Naoki Yamamoto and Tadasuke Makino have clinched the 2020 Super GT championship in incredibly fortuitous circumstances after the leading Toyota Supra ran out of fuel exiting the final corner on the last lap.
The No.37 Supra of Ryo Hirakawa and Kenta Yamashita (subbing in for a Formula E-bound Nick Cassidy) had dominated the series final at Fuji speedway and looked to have the title under their belts until a heart-breaking final lap.
Honda driver Hirakawa, who won the season opener at the same venue, took over from Yamashita on Lap 22 and only temporarily conceded the race lead.
Outside title contenders Sho Tsuboi and Kazuya Oshima elected to not change tyres at their sole pitstop, with their brave strategy call seeing them leapfrog to the head of the queue.
However, Hirakawa swept pass the ailing Toyota soon after, establishing a mammoth 15-second advantage over Yamamoto. The Japanese racer was only promoted to second on track after Tsuboi clashed with the sister Supra of Yuhi Sekiguchi.
With the title now all-but-sealed, Hirakawa eased off the loud pedal, and the margin to Yamamoto did gradually begin to narrow. However, it would only take a miracle for anything to upset the balance of the championship.
And that was ultimately what would transpire when Hirakawa exited the final corner on 65th and last tour, only for his Supra to run dry and Yamamoto to flash past in awe to steal the race win and the championship.
Yamamoto’s Honda NSX would then roll to halt shortly after that, suggesting he had crossed the line running on nothing but the smell of an oily rag.
An emotional Yamamoto thus secured his second GT500 title, adding to the one he and ex-Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button won in 2018.
Hirakawa, meanwhile, collapsed in a mixture of agony and exhaustion as his solo title bid fell tantalisingly shy of triumph. He has now finished runner-up in the last three Super GT seasons and his second title eludes him for yet another year.
Kiyoto Fujinami and João Paulo de Oliveira, piloting a Nissan GT-R GT3, claimed their maiden GT300 championship as they successfully clung on to their slender points lead with a fourth-place finish. For Oliveira, it marks his first title after 15 seasons in the Super GT.
Relive the race with the full replay below: