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Super GT Suzuka II

Makino to sit out Suzuka qualifying after Motegi crash

Tadasuke Makino will sit out practice and qualifying for this weekend's Suzuka SUPER GT round as a precaution following his airborne Super Formula crash last weekend.

Tadasuke Makino, #100 STANLEY NSX-GT

Makino was airlifted to hospital after being caught up in the multi-car incident that caused last Sunday's Motegi Super Formula round to be red-flagged on the opening lap.

The Honda driver escaped serious injury and was released the next day, but his participation in this weekend's Suzuka 450km was plunged into doubt.

Now Team Kunimitsu has announced that Makino will race, but he will sit out Saturday's official practice and qualifying sessions, leaving team-mate Naoki Yamamoto to pilot the #100 Honda NSX-GT alone that day.

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Makino must complete one-third distance of the 77-lap race as per the regulations, meaning 26 laps.

It also means that Kunimitsu will not be able to qualify any higher than eighth. Should Yamamoto make it through Q1, the lack of a second driver will force the team to sit out Q2.

Team Kunimitsu team director Kazuhiro Kojima said: ”It's a big relief to see Makino well and able to come to the circuit after being involved in such a big crash. I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts.

"Makino completed his medical checks a while ago and has been cleared to race. Following the orders of the those that treated him at hospital and the GTA, as well as SUPER GT's concussion protocol, he will only drive on Sunday, but his physical well being is the most important thing."

 

Being able to race at Suzuka allows Makino to stay in the running for this year's drivers' title. Had Yamamoto run alongside a replacement driver and scored points, it would have ruled Makino out of contention.

The same thing happened in 2021, when Makino was unable to participate in the opener at Okayama as he recovered from a bout of meningitis and was replaced by Hideki Mutoh.

It's likely that, had Makino been unable to race, Iori Kimura would have been called up to race alongside Yamamoto.

Kimura was the registered third driver for the #8 ARTA Honda NSX-GT last time out at Fuji, when Toshiki Oyu's fitness was in doubt, but in the event Oyu was well enough to complete more than half of the distance.

Motorsport.tv is showing all qualifying sessions and races for the 2023 SUPER GT season. For more information, click here.

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