TAKATA DOME NSX Wins Pole Position for Second Consecutive Year!
The qualifying for the FUJI GT 500 km Race, Round 3 of the 2008 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, took place at Fuji Speedway (one lap 4.563 km) in Shizuoka Pref. on May 3. The TAKATA DOME NSX driven by Takashi Kogure won the GT500 class pole position and will start from the front row in the race on the 4th.
In the first qualifying session in the morning was held in difficult conditions with intermittent rain. In this session Kogure ran the 3rd fastest time at 1 min. 41.115 sec. The ten fastest machines in this session qualified for the afternoon Super Lap for (time trial run one machine at a time to determine the race starting grid order). By afternoon the weather had improved and the track was now completely dry. In his Super Lap, Kogure made a valiant run to record the fastest time of 1 min. 34.941 sec. with two machines remaining to run. The two machines that followed were unable to beat this time, giving Kogure the pole position.
Having also won the pole position in 2007, this gave the TAKATA DOME NSX team its second consecutive pole. This season the new Nissan GT-R machine has won the pole position in rounds one and two, but here at Fuji, last year's champion car, the Honda NSX, will have the advantage of starting from the front row.
In the GT300 class, the Lightning McQueen apr MR-S driven by Kohei Hirate was top qualifier in class with a time of 1 min. 44.189 sec. For the rookie Hirate in his first GT season, this is of course his first GT pole position.
Pole position winner comments
No. 18 TAKATA NOME NSX [GT500]
Takashi Kogure: "The flow has not been good so far this season, so I wanted to do something positive here today. Since we had rain on Friday, we tried some big changes in the settings today. During the afternoon practice, things felt good, but in the Super Lap the car's balance was a bit on the under-steering side, and on the Coca Cola Corner it slid almost to the limit. Still, the machine's potential is the best it has been so far, and I think that is why we got the pole position. I feel that I owe this pole position to the team for its good work."
Ryo Michigami: "Here at Fuji last year, Kogure won us the pole position but we were unable to get a good result in the race because of mechanical trouble. Also, I made a big mistake in the last race (Round 2) that hurt the team. I want to pay back that debt tomorrow and get revenge (for last year)."
No.95 Lightning McQueen apr MR-S [GT300]
Kohei Hirate: "I can't believe that I got the pole position in my first- ever Super Lap. Yesterday morning we had gear trouble and were unable to much driving at all, so we decided to use the settings that had worked well here in our last test session. Also, Michelin prepared some good tires for us.
Keisuke Kunimoto: "I was really nervous as I watched Hirate-san run his Super Lap on the TV monitor, but I knew he would do a good job for us. I haven't had a chance to drive the machine yet in dry conditions, but since we won the pole position, I'm that it is in good condition. Since tomorrow's race is a long one, I hope to work with Hirate and give 100% so we get a good result."