Aston Martin clinched its first major GT championship title in Japan when the British luxury sportscar brand’s partner team D’station Racing won the 2021 Super Taikyu Series championship, with one round still left to run in the series.
Team owner Satoshi Hoshino, along with team-mates Tomonobu Fujii and Tsubasa Kondo, won the Suzuka 5 Hours overall with their Aston Martin Vantage GT3, giving them an unassailable lead in the ST-X (GT3) class standings. D’station Racing has conducted a stellar campaign this year. The Suzuka win was the team’s second victory of the season, having also triumphed in the opening round at Motegi. The Japanese trio have stood on the podium in every race this season, having also recorded a third place at Sugo, and second places at Fuji Speedway and Autopolis.
The Shizuoka-based team is also contesting the FIA World Endurance Championship for the first time in 2021 racing an Aston Martin Vantage GTE, run by another AMR partner TF Sport. So far Hoshino and Fujii, along with Andrew Watson (GBR), have already recorded a GTE Am podium at world level when they finished third at Monza. They also made their combined debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans where they placed sixth in class.
This latest success represents the first title for D’station Racing in top class GT racing, and is also the first for the team since they became an Aston Martin Racing partner at the beginning of 2019. The Super Taikyu Series is the seventh major championship title for the Vantage GT3 and the 35th for the current generation of the Vantage GT race car.
Suzuka also marked the first occasion when D’station Racing recorded a multi-class victory in the same event, with its Vantage GT4 winning the ST-Z class with drivers Tatsuya Hoshino, Manabu Orido, Takuro Shinohara and Kenji Hama. It was their second consecutive win of the season, having topped the class at Autopolis and gives the Japanese quartet an outside shot at the title going into the final round of the series at Okayama on 30-31 October.
D’station Racing Team Owner Satoshi Hoshino said: “It is a great privilege and honour to be able to say that D’station Racing is the 2021 Super Taikyu Series champions, after our victory at Suzuka. I am very proud of our team, and I cannot praise all the drivers and staff enough for their outstanding work and spectacular performance throughout this season. Thank you very much to Aston Martin Racing, and of course to all our fans for their continued support.”
Aston Martin Racing President David King added: “The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 has once again proved its qualities as a competitive race car for both professional and gentleman drivers. It has earned championship titles in every year that it has competed since being introduced in 2019. That we can now add to that list the Super Taikyu Series, is a great testament to our partners D’station Racing and all the dedication and hard work they have put in to racing the Vantage GT3 for the past three years. Japan is a very important market for us, and D’station Racing’s success demonstrates the potential of Vantage in the GT3 arena.”