André Couto crowned GT 300 champion in Japan

2-AndreCouto3Local racer André Couto has been crowned the GT 300 champion with one round to go into the Super GT championship. This was a victory he dedicated to a “special one”, his late son Afonso, who succumbed to leukemia in 2010.
“I have to say that ‘we are the champions.’ Chiyo and Tomita [the other partner driver for this season], it was a great season. Thanks to the team, they are great (…) I would like to dedicate this victory to many people, they all know who they are, but especially to a special one, which is my son who is in heaven now, but I am sure he was watching us today,” he said.
The overall championship win was achieved through a second-
place finish yesterday in Round 7 of Japan’s Super GT championship, held at Autopolis in Japan’s Oita Prefecture.
Racing alongside his teammate Katsumasa Chiyo, the pair had a difficult task ahead of them in order to secure the title prior to the last round, which will take place in Motegi in mid-November. Starting from 14th position on the grid, and with a huge weight handicap of 74 kilograms as a result of victory in the last round, the chances of clinching the championship were slim. However, the duo did not take a backward step, not even for one second.
With an outstanding race performance from start to finish, they managed to bring the No. 10 Gainer Tanax GT-R from fourteenth into second, only being beaten around the 60-lap race by the B-Max GT-R of Kazuki Hoshino and Mitsunori Takaboshi.
This is the first time that the 39-year-old Macau resident has won an international-level motor-
sports championship. RM

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