Lexus dominates first Super GT test day, Button sixth
Team LeMans driver Kazuya Oshima topped the timesheets as Lexus dominated the opening day of Super GT pre-season testing at the Okayama International Circuit on Saturday.
Oshima, whose teammate Felix Rosenqvist was absent due to clashing Formula E commitments, lapped the sometime Formula 1 venue in 1m18.017s in his #6 LC500 to end the day quickest of all.
Honda was the only manufacturer other than Lexus to finish inside the top five, with the #17 Real Racing NSX-GT of Koudai Tsukakoshi and Takashi Kogure classified second.
Kogure led the morning times with 1m18.472s and improved to 1m18.234s in the afternoon, but still ended up two tenths shy of Oshima’s chart-topping benchmark.
Behind, defending Super Formula champion Hiroaki Ishiura was third fastest in the #38 Zent Lexus that he shares with Yuji Tachikawa, while Kazuki Nakajima and Yuhi Sekiguchi were fourth quickest in the #36 TOM’S Lexus.
The #19 Bandon Lexus duo of Yuji Kunimoto and Kenta Yamashita finished fifth, making it four cars from Toyota’s luxury brand inside the top-five.
2009 F1 champion Jenson Button completed over 80 laps as the sole driver of the #100 Team Kunimitsu Honda, ending within four tenths of the day’s fastest time in sixth place.
Nissan was reduced to the position of the slowest manufacturer, with the #12 Impul GT-R of Jann Mardenborough and Daiki Sasaki only managing the day’s seventh quickest time.
Defending champions Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa finished 0.018s behind the Nissan duo in the #1 TOM’S car, but were the second-slowest of all Lexus runners.
The top 10 was completed by the #23 NISMO pairing of Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli, and #24 Kondo Nissan’s Mitsunori Takaboshi and Joao Paulo de Oliveira.
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