Lexus Sweeps the Board in Fourth Round of 2018 AUTOBACS SUPER GT 500 Series

Press release
Published July 25th, 2018 - 11:04 GMT
Lexus LC 500 @ Super GT 500
Lexus LC 500 @ Super GT 500

Lexus powered to an overwhelming victory in the GT500 class race in the fourth round of the 2018 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series held recently at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand, taking the first four places in the race. The No. 39 Lexus LC 500 DENSO KOBELCO SARD driven by Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi, claimed its first win of the season, which also gave Kobayashi his first-ever GT500 win.

Commenting on this significant win, Yugo Miyamoto, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, said, “I would like to congratulate the teams on this outstanding result. This triumph adds to our proven record in motorsports and we remain dedicated to continuously building on the experience gained on the racetrack to not only engineer amazing vehicles, but also ignite our customers’ emotions. We extend our gratitude for their support and enthusiasm, which remain a key inspiration in our drive to create amazing experiences.”

As the only event of the season that is held outside Japan, the race started with clear skies, and the weather remained fair throughout the day, creating hot conditions for the drivers.

The 66-lap race got off to a flying start with the No. 16 rival car beginning in pole position followed by another rival car, No. 17, which was quickly passed by Heikki Kovalainen in the No. 39 Lexus LC 500 DENSO KOBELCO SARD.

On the 11th lap of the race, a collision created an opening for the No. 19 Lexus LC 500 WedsSport ADVAN driven by Kenta Yamashita. A battle for fourth place then developed between the No. 6 Lexus LC 500 WAKO'S 4CR and two other cars, until the Lexus LC 500 was able to break away. The No. 24 competitor car was later involved in a collision and forced to retire from the race.

The No. 16 looked to be in an unassailable position, but the No. 19 Lexus LC 500 WedsSport ADVAN passed to take the lead during lap 19. An eventful first half saw all of the cars change position before the pit stops with the exception of the leading No. 39 Lexus LC 500 DENSO KOBELCO SARD, which at one point had opened up a lead of nearly seven seconds.

By the 36th lap, all of the cars had completed their routine pit stops. At this point, the order of the top three was the No. 39 Lexus LC 500 DENSO KOBELCO SARD in the lead, followed by the No. 6 Lexus LC 500 WAKO'S 4CR and the No. 19 Lexus LC 500 WedsSport ADVAN, giving Lexus a clean sweep of the top places.

The battle for the lead began to heat up as the race progressed. Furthermore, the pace of the No. 38 Lexus LC 500 ZENT CERUMO, driven by Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura, which had started from 10th position on the grid, was amazingly fast as it accelerated to fourth place.

For Kamui Kobayashi, his first-ever GT500 podium finish was also his first win in a SUPER GT race. Meanwhile, Heikki Kovalainen’s third victory saw him move up to the top of the Drivers’ Championship table.

Race Notes:

  • No. 39 Lexus LC 500 DENSO KOBELCO SARD (Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi)
    • Position: 1st
    • No. of Laps: 66
    • Best Lap: 1'25.548
    • No. 6 Lexus LC 500 WAKO'S 4CR (Kazuya Oshima and Felix Rosenqvist)
      • Position: 2nd
      • No. of Laps: 66
      • Best Lap: 1'25.512
      • No. 19 Lexus LC 500 WedsSport ADVAN (Yuji Kunimoto and Kenta Yamashita)
        • Position: 3rd
        • No. of Laps: 66
        • Best Lap: 1'25.132
        • No. 38 Lexus LC 500 ZENT CERUMO (Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura)
          • Position: 4th
          • No. of Laps: 66
          • Best Lap: 1'25.355

Background Information

Lexus

We are an automotive company that takes inspired design, relentless innovation and uninhibited performance and turns them into passionate, moving experiences. But, that's only part of our DNA. We're equally dedicated to offering exceptional customer experiences. And in doing so, creating loyalty throughout the world—not just with the people who buy our vehicles, but the people in the communities around us. Yes, our unique contributions have moved the entire automotive industry forward. But, we never forget about giving back. That's why we strive to empower people's lives, help to preserve the environment and donate to numerous causes. These are the things that matter to us—the things that drive us every day.

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