Nick Cassidy fast and consistent at Fuji

Kiwi driver, Nick Cassidy, along with au TOM’s RC F co-driver Daisuke Ito made impressive progress in the second round of Japan’s Super GT500 series yesterday, moving from 13th on the starting grid to finishing fourth in the 500km race at Fuji.

Daisuke qualified the car in Q1, but couldn’t find comfort with the vehicle’s balance and unfortunately only qualified in P13, with the Super GT elimination style qualifying, Cassidy’s opportunity to qualify in the second session was lost and the duo had a challenge ahead to finish strong.

With good weather conditions for race day however they remained focussed on reclaiming track position.
The race was started with Daisuke at the wheel and he climbed to P9 when the LEXUS RCF pitted on Lap 38.

Cassidy delivered a strong, consistent stint and was confident with the car, expertly managing the tyre wear without compromising in lap speed. Late into the stint and ahead of the pit stop window a safety car gave the young Kiwi an opportunity as the front runners bunched up.

Cassidy seized his chance to pass the Honda of Oliver Turvey at the first corner of the restart, before staying out an extra two laps while others pitted enabling him to set the team’s fastest laps of the race. This was crucial in enabling Daisuke to come out P5 after the driver change and pit stop, with a dash to the flag for the remaining 27 laps.

The leading Nissan GTR had a failure within 10 laps of the finish, which elevated the pair’s position to P4 – finishing within a second of LEXUS TEAM TOM’S team mates in 3rd.

“Overall I am really pleased with the result of the weekend. It is only my second race weekend in GT500, up against a massively professional grid of drivers. I was able to understand the race well inside the car which meant we got the most out of our strategy, and the TOM’S guys did a great job on pit wall thinking on their feet. Our Qualifying pace is something that needs to improve, as Daisuke-san and I showed in the race that we were starting well down from our level of speed. I’m looking forward to the Official Test at Sugo next month, and look to continue to build experience in this car.”

Cassidy and Ito now sit 6th in driver’s points.

The next event is an Official test in June at Sugo, where Round 3 will be held later that month

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