Video: Japan GT Championship 2002 Race 1 Highlights
Continuing my uploads of past Japan GT Championship seasons and ushering in this new year of 2022 is the first race from exactly 20 years ago: round 1 of the 2002 series!
The classic rival machines from the Japanese Big Three are all present and correct in the top-spec GT500 class with the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R taking on the first-generation Honda NSX and fourth-generation Toyota Supra. Adding to the mix is the legendary McLaren F1 plus another mid-engine exotic in the form of the Lamborghini Diablo. Although fielded by privateer teams without the benefit of a car manufacturer's deep pockets the two European racers are sure to add more excitement to the already packed field.
Over in GT300, the Porsche 911 dominates the field as it does in many GT racing series but Japan has worthy competition in the form of the Nissan Silvia, Toyota MR-S, Subaru Impreza, Mazda RX-7, plus the RD320R from small manufacturer Vemac. Rounding out the diverse field were a pair of BMW M3s and a lone Dodge Viper.
As is typical for the JGTC the opening round at TI Circuit AIDA (now known as Okayama International Circuit) featured plenty of tight racing that shouldn't be missed by any motor racing fan!