2009 AUTOBACS SUPER GT Series kicks off its new season with the first round held in Okayama this weekend. Leaving less than a week until the opening round, a new comer to the GT500 class, No.21 ASTON MARTIN AKASAKA DBR9, underwent a shakedown at Fuji Speedway on March 16th.
As soon as it arrived to Japan two weeks ago, the vehicle was transported into the garage of Nova Engineering (TEAM NOVA) for maintenance work that lasted until late night. The team wanted to run their machine at least once before the season opener. At 2 PM, the car rolled out of pit box and went out for a shakedown in front of many people from Aston Martin-related organization as well as racing drivers who travelled to Fuji to see the racing car making its first run in Japan.
The shakedown was conducted in two separate 30-minute sports-driving sessions organized by Fuji Speedway. In the first session, Takeshi Tsuchiya went out behind the wheel, but came back after just 1 lap due to a problem in its drive shaft. The machine was put right back to the pit box for a repair. After repairing job was done, it was Akihiro Tsuzuki�fs turn to take the wheel. He started out with a system check and then flew the car for a long-run. The team was able to conclude the 30-minute session without any major problem. It is undeniable that there is a significant gap in the lap time compared with GT500 machine of domestic manufacturers, but the presence of DBR9 on the racing track is truly majestic. It�fs like a brisk wind of British green blowing through the circuit with a sound of 6-liter V12.
The next time when this machine made by Prodrive will appear before the public is Okayama this weekend. Former driver of JGTC, forerunner of SUPER GT, Mikio Hitotsuyama commented with a smile on his face, "We just want to be able to cross the finish line without concerning too much on where we are on the timing monitor. I think there are a lot of fans who are looking forward to seeing this machine, so I would like to present the car to them as soon as possible."
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