Yikes: Super GT Honda HSV-010s Play Bumper Cars at Suzuka
Frazzled nerves and stiff right ankles were the order of the day at the full throttle Super GT season opener at Suzuka. This was the much-anticipated debut of the silky smooth Honda HSV-010 in the GT500 class. The H emblem came out of the gates in great form as the Weider Honda team navigated the technical 5.8km (3.6miles) Suzuka course ultimately putting their HSV-010 on pole. As the countdown to green came near its end the circuit was sprinkled with a light rain. This led to a gaggle of spinouts, runoff and crinkled body parts in the early going. Affairs were not kind to the Honda contingent as the pole-sitting HSV-010 went off and was shuffled back to 12th. But lap 11 proved to be the most costly for the Honda camp as two of the team cars got together and took each other out. The Raybrig HSV-010, driven by Takuya Izawa and Naoki Yamamoto, was the bright spot, the silver lining. The car was quick and consistent ultimately putting Honda on the podium in the HSV-010's first outing nabbing third. The HIS Advan Kondo GT-R was the GT500 winner. The Nissan charged to the front from 10th on the grid, took the lead on Lap 25 and never looked back. - EG