HASEMI TOMICA EBBRO GT-R wins pole position!
On July 25, the qualifying for the "SUGO GT 300KM RACE," Round 5 of the 2009 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, took place at Sportsland SUGO (one lap: 3.704 km) in Miyagi Prefecture. In the GT500 class, the HASEMI TOMICA EBBRO GT-R driven by Ronnie Quintarelli took pole position and will start from the front position in the race on the 26th.
Driving the HASEMI TOMICA EBBRO GT-R, Quintarelli ran the fastest lap in the first qualifying session, at 1 min. 17.170 sec. Here at SUGO, it appeared that the team was continuing to ride on the momentum that saw them qualify 2nd in the previous round at Sepang circuit in Malaysia and go on to win the race in a runaway victory.
In the following Super Lap (time trial run one machine at a time by the top eight first session qualifiers to decide the starting grid order), Quintarelli was again the fastest, running an impressive 1 min. 16.284 sec. lap to win the pole position a full 0.537 sec. ahead of the 2nd fastest ENEOS SC430 Daisuke Ito.
For Quintarelli, this is his first pole position in SUPER GT competition. For the HASEMI MOTOR SPORT team this is their first PP since Round 6 in August of the 2007 season. It also marks the 4th PP in a row this season for the Nissan GT-R.
In the GT300 class the class pole went to the DAISHIN ADVAN Ferrari driven by Takayuki Aoki, recording a time of 1 min. 23.435 sec. This is the first pole position for the Ferrari this season.
+Pole Position Winner Comments
No. 3 HASEMI TOMICA EBRRO GT-R [GT500]
Ronnie Quintarelli: "During the morning practice session both the machine and tires felt OK, but by the time of the afternoon qualifying the track temperature had risen and that was probably part of the reason I was able to qualify fastest. With that momentum I also got a good time in the Super Lap. The machine, the tires and the driving were all perfect. SUGO is a circuit where it is hard to pass other cars, so this pole position will give us an advantage in tomorrow's race. I have heard that Nissan has not won here at SUGO, so I definitely want us to score a win here."
Hironobu Yasuda: "The fact that the air and track temperatures rose in the afternoon was an advantage for us running on Michelin tires. Also, Ronnie did a fantastic job of driving. I believe that we are in a good position to win this race like we did the last round, so I am going to do my best!"
No. 81 DAISHIN ADVAN Ferrari
Takayuki Aoki: "All of the teams seemed to have expected us to be fast here at SUGO, and that has inspired us to come here to win. In the last round at Sepang we were frustrated by machine trouble that kept us from competing in the race, so this time we were determined to go out there and get a pole-to- checkered win. But in the first qualifying session I was beaten by No. 33 and I thought we were in trouble. Although we don't usually do this, we used special qualifying settings and they worked just as we hoped to give us the class pole position. The engine that we had trouble with at Sepang has been replaced with a new one and engineers have come over from Europe to work with us and get the best engine performance we have had yet. Are we celebrating this pole position? We won't celebrate until after we win the race tomorrow!"
Tomonobu Fujii: "It looked like we were going to be the fastest in the first qualifying session but car No. 33 was faster than we thought and we ended up being outrun. In the Super Lap Aoki-san adjusted (the car) well and you could see that his driving was going well too. When I saw that he had run the fastest time in the 1st sector of the course I was confident that he would get us the class pole. We really want a win this time, no matter what. The team has prepared a winning car for us and that underlies everything."