2015 Subaru BRZ GT300 takes a risk at rainy Okayama opener [video]
Subaru decided to switch from Michelin to Dunlop tires this season and the tires played a key role in the season opener as the 2015 Subaru BRZ GT300 finished in a disappointing 17th place. At the first round of the SUPER GT Series at Okayama International Circuit this weekend, rain was the story of the day as it pounded the course from the start.
The team didn’t do well during qualifying either the previous day as the R & D Sports Subaru BRZ GT300 came in 19th place to start the race. The track was dry and temperatures were 21 degrees (70 degrees Fahrenheit). Drivers Hideki Yamauchi and Takuto Iguchi struggled during the qualifying even though the track was dry. They ran the slick tires during the qualifying rounds but could not get to the front of the pack to start the first race.
The team gambles and it doesn’t work
R & D Sports made many changes to the Subaru BRZ GT300 for this season and team thought they were ready. The team made the decision to start the race with slick tires to try to catch the faster cars from their position in the back. Yamauchi said the tires felt like they were providing good grip during the pre race warm up. But that was before the rain started to fall and track was still dry.
As the cars were assembled in place on the race grid, the rain started falling and it was too late to change tires. It was a gamble for the team that didn’t pay off. Yamauchi started the race and struggled from the beginning as the rain began to fall harder. On the first pit stop, they switched to the rain tires, but being so far back in the pack made it impossible to catch the leaders. Takuto Iguchi finished the season opener at Okayama International Circuit in 17th place.
SUPER GT round 2 will be held at Fuji Speedway May 2-3. The R & D Sport team will try to get more speed out of the new 2015 Subaru BRZ GT300 and overcome the challenges from the opener. Stay tuned.
Watch Subaru BRZ GT300 2015 SUPER GT opener Okayama International Circuit Finals video.