SUPER GT INTERNATIONAL SERIES MALAYSIA Qualifying
Matsuda of Kazuyoshi Hoshino's Calsonic team wins his first Pole Position!
The qualifying for the SUPER GT INTERNATIONAL SERIES IN MALAYSIA, Round 4 of the 2010 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series, was held at the Sepang International Circuit (lap : 5.542 km) in Malaysia on June 19. In the CALSONIC IMPUL GT- R, Tsugio Matsuda won the GT500 class pole position. With this, the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R with drivers Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli will start from the front position on the first row in the race on the 20th.
This year marks the tenth time The Sepang Circuit in Malaysia is hosting a SUPER GT race. In this memorable 10th event, Tsugio Matsuda, driving the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R as the second to last runner in the Super Lap qualifying (run one machine at a time by the fastest 8 qualifiers from the first session to determine the starting grid for the race), recorded a lap time of 1 min. 57.409 sec. to take the tentative lead. The last runner in the Super Lap was Daisuke Ito in the ENEOS machine, who had qualified fastest in the first session. But he was unable to match Matsuda's time, and thus gave Matsuda his first-ever SUPER GT Pole Position.
In the first qualifying session, Matsuda had fallen just 0.137 sec. short of Ito's lap time, but in the Super Lap he ran with practically no mistakes at all to score a magnificent come-from-behind PP.
This is the first PP for a Nissan GT-R this season. For TEAM IMPUL, it is their first PP since the final round in the 2007 season at Fuji Speedway.
In the GT300 class, the JIMGAINER DIXCEL DUNLOP F430 driven by Tetsuya Tanaka was the fastest qualifier with a lap time of 2 min. 9.167 sec.
+Pole Position Winner Comments
No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R [GT500]
Tsugio Matsuda: "I have been competing in GT racing for a long time now, but at first I never had a chance to run the timed laps in the qualifying. When I did begin to be the driver for the time attacks I finished 2nd or 3rd a few times, but I never won a pole position. Winning this PP has given me new confidence. I think a big factor this time was that I was able to come here to Sepang last winter to do tire testing. We changed the engine this time and its performance has been good. We had been having difficulties with this season's new 3.4-liter engine in the GT-R, so I am grateful to the people at Nissan and NISMO. In tomorrow's race, Ronnie will be fast too. So, if we put our strength together, I am definitely sure we can win."
Ronnie Quintarelli: Tsugio ran fantastically. In the Super Lap he ran a very good lap time and I was sure that car No. 6 (ENEOS SC430) wouldn't be able to beat it. In the races we run a good pace over the long run too. We hear that the [Honda] HSV-010 GT teams will be using a strategy of only changing two tires to save on pit time, so we want to take our put work into consideration too. I am confident that we can win, however."
No. 11 JIMGAINER DIXCEL DUNLOP F430 [GT300]
Tetsuya Tanaka: "We have a new car this season and a new tire company too, so we have had difficulties adjusting up to this point in the season. In round 3 at Fuji we found a good tire, so I thought we could win the pole position here in round 4 at Sepang. In the Super Lap, I made one mistake, but things went well overall. Since we have gotten the class pole position, I want to see us push hard from the start and build up a lead and then push on in the second half to the win."
Katsuyuki Hiranaka: "Things hadn't gone as we had hoped in the first three rounds of the season, but we found good tires in the last round and were looking forward to this race. In tomorrow's race we just have to try hard and do our best. I just want to do my job and get this win."