THE SUBARU LEGACY B4 GT300 @ FUJI

“The LEGACY B4 GT300 made its racing debut at Fuji Speedway a few weeks back in Round 7 of the 2009 SUPER GT series, marking a new direction for STi with their first fully-backed GT programme getting underway at the legendary circuit.

C13B0234_2

Subaru is, of course, no stranger to SUPER GT, having given factory support, in particular during the 2008 season, to the CUSCO-backed Impreza that had been campaigned for many years in Japan’s top motorsport category.

gt9

It hardly needs to be said, but Subaru is a brand that enjoys mythical status in Japan. The return of the make at the previous round in Suzuka was heralded as historic by many, and immediately brought a wave of fans out to see the car. That event didn’t go quite as planned however, the machine suffering a major component failure during qualifying, meaning it was unable to race.

C13B0038

It hardly needs to be said, but Subaru is a brand that enjoys mythical status in Japan. The return of the make at the previous round in Suzuka was heralded as historic by many, and immediately brought a wave of fans out to see the car. That event didn’t go quite as planned however, the machine suffering a major component failure during qualifying, meaning it was unable to race.

C13B0042_2

And while that’s disappointing to any die-hard fan, considering the car went from drawing board to Shakedown in under 14 weeks, the pace of development has been spectacularly quick.

Since Suzuka, there hasn’t been any additional testing (not allowed), though one respite was the fact that the car’s initial Shakedown had also been at Fuji – but just how much data can you get from a dozen or so laps? Therefore, the focus in the three intervening weeks (between Rds. 6 and 7) was of course on maximizing the strength of the component that had failed (gearbox) and making sure the car was ready to run the distance the second time out.

C13B0431_2

Well that it did.

C13B0260_2

Not only did LEGACY B4 make it through a sodden qualifying, the car ran the race distance (about 200 miles) with metronomic stability.

5Z1I7269_2

The silver SUBARU eventually crossed the line 18th in class.

5Z1I8104_2

Although a couple of laps down on the leaders, the wealth of data the team acquired was invaluable – and will be put to good use in their first ‘hard’ season, 2010 – for which this (and the two final rounds of this year’s competition) are a preparation.

5Z1I8500_2

As we’ve seen with so many other SUBARU forays, it’s only a matter of time before this effort is standing atop the centre step of the podium.”

-Len Clarke

[nggallery id=43]

Leave a comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked