Motoyama grabs second straight Pole Position in the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R!
The qualifying for the FUJI GT 400km RACE, Round 3 of the 2009 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, took place at Fuji Speedway (one lap 4.563 km) in Shizuoka Pref. on May 3. For the second consecutive round, the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama took the Pole Position (fastest qualifier) in the GT500 class and will start from the front row in the race on the 4th.
After winning the pole position in the previous round at Suzuka, Motoyama in the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R was fastest again here at Fuji Speedway, outrunning the rival Lexus SC430 teams on their home course from the morning session. Then, in the afternoon's Super Lap (for the top eight qualifiers running one lap at a time), Motoyama was fastest again, beating out the PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 driven by Andre Lotterer by a very slim 0.072 sec. margin with a lap time of 1 min. 34.622 sec. This gave Motoyama and the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R team their second consecutive pole position.
For Motoyama this was his third PP in the GT500 class.
In the GT300 class, the ARTA Garaiya driven by Shinichi Takagi qualified fastest in class with a time of 1 min. 42.936 sec.
Pole position winner comments
No. 1 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R [GT500]
Satoshi Motoyama: "I thought things would probably go well like they did at Suzuka (Rd. 2) but the track surface was slippery, which made the choice of tires difficult. When I saw the first machine to run in the Super Lap take a spin, I decided to be careful about warming up the tires for my run. Fuji Speedway is not one of the tracks that the GT-R performs well at, and I have always considered it not one of the better courses for myself personally. Because of that, I was feeling uncertain before I started my runs. I'd like to feel happy about this pole position, but considering what happened in the last race (losing several places due to trouble after leading for most of the race), I'll wait until tomorrow's race is over before celebrating."
Benoit Treluyer: "Motoyama san did a great job for us today. Thanks to him, I had an easy day today (laughs). At the last round I couldn't do much driving in the qualifying because of the penalty, only enough to check out the set-up. My job now is to do my best in tomorrow's race."
No. 43 ARTA Garaiya
Shinichi Takagi: "Niita san chose the tires for us in the morning practice session, and the soft tires he chose felt good. Normally, our car doesn't do well on sector three in the second half of the Fuji course, but it performed very well there this time. I felt that the Michelin soft tires fit the conditions very well during the qualifying. I think we can win tomorrow's race even with the two pit stops."
Morio Niita: "Today the settings were very good just as they came from the garage and I'm grateful to the team for that. Last year we ran this race with a single pit stop strategy, but this year the rules demand that we make two pit stops, but we can consider this a new challenge."