The No. 31 TOYOTA PRIUS apr GT made it a memorable outing with a first place finish in Round 4 of the 2016 AUTOBACS SUPER GT (GT300 class). Driven by Koki Saga and Yuichi Nakayama, the No. 31 car had its first win of the season in a competitive race. The No. 25 VivaC 86 MC driven by Takeshi Tsuchiya and Takamitsu Matsui took second place to make it two podium finishes for Toyota. The race took place recently at the Sportsland SUGO in Miyagi prefecture, Japan.
At the start of the race, the No. 25 VivaC 86 MC (Takeshi Tsuchiya) was in pole position with the No. 31 TOYOTA PRIUS apr GT (Koki Saga) in third place. The No. 25 VivaC 86 MC maintained its lead till the 25th lap where it lost its lead. The Toyota cars bided their time during the rest of the race till the 61st lap, when Nakayama in car No. 31 took advantage of an opportunity and managed to get into the lead. After that, the leading car No. 31 continued to maintain a gap of three seconds over car No. 25 now in second place.
In lap 71 however, there was a car crash and the red flag came out to stop the race for safety reasons. The race was officially ended with six laps remaining. According to the regulation, the final finishing order was decided by the running order on the lap prior to the red flag. With this, the No. 31 TOYOTA PRIUS apr GT got its first win of the season. Round 5 of the 2016 championship now takes place in Fuji on August 6-7, 2016.
According to Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, “In the competitive environment of motorsports, the No. 31 TOYOTA PRIUS apr GT Toyota Prius showed its versatility and racing credentials with a superb win followed by the No. 25 VivaC 86 MC Toyota 86. I would like to congratulate the teams for their excellent performance.”
He added: “Toyota places a lot of emphasis on participation in motorsports for the insights it generates while testing the cars in such demanding conditions. This in turn helps to develop ever better cars for our customers. We sincerely appreciate the support of our customers for our motorsports activities.”
• No. 31 TOYOTA PRIUS apr GT (Koki Saga and Yuichi Nakayama)
o Race: 1st, 70 laps
o Best Lap: 1'20.182
• No. 25 VivaC 86 MC (Takeshi Tsuchiya and Takamitsu Matsui)
o Race: 2nd, 70 laps
o Best Lap: 1'20.053