Japanese GTs: Lyons scores first win

Richard Lyons claimed his first victory in the Japanese GT championship at Twin Ring Motegi on Sunday.

Japanese GTs: Lyons scores first win

The Ulsterman, sharing a Takata Dome-run Honda NSX with Sebastian Philippe, made a great start from fifth on the grid to leap into second position behind the McLaren of Naoki Hattori.

Hattori and Lyons ran first and second until they both pitted, where the Honda crew turned around the second-placed car quick enough to make up the seven second gap and put the NSX out in first position.

The stop-start nature of Motegi was well-suited to the normally-aspirated Hondas, and Hidetoshi Mitsusada assumed second position in his NSX while the McLaren languished in the pit-lane.

During the closing stages of the race, Mitsusada closed in on Philippe, but the Frenchman held firm to take victory by half-a-second.

Championship challenger Ralph Firman, also leading the Formula Nippon standings, finished in 17th position after being taken out at the first corner by Masahiko Kageyama.

"It's going to be very difficult to win the championship now," admitted Firman. "We definitely need a little luck."

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