Following a frightening crash in Saturday morning practice for tomorrow’s Fuji GT 500 Mile Race involving the GT500 class #38 ZENT Cerumo Lexus LC500 of Yuji Tachikawa, and the GT300 class #34 Modulo Kenwood Honda NSX GT3 of Ryo Michigami, Modulo Drago Corse have announced that their NSX will not take part in Sunday’s race.
Thirty minutes into the 1 hour, 45 minute session, the #38 ZENT LC500 of Tachikawa appeared to be unable to slow down at the approach to Turn 1, believed to be the result of a brake failure at the end of the 1.475 kilometer front stretch from nearly 300 kilometers per hour.
The ZENT LC500 spun in an attempt to dissipate speed, then crashed heavily into the back of the #34 Modulo NSX GT3 of Michigami, which was just coming out of the pits for another run in practice. The impact completely tore apart the front end of the Lexus, and flames erupted from the engine bay before being extinguished by the circuit’s safety workers. Tachikawa was able to get out of his car unassisted.
The rear end of the Modulo NSX was destroyed, and Super GT’s First Response Operation (FRO) quickly came to the aid of 45-year-old series legend Michigami after the G-force sensor was triggered due to the force of the crash.
Michigami was aided out of his car, and taken to the Fuji Speedway medical centre for further evaluation – but was awake and alert, eventually, returning to the garage with no more than slight pain in his hip after the crash.
However, due to the substantial damage sustained in the accident, Michigami and his rookie teammate Hiroki Otsu will not take part in the Fuji 500 Miles tomorrow. A bitter disappointment for the team – which still ended the practice session with the third-fastest time in GT300!
Modulo Drago Corse’s focus now shifts to the upcoming Suzuka 10 Hours on 24-26 August, and the remaining 3 rounds of the Autobacs Super GT Series, and only 28 GT300 class cars will take part in tomorrow’s 177-lap race.
Image courtesy of Honda