Chang International Circuit, Thailand – The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 squad of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda head to Thailand this weekend with the championship lead but GT300 ace Mitsunori Takaboshi already has a championship under his belt in 2017.
After spending last season racing in Europe in the Blancpain GT Series, Takaboshi has spent 2017 racing in GT300 alongside Kazuki Hoshino as well as in Japanese Formula 3. The Japanese ace clinched the F3 title recently at the final round of the championship at Sportsland Sugo.
Takaboshi is hoping his success continues this weekend at the Super GT Championship's annual visit to Thailand. Last year, the No. 3 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 finished second in the same race with Hoshino, joined by Jann Mardenborough.
"I really wanted to get the F3 championship title because that is a very important title for my race career," Takaboshi said.
"Also, this is the first F3 title for the Nissan Driver Development Programme, I felt I needed to win the championship no matter what. Now I am really happy to have won the title.
"I did a handful of races last year and took three wins. I learned how to win that season, and I could continue the same way in 2017, which enabled me to win the championship this season."
The GT500 battle this weekend in Thailand will be critically important for Quintarelli and Matsuda. After the recent Suzuka 1000km weekend, the duo now holds an 11 point lead in the championship with only two races remaining.
The No.23 Motul-backed duo are looking to repeat their championship victories from 2014 and 2015 in the GT500 championship.