEI Z (Masami Kageyama) was penalized and lost considerable ground for machine contact that forced another car off the track. This put the No. 26 YUNKER-POWER TAISAN PORSCHE (Shinichi Yamaji) in 3rd position.

After its pit stop and driver change, the No. 101 (Oshima > Hiroaki Ishiura) passed No. 2 (Kato > Kazuho Takahashi) on their out-lap. In the last race, it had been Takahashi in the No. 2 machine who had passed Ishiura in No. 101 on their out-lap, but this time it was the exact reverse. Meanwhile, the No. 26 held on to 3rd position through their pit stop as they changed drivers from Yamaji to Nobuteru Taniguchi. From this point the lead machines went on to the finish with no change in order.

This result gave both drivers Kazuya Oshima and Hiroaki Ishiura of the No. 101 TOY STORY Racing apr MR-S their first SUPER GT victory. And for Oshima, who was born on April 30, 1987, this gave him the record for the youngest driver ever to win a SUPER GT race.

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