ARTA Honda team has ‘annoying’ woes for Tomoki Nojiri
Nojiri and his teammate aboard the #8 ARTA machine, Nirei Fukuzumi, ended up finishing 12th overall with less than half the points of the other two Bridgestone-equipped GT500 crews, marking the team’s worst run. by Aguri Suzuki since 2016. season.
The only visit to the podium all year for Nojiri and Fukuzumi came at the second round of the season in May at Fuji, when the pair took a quiet victory in a race cut short by the terrifying accident of the Nissan driver Mitsunori Takaboshi, and only after two Toyota crews. were penalized.
On top of that, it wasn’t until round four at Fuji that the #8 NSX-GT cracked the top five as operational errors cost the team valuable points at Sugo and Autopolis.
The chances of ending the year with a strong result at Motegi were ruined when Nojiri was dropped by Katsumasa Chiyo’s Nissan NDDP Racing at Turn 5 on the opening lap, dropping him to the back of the pack.
In a year in which he also became a two-time Super Formula champion, Nojiri said ARTA’s struggles made him realize his own limitations as a driver.
“There were so many races where we could have done better, but we made a lot of mistakes that ruined or destroyed the race, and that’s very frustrating,” Nojiri told Motorsport.com.
“Without this contact [at Motegi], I think we could have been close to the podium, so again I feel like we could have done a different race. But we must aim for the first places in the eight races, without making any mistakes, otherwise the championship will remain far away.
“Especially because I won the championship in Super Formula, it made me realize that there are still areas where I have gaps. It’s frustrating, it’s boring and I feel like I can Do more.
ARTA’s dismal season also marked the final campaign for the team and longtime service partner Servus Japan, as Nojiri’s Super Formula team Mugen prepares to resume racing the n ° 8 in 2023.
Nojiri says he is motivated to aim for a maiden SUPER GT title next year and try to match fellow Honda Naoki Yamamoto, who won the top two Japanese series in the same year.
“In Super Formula I’m aiming for a third consecutive title, but SUPER GT is SUPER GT,” he said. “I have never been a champion, so I have no choice but to fight for a first title.
“Getting a double title like Yamamoto will be really tough, but as long as I’m still able to have a chance, I’ll keep aiming.”