Fuji Super GT: Makino tops practice for Honda

Ex-Formula 2 racer Tadasuke Makino set the pace in the Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX-GT on the opening day of practice for the 2020 SUPER GT season at Fuji Speedway.

Fuji Super GT: Makino tops practice for Honda

The arrival of heavy fog at the Toyota-owned track resulted in a 75-minute delay to proceedings, with the session being cut by 20 minutes to an hour-and-a-half.

Makino's best time of 1m27.248s came in the final 10 minutes, reserved for the faster GT500 cars, and was enough to beat fellow Honda driver Tomoki Nojiri by 0.031s.

Prior to the final shootout, Nirei Fukuzumi in the #8 ARTA Honda had set the pace with a 1m27.596s, which was eclipsed by first Nojiri and then finally Makino.

Third-fastest was reigning SUPER GT champion Kenta Yamashita - deputising for the absent Heikki Kovalainen - in the best of the all-new Toyota GR Supras, 0.122s off the pace in the #39 SARD car, just ahead of Sacha Fenestraz in the #36 TOM'S Toyota.



Photo by: GTA

New Envision Virgin Formula E signing Nick Cassidy ran wide at Turn 1 as he began a hot lap but recovered to set the fifth-fastest time in the sister #37 TOM'S car.

Next up were the two Cerumo-run Supras, Hiroaki Ishiura taking sixth in the #38 car ahead of Sho Tsuboi in the #14 machine, followed by Koudai Tsukakoshi in the #17 Real Racing Honda.

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Best of the non-Bridgestone cars was the Red Bull-liveried Mugen Honda, which uses Yokohama rubber, in ninth with SUPER GT rookie Ukyo Sasahara at the wheel.

Nissan suffered a session to forget with none of its four GT-Rs breaking into the top 10.

The Yokohama marque's fastest representative was the Michelin-shod #3 NDDP/B-Max car of Katsumasa Chiyo, more than a second slower than the benchmark set by Makino, ahead of Ronnie Quintarelli in the works #23 NISMO entry.



Photo by: GTA

In GT300, the Cars Tokai Dream28 Lotus Evora shot to the top of the times in the 10-minute window reserved for the 29-car junior class in the hands of Masataka Yanagida.

Former Nissan GT500 man Yanagida set a best time of 1m36.719s to eclipse the benchmark of 1m36.817s that reigning champion Shinichi Takagi had set in the ARTA Honda NSX GT3 during the regular portion of the session.

Third-fastest was Naoya Gamou at the wheel of the LEON Mercedes-AMG GT3, followed by the #11 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 and the works-entered R&D Sport Subaru BRZ.

With bad weather forecast at Fuji for Sunday morning when qualifying is due to take place, Friday's times could end up determining the grid for the 2020 curtain-raiser.

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GT500 session results:

Pos. No. Team Car Drivers Time Gap
1 100 Team Kunimitsu Honda

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

2 8 ARTA Honda

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

1m27.279s 0.031s
3 39 SARD Toyota

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

Japan Kenta Yamashita

1m27.370s 0.122s
4 36 TOM'S Toyota

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

France Sacha Fenestraz

1m27.408s 0.160s
5 37 TOM'S Toyota

New Zealand Nick Cassidy

Japan Ryo Hirakawa

1m27.662s 0.414s
6 38 Cerumo Toyota

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

1m27.774s 0.526s
7 14 Cerumo Toyota

Japan Kazuya Oshima

Japan Sho Tsuboi

1m27.923s 0.675s
8 17 Real Racing Honda

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

1m28.084s 0.836s
9 16 Team Mugen Honda

Japan Hideki Mutoh

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

1m28.183s 0.935s
10 19 Racing Project Bandoh Toyota

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Ritomo Miyata

1m28.199s 0.951s
11 3 NDDP/B-Max Racing Nissan

Japan Kohei Hirate

Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

1m28.267s 1.019s
12 23 NISMO Nissan

Italy Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

1m28.562s 1.314s
13 64 Nakajima Racing Honda

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Hiroki Otsu

1m28.755s 1.507s
14 24 Kondo Racing Nissan

United Kingdom Jann Mardenborough

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

1m29.258s 2.010s
15 12 Team Impul Nissan

Japan Daiki Sasaki

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

1m29.590s 2.342s

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