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Lexus RC F Powers KeePer TOM team to a Win in the First Round of 2014 Super GT Championship
May 14, 2014, 1:44 pm
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Lexus RC F powered teams finish 1st and 2nd in the Okayama race

The KeePer TOM racing team of Daisuke Ito & Andrea Caldarelli driving their #37 Lexus RC F has won the first round of the 2014 AUTOBACS Super GT series (GT500 class) at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan. The ENEOS SUSTINA Lexus RC F team of Kazuya Oshima & Yuji Kunimoto finished second while the DENSO KOBELCO SARD Lexus RC F team of Hiroaki Ishiura and Oliver Jarvis finished fourth. The next Super GT race will be on May 4th at the Fuji Speedway.

The KeePer TOM Lexus RC F team had a time of 1:57'15.816 to win the 81 lap race. In difficult conditions involving occasional rain, the KeePer TOM'S Lexus RC F continued to run strongly throughout to emerge victorious. For Ito, it was his 11th career win in Super GT while for Caldarelli, it was a long-awaited first win in his third season. The best lap timing in the race was achieved by the ENEOS SUSTINA Lexus RC F team with a time of 1'21.977.
Being its debut race, this was of course the first Super GT win for the new Lexus RC F. The previous GT500 engines of 3.4L V8 capacity were replaced for the 2014 season with 2.0L Turbocharged engine.

According to Nobuyuki Negishi, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, TOYOTA Motor Corporation, “We are delighted with this first win for the all new Lexus RC F in the opening round of the 2014 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series. This win is a great start to the year and reinforces the proud performance heritage of Lexus and signals a bright future for Lexus in motorsports with the new RC F.”
According to Daisuke Ito, “I am really happy that we won. I came to the KeePer TOM team last season and we got the support of KeePer as sponsor in our campaign, and although I was able to work well with Andrea Caldarelli, we just couldn’t win any races last year. So, I really wanted to get our sponsor KeePer and the team a victory as soon as possible. I’m very relieved that we were able to win the opening round of this memorable debut season with this all new car. My goal this season is certainly to get another win somewhere and get the series championship title.”

Speaking on the occasion, Andrea Caldarelli said: “This is my third year since coming to Japan, and today I have finally got my first win. I am very happy that it came in the opening round of the new era of GT500 with this wonderful new car. I’m grateful to the team, to Lexus, and the TRD staff for this.

Our car was late in being completed and we were only able to run it twice in the official test event (Okayama) and the maker tests (Fuji), but we had no trouble and the condition of the car was good. We chose the tires with the intention of going for the win in the second half of the race, and that is exactly how things worked out. I’m happy that this has led to a good result.”

Lexus Racing is committed to retaining the title it claimed last year under a six-team structure as outlined below.

 

 

Class

     Team

     Vehicle

Car No.

               Driver

GT
500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO

ZENT CERUMO RC F

1

Yuji Tachikawa (Japan)

Kohei Hirate (Japan)

LEXUS TEAM LeMans ENEOS

ENEOS SUSTINA RC F

6

Kazuya Oshima (Japan)

Yuji Kunimoto (Japan)

LEXUS TEAM PETRONAS TOM'S

PETRONAS TOM'S RC F

36

Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)

James Rossiter (UK)

LEXUS TEAM KeePer TOM'S

KeePer TOM'S RC F

37

Daisuke Ito (Japan)

Andrea Caldarelli (Italy)

LEXUS TEAM SARD

DENSO KOBELCO RC F

39

Hiroaki Ishiura (Japan)

Oliver Jarvis (UK)

LEXUS TEAM WedSport BANDOH

WedsSport ADVAN RC F

19

Hiroaki Ishiura (Japan)

Yuhi Sekiguchi (Japan)

 

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