After countless dry runs and try-outs, the first actual race between Japan’s Super GT cars and Germany’s DTM car. Both categories have been joined by regulations this year under the form of the Class One regulations. For both ITR and GTA, the governing bodies of both series, this was a massive milestone because people have been talking about this concept for almost ten years ago.
A ROUGH TEST
After a rough test during the DTM finale in Hockenheim it made sense to hold the first proper Dream race at the home of motorsport in Japan: Fuji Speedway. It was set to be an exciting weekend of racing as spells of rain were forecast, so tyre choice was crucial. It was Nick Cassidy who put his Tom’s Lexus on pole for the first race, but he was closely followed by some of the DTM machinery of Loic Duval and Rene Rast. From the first few laps, it was immediately clear that the series applied balance of performance would prove to be very effective as the cars from both series were evenly matched.
But the drama started even before the race had got underway when Loic Duval misjudged a wet patch and lost control of is Audi on the way to the grid and lost his P2 qualification spot. The Frenchman had been one of the contenders for the win, with his extensive experience at Fuji speedway.
Nick Cassidy: It’s been the perfect day!
In the end Nick Cassidy proved his speed and experience by taking the win, leading the race all the way from green flag to chequered flag.
“It’s been the perfect day: pole and victory are fantastic achievements, and I’m really pleased we were able to demonstrate our strengths. But the biggest thing is that we actually got to have this race today – and I hope we can race again in the future. I grew up racing in Europe, and always looked up to the manufacturers and drivers competing in DTM. I really loved the style of this weekend – qualifying and racing on the same day is a lot of fun, and it’s not often we get to race on our own. I really enjoyed that, too. With more experience, the two championships can get closer – I really hope we get to do this again after this weekend.”
ITR president Gerhard Berger: "I see a big future in this kind of racing"
For ITR president Gerhard Berger, holding the event was a victory in itself after both series had fought so hard for it.
“When I walked out onto the Fuji grid before Saturday’s very first Dream Race, the realisation of what we and GTA had achieved really struck me. Seeing five world-class manufacturers on the grid, understanding that we had brought two racing worlds together – after seven years’ hard work – it was quite an emotional moment. Furthermore, I could also see that the unification of our two series is clearly the right direction for us. We are heading in the right direction with this common approach. Of course, there’s lots more work to do – but I hope we can learn from this weekend, take our experiences home, work out how we improve, and keep on working to make this concept succeed. I see a big future in this kind of racing.”