Sportsland SUGO, a brilliant little circuit that produces great racing every time, and only three hours' drive north of Tokyo (if you're really flying!) Above is Benoit Treluyer going across the line on Saturday afternoon, scoring a triumphant pole position for the NISMO GT-R.
The paddock area has gotten more active year after year, and this time displays by a variety of companies, including Hasemi Sport, made things interesting. This R32 is an actual Group A car as driven by Masahiro-san himself in the early nineties.
Merchandising has also grown hugely in the last couple of years, both of SUPER GT-themed products, and the car companies.
Eco cars are a major buzz at the moment. Here's the first racing example I've spotted of Honda's CRZ.
Ahhh yes, the Trilobite. Haven't these things been around for something 3 billion years? Sorry, couldn't resist. It is, of course, the latest model Prius in sporting guise.
Taking a few moments to re-group before heading back downstairs to the throngs of RQ (Racing Queen) devotees.
Over on the other side of the main grandstand the SUPER GT-themed 'goods' were in abundance.
The PCCJ (Porsche Carrera Cup Japan) is always on the support bill at SUGO. The narrow and somewhat hilly circuit suits the Cup cars beautifully. This year, there are 14 full-time entries, with a few spots on occasion.
Insert caption here. No really, this hilarious moment is of one of the PCCJ drivers cooling off after one of their two races (12 and 15 laps respectively). The heat – and particularly the humidity, was as bad as I've ever experienced at any race in Japan – ever! Brutal. And it's not even August.
My car – I wish! My favourite car on the road. Period. Well, among the 500hp plus wagon set, anyway. Only Germans could build something so magnificent and outrageous as this – and have it fully legal! So for any of you out there with $180,000 to spend on an estate, the Audi RS 6. Not the saloon car, the wagon.
And now for something completely different. What do people do inside these things? Have as much fun as in an Audi RS 6 wagon? I doubt it!
The skies continuously changed throughout the two days, though there was none of the heavy rain like last year. If you're in Japan and you have a chance, SUGO is a circuit very much worth visiting.
The next round of SUPER GT is the 700km event at Suzuka Circuit on August 21-22. Stay tuned for a preview.
– Len Clarke