Tsuboi and his teammate in the au-sponsored #36 TOM’S GR Supra, Giuliano Alesi, found Sugo looking for a big lead to keep carefully the team’s fading title defence hopes alive.
But following a strong set you back fifth used, a turbo issue in qualifying prevented Tsuboi from setting a lap in Q1, condemning he and Alesi to a back-of-the-grid start.
It appeared as if the rain could have arrived at the #36 crew’s rescue, as Tsuboi initially gained places by staying out on-track because the most the GT500 field pitted in early stages to improve to wet tyres, at one stage running as high as third place.
However the conditions soon became unsuitable for slicks and Tsuboi soon begun to sink down the order behind those cars that had pitted for wet tyres.
Rather than bailing out however, TOM’S made a decision to keep Tsuboi from track before minimum drive-time cut-off of lap 28 had passed, in order that Alesi could dominate the #36 simultaneously the team switched to wets.
This ended up being the incorrect move as Tsuboi was offering up to 10 seconds a lap before finally to arrive by the end of lap 29.
“I wasnt sure about when to pit, but because we were via up to now back, we bet on the chance that it wouldnt rain,” Tsuboi recalled talking with Motorsport.com’s Japanese edition.
“[After it rained] I was giving it my all, but I was so slow I had been passed by GT300 cars.
“Sectors three and four were still somewhat dry but sectors one and two were soaking wet. But as the elements of the track with high-speed corners werent too wet I could continue, and I somehow kept it on the right track in the slow corners.
“To begin with, we knew we’d to try different things to your rivals its a what-if, if the track had dried then, we’d have been around in with a large chance.”
Alesi pitted again for dry tyres on lap 49 and lastly took the final in ninth place, but a double penalty for overtaking under yellow flags relegated he and Tsuboi to 10th in the ultimate classification.
It leaves the #36 crew a distant ninth in the championship and 29.5 points from the very best of the standings with just two races left.
“This time around we knew we’d to be fighting for the win, but things didnt head to plan,” said Tsuboi. “The automobile was fast but everything went badly and we couldnt get yourself a result, so its extremely frustrating.
“Well be very light [in terms of success weight, 25kg] for another race at Autopolis and when we are able to win there we are able to still recover in the standings, therefore i desire to finish the growing season by winning at least one time.”
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