The duo of Jenson Button and Naoki Yamamoto have been crowned the 2018 Super GT champion in a tense finale at Twin Ring Motegi.
The #100 Team Kunimitsu pair of Button and Yamamoto in the Honda NSX-GT car headed into the final round of the 2018 Super GT championship with 67 points, tied for the top spot with #1 Lexus Team KeePer Tom’s’ Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa.
The two teams had a similar path all season long with both claiming a win and also three podiums outside the win. The only difference in the end was Cassidy and Hirakawa scoring two third place finishes to Button and Yamamoto’s two second place.
The last race at Motegi was quite tensed in the end stages. The start saw Yamamoto keeping second with Cassidy having to do the hard work from sixth on the grid. The Kiwi gained a position at the start to be fifth but couldn’t penetrate further.
The pit stop though hardened the chances of Cassidy and Hirakawa when they lost places and the gap to Button and Yamamoto was nearly 10 seconds. Hirakawa didn’t lose hope as he cleared his way up to fourth behind Yamamoto.
However, it wasn’t enough as the pair of Button and Yamamoto finished third in the race from Cassidy and Hirakawa in fourth, as the title went in the favour of the former who scored 78 points in the season from the latter’s 75.
This is Button’s first title since the 2009 Formula 1 season – that too in his rookie season in the Japanese GT championship, while it is Yamamoto’s first Super GT title and his second championship win this year after taking the 2018 Super Formula as well.