Nick Cassidy wins first-ever SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race
- Stunning lights-to-flag victory for New Zealander
- Benoît Tréluyer takes DTM top honours in sixth position
- Front-row starter Duval fails to make race after install-lap shunt
SUPER GT frontrunner Nick Cassidy took a commanding lights-to-flag victory at Fuji Speedway to win the first-ever Dream Race joint-event between the Japanese GT series and DTM on Saturday.
The KeePer TOM’S Lexus LC500 driver was untroubled from pole position after fellow front-row starter Loïc Duval failed to make the grid after crashing on the installation lap. In the opening laps, the New Zealander quickly established a healthy lead over the chasing cars of Ronnie Quintarelli (MOTUL AUTECH Nissan GT-R) and Naoki Yamamoto (RAYBRIG Honda NSX-GT).
As Cassidy’s lead grew, he was able to recover from a slightly shaky pit-stop where his crew struggled to quickly switch both front wheels. Not even a late-race Safety Car period could halt his progress: despite the novelty of the new-to-SUPER GT Indy Car-style restart, Cassidy held off a late charge from Koudai Tsukakoshi, who finished second in his Keihin Honda NSX-GT, ahead of Yamamoto.
Tréluyer leads DTM contingent
Frenchman Benoît Tréluyer (Audi Sport Japan RS 5 DTM) emerged a slightly surprising victor of the seven-car DTM challenge, finishing sixth after steadily improving across the whole weekend. Behind him, 2019 champion René Rast (Audi Sport RS 5 DTM) finished eighth after spending most of his race embroiled in spirited scraps with a number of drivers, most notably Quintarelli, with whom he enjoyed a ding-dong battle, exchanging position as they fought into the Turn One hairpin.
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport RS 5 DTM) started well from fourth place, but faded during the race, eventually getting pitched into a spin by Tréluyer as the field scrabbled through the tight Dunlop Corner after the restart. The German came home 13th.
BMW’s Kamui Kobayashi was another stand-out performer, enjoying a late-race scrap with Rockenfeller to finish 14th.
Fellow BMW drivers Marco Wittmann and Alex Zanardi both struggled: the German gambled on a first-lap pit-stop, but was later forced to make a second stop, eventually finishing 18th, a lap adrift. Zanardi only narrowly made the race after his crew discovered a technical issue on the installation lap. He was forced into the pits for a lengthy stop during the race, too, eventually rejoining for the closing laps, and finishing eight laps down