Okayama: Series qualifying report

XANAVI NISMO GT-R Qualifies 1st! Second Consecutive Pole Position for the GT-R this season! The qualifying for the Okayama GT 300km, Round 2 of the 2008 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, was held at the Okayama International Circuit (one lap 3.703 ...

XANAVI NISMO GT-R Qualifies 1st!
Second Consecutive Pole Position for the GT-R this season!

The qualifying for the Okayama GT 300km, Round 2 of the 2008 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, was held at the Okayama International Circuit (one lap 3.703 km) in Okayama Pref. on April 12. The XANAVI NISMO GT-R driven by Benoit Treluyer won the pole position as the fastest qualifier in the GT500 class and will start from the front row in the final race on the 13th.

In the first qualifying session in the morning, Treluyer ran the fourth fastest time. This ensured him a place in the afternoon Super Lap for the top ten qualifiers (run one at a time as time trials to determine the starting grid order for the race). Then, in the afternoon Super Lap he ran fourth from last in order. While the other machines were mostly unable to better their morning times, Treluyer managed to drop his time of a fast he turned in the fastest time at 1 min. 23.517 sec. lap to win take the pole position.

Having qualified 2nd and going on to win the race in Round 1, the No. 23 XANAVI NISMO GT-R will start from the front row in tomorrow's race with the aim of making it two wins in a row this season.

This pole position also gives the new Nissan GT-R its second straight pole position of the 2008 series, following Round 1 at Suzuka.

In the GT300 class, the ARTA Garaiya driven by Morio Nitta was top qualifier in class, with a time of 1 min. 31. 796 sec.

Pole position winner comments

No. 23 XANAVI NISMO GT-R [GT500]

Benoit Treluyer: "The Super Lap felt very good. I think we had an advantage in that our choice of tires was better than our rivals and they warmed up quickly. We basically didn't change the settings from the morning session and they worked very well. I want to thank our team staff for the good condition that the machine is in. At the season opener I was tense (before the Super Lap), but this time I felt that qualifying in 4th or so would not be so bad, so I was relaxed going into the lap and I think that accounted for my good time (laughs)."

Satoshi Motoyama: "Before we came to Okayama this time, I was thinking that we would be doing well if we qualified for the Super Lap. But during the free practice sessions yesterday, we were able to find settings that worked well with our handicap weights The tire selection and the warm-up condition also went well, and Benoit drove great too. I guess you can say that everything went right for us today."

No. 43 ARTA Garaiya [GT300]

Morio Nitta: "Coming into this season with a new machine, I never expected that we would be winning a pole position this early in the series. The Michelin tires have also been very good, and they were well matched to the demands of the Okayama circuit. The No. 46 Z machine running on the same Michelin tires also did well. But, it seems that we were able to get the pole position thanks to the mistakes they made. Who knows what will happen in the race tomorrow, however. If the weather is clear, I'm really looking forward to the race. Manager Aguri Suzuki will be here tomorrow for the first time in a while, so I want to show him a good result."

Shinichi Takagi: "Despite the fact that we have a new machine this season, I haven't been able to get much test time in on it because of all the rain we have had. Based on yesterday's runs, I thought it would be difficult for us to get a pole position, but the tires fit the Okayama circuit well, and I think Nitta-san drove very well with no mistakes. As for tomorrow's race, Okayama is a course where we see a lot of accidents, so I intend to drive with that in mind."

-credit: supergt

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Series SUPERGT