Obscure Sports: Why you need to watch the last race of the Super GT season

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The world’s best motorsport series, in my completely unbiased opinion, will hold the final race of the season on Nov 28-29 at Fuji International Speedway. This will be the fourth time this season that Super GT has taken to the Toyota owned racetrack as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions condensing the season to a handful of circuits. It is quite the exciting track, featuring a couple tight turns and one of the longest straightaways in the world of motorsports, with a 0.917 mile long straight patch of track. 

Now, you might be wondering, why should I watch the last race of a Japanese grand touring series? 

First and foremost, it’s completely free and streamed online. Automotive journalists at The Race have gotten broadcast rights to Super GT and provide English commentary over the entire race on YouTube during race weekend. Manufacturers like Subaru and Nissan also place cameras inside their GT500 cars to provide driver perspective and stream it live to their works teams’ YouTube channels.  

This event is going to be one of the most exciting race weekends of any motorsport this year. The top level of Super GT, the manufacturer works team division called GT500, has a very tightly packed scoring sheet with eight teams separated by only 10 points. The gap between 5th place and 1st has only two points between them. This means that for these eight teams, Fuji is going to be a winner-takes-all event that will decide the champion of the season. First, second, and third place are awarded 20, 15 and 11 points respectively so competition will be fierce. A finish at the top of the podium for any of these teams will put them in the perfect position to win the drivers’ championship. The past race at Twin Ring Motegi on Nov. 8 had the three teams that posted the three best qualifying times finish on the podium, so with teams holding that in mind you can expect the action to be intense from the second that qualifying begins until the last car passes the checkered flag.  

As is tradition in Super GT, all weight ballasts and fuel flow restrictions imposed earlier in the season will be removed from the cars for the final race of the season. For every point scored from a race during the regular season, two kilograms (4.4 lbs) are added to the weight of the car. After 50 kilograms (110 lbs) are reached, the car is imposed with fuel flow restrictions to further limit its performance. With all of these restrictions removed this last race is going to come down to the skill of the best drivers and the performance of the best car, as no one will be restricted. This will be especially important to cars like the No. 8 ARTA NSX and GT300 No. 23 NISMO GTR who have seen repeated success throughout the season. 

The sister series to GT500, the 30-car GT300 series, has a similarly contentious run for its drivers’ championship. Although the competition mainly looks to be between the top three cars of the series, separated by only 14 points, the top seven cars all have a theoretical chance of winning the whole season. Provided an impressive performance by the Hatsune Miku adorned GOODSMILE RACING Mercedes AMG, which has podiumed twice in the past two races, can overcome a 20-point deficit and take a top three place in the final season standings. 

That is what is so exciting about Super GT as a motorsport. There are so many factors that go into deciding the champion of the season and you never really know until the last race is called. Unlike Formula 1, where Lewis Hamilton’s champion status is more or less defined by the middle of the season, Super GT is a tough, competitive championship until the end. Clear your schedule the weekend of the 28th, sit down, and watch the best racing you will see all year.  

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