Fuji Fightback in Walkinshaw's Sights as Second Half of Super GT Championship Gets Ready to Begin

31 July 2017

Pictured Podium finisher Sean Walkinshaw eyeing Fuji silverware in Rd5.

Autobacs Racing Team Aguri driver Sean Walkinshaw says he is fully focused on returning to the Super GT Championship podium at Fuji Speedway in Japan this coming weekend, 5th/6th August, when the prestigious endurance racing series enters the second half of its 2017 season.

Oxfordshire driver Walkinshaw, who teams with Japanese ace Shinichi Takagi in the No.55 BMW M6, has delivered some seriously impressive pace during the first half of his maiden season in the world-renowned category and is already a GT300 class podium finisher.

Just a week ago at Sportsland Sugo, the duo looked well on course to make it back-to-back rostrum results but as he neared the end of an incredible opening stint, Takagi was unceremoniously knocked off the circuit and into retirement by a championship rival when challenging for second position.

While understandably frustrated with the outcome, especially having not had the chance to get behind the wheel himself in the rain-hit fourth round, Walkinshaw takes a huge amount of positivity from the consistent speed and competitiveness once again displayed by the ARTA-prepared car.

“Sugo was disappointing in the end, but the whole team took away a lot of positives”, he said, “The race pace, as it has been all season, was incredibly strong and Shinichi did a great job. The team has done a fantastic job with the car, everyone is working well together and we’re confident we can mount a strong challenge at Fuji.”

Fuji, of course, was the venue for the second round of the championship back in May where Chipping Norton-based Walkinshaw and Takagi battled for the podium until an unfortunate time penalty, arising from an issue in the first pit-stop, scuppered those hopes.

Heading back to the legendary track, which is situated in the foothills of the imposing Mount Fuji, British racer Walkinshaw is absolutely relishing the prospect of having another chance to conquer the Oyama venue and stake a claim for the second piece of silverware of his debut Super GT season.

“We know the BMW works well at Fuji so confidence is high going back there”, he added, “After Sugo we’re extra determined to challenge for the podium again and hopefully score some big points to move back up the championship. It’s never easy in Super GT, it’s such a competitive series, but we know we have a good package.”

Qualifying for round five of the Super GT Championship will take place on Saturday, 5th August, with the big race at Fuji following on Sunday, 6th August.

2017 Super GT – GT300 Driver Standings (after Rd4)
7th Sean Walkinshaw ’ Shinichi Takagi, 17pts

2017 Super GT – GT300 Team Standings (after Rd4)
9th Autobacs Racing Team Aguri, 24pts