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Karthikeyan wins crazy second Super GT x DTM Dream Race at Fuji

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Ex-F1 racer Narain Karthikeyan won the second Super GT x DTM Dream Race at Fuji Speedway on Sunday after Nick Cassidy took the honours on Saturday.

The non-competition Super GT x DTM Dream Race weekend got off to a sound start on Saturday with a win for the Japanese series’ Team KeePer Tom’s’ Cassidy in the Lexus GT500 car, while Sunday had Nakajima Racing’s Karthikeyan doing it in the Honda.

Cassidy held on the advantage after pole-sitter Loic Duval from DTM’s Audi outfit crashed out in the sighting lap in mixed conditions. The Kiwi survived multiple safety car re-starts and a late charge from Real Racing Honda’s Koudai Tsukakoshi to win by 0.433s margin.

The podium was rounded out by Team Kunimitsu Honda’s Naoki Yamamoto as the lead DTM car slotted in sixth, that of Audi’s Benoit Treluyer. All the cars – from both the series – ran the Hankook tyres as opposed to Bridgestone, Dunlop or Michelin used in Super GT.

After the wet weather conditions on Saturday, it was the same on Sunday which provided a crazy end to a dream weekend with Karthikeyan claiming his first Super GT victory – albeit in a non-scoring event – and his first since the 2013 Auto GP series.

The Indian led the way mostly and survived safety car re-starts like Cassidy en-route the win. It looked like the win was to slip away when DTM’s Audi’s Treluyer got his strategy absolutely correct by stopping under the first safety car period.

But a second period helped everyone on the other strategy to pit as Karthikeyan retook his lead and saw through as the DTM pair fought for second with BMW’s Marco Wittmann managing to beat Audi’s Duval by just 0.890s in the Top 3.

It was a much better showing from the DTM cars in Race 2 with as many as six finishing inside the Top 10 as opposed to just the two in Race 1. The second race, though, had more retirements on the Super GT side with six not making it to the finish line.