Fuji Super GT: ARTA Honda takes second straight pole
Tomoki Nojiri delivered back-to-back Super GT pole positions for the #8 ARTA Honda squad after topping the qualifying session for the Fuji 300 km race on Saturday.
Nojiri, who shares the #8 NSX GT with Takashi Kobayashi, went on top of the timesheets with a time of 1m23.104s moments after the chequered flag fell.
The 27-year-old demoted the #23 NISMO entry of Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli to second place, the Nissan squad missing out on pole position by 0.371s.
Fuel flow restrictions proved particularly costly for Lexus squads on a low-downforce track, as the best of the LC500 runners was the #36 TOM’S car of James Rossiter and Kazuki Nakajima in third.
Real Racing pair Koudai Tsukakoshi and Takashi Kogure qualified fourth, half a second behind the chart-topping Honda, while Daiki Sasaki and Joao Paulo de Oliveira completed the top five for the #24 Kondo Racing Nissan.
The #38 Cerumo (Hiroaki Ishiura and Yuji Tachikawa) and the #37 TOM’S (Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy) Lexuses were next up in sixth and seventh, as the #46 MOLA Nissan of Satoshi Motoyama and Katsumasa Chiyo was the slowest car in the Q2.
The championship-leading #6 Team LeMans Lexus got eliminated in Q1, the Italian-Japanese duo of Andrea Caldarelli and Kazuya Oshima qualifying 11th on the grid.
Defending champions and Sugo winners Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate also failed to make the cut, the #1 Lexus duo missing out on a Q2 spot by just over a tenth of a second.
GT300: ARTA leads all-BMW front row
BMW locked the front row of the grid in the GT300 class, with Shinichi Takagi and Sean Walkinshaw claiming pole position in the #55 ARTA M6 GT3.
It was Takagi’s 13th class pole, putting him on level with current record holder and 2005 GT300 champion Kota Sasaki.
The #7 Team Studie duo of former WTCC race winner Jorg Muller and Seiji Ara qualified second on the grid, ahead of the #4 Team Ukyo and #65 Leon Racing Mercedes AMGs.
Qualifying Results (GT500):
|1|| Tomoki Nojiri |
|2|| Tsugio Matsuda |
|Nissan||1'29.423 || |
|3|| Kazuki Nakajima |
|Lexus||1'29.733 || |
|4|| Koudai Tsukakoshi |
|5|| Daiki Sasaki |
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
|6|| Yuji Tachikawa |
|7|| Ryo Hirakawa |
|Lexus||1'29.534 || |
|8|| Satoshi Motoyama |
|9|| Heikki Kovalainen |
|10|| Hironobu Yasuda |
|11|| Kazuya Oshima |
|12|| Hideki Mutoh |
|13|| Bertrand Baguette |
|14|| Yuhi Sekiguchi |
|15|| Naoki Yamamoto |
Sugo Super GT: Kovalainen, Hirate win after thrilling finish
Fuji Super GT: ARTA Honda ends Lexus' winning streak