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After a partnership together with Team Mugen during the off-season, ARTA has expanded to two Honda NSX-GTs that are Bridgestone-shod for 2023 as it seeks to win its first GT500 title since 2007.
This team has often been top of the times in the winter months, with Nojiri’s new teammate Toshiki Oyu setting a new lap record during an unofficial session at Suzuka earlier in the month , in the car number 8.
The trend was evident during the initial test at Okayama the location of the machine that was a sister to #16 of Nirei Fukuzumi who set the fastest time over both days.
Car #8 consisting of Nojiri as well as Oyu was fourth fastest, but was second in a qualifying race in day two of the opening day. It was second behind the #16 vehicle which Fukuzumi has with Hiroki Otsu.
However, Fukuzumi had some reservations about ARTA’s slow pace, something Nojiri did not hesitate to mention when asked to evaluate how the team’s performances were.
Nojiri has said that trying to leverage the strengths from the #16 vehicle to help boost that of the car #8 hasn’t worked as well as they had hoped.
“Whether you’re performing our job or not, we’re in the unfortunate position of understanding many things by using two cars,” he told Motorsport.com’s Japanese edition.
“This is what every person feels in SUPER GT experiences however, regardless of having one of the standard chassis, the distinction between each chassis is so huge that it’s difficult to pin it down to production mistakes.
“The differences between the cars is so vast that we cannot utilize each other’s information. This is why we aren’t able to completely get rid of all the things we dislike about each car. We’re having different problems with car number 8 as well as #16. ”
Nojiri admitted to being puzzled by the fact that ARTA could lead the timesheets on Saturday , despite its issues, which has left him worried about the team’s performance during hot conditions.
He said: “The thing that’s wrong in the car number 8 is the absence of stiffness in front. We’ve tried to increase rigidity, however as the weather changes and the temperature rises with less downforce, we are unable to drive the car that stiff.
“Now we’re trying to figure out what we should do. We feel like that with the current setup, we’ll be facing similar issues to those we did last year during hot races. ”
Nojiri said that a good performance during the Okayama opener that is expected to be one of the coolest races of the season is not as important as Mugen’s run ARTA team improving its knowledge of the issues.
“I would like to start off with a strong beginning, but what is most important thing is with every running race, we grow stronger as a group,” stated Nojiri. “I am determined to fix our issues during the first quarter to start the campaign.
“While I’m hopeful that we’ll begin with a positive start, I am hoping we also give those issues enough attention. ”
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