TAKATA DOME NSX grabs second pole position this season
On July 26, the qualifying for the "SUGO GT 300KM RACE," Round 5 of the 2008 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, took place at Sports land SUGO (one lap: 3.704 km) in Miyagi Prefecture. In the GT500 class, the TAKATA DOME NSX driven by Takashi Kogure won pole position as No.1 qualifier and will start from the front position in he race on the 27th.
In the morning's first qualifying session the track condition was complicated by wet patches remaining from last night's rain that caused a few machines to spin out. When the session had ended Takashi Kogure in the TAKATA DOME NSX had come through with the fastest lap time of 1 min. 16.935 sec. to put him tentative lead for the pole position and make him first among the ten qualifiers for the afternoon Super Lap (time trial run one machine at a time to decide the starting grid order).
After that, the rain that everyone had feared never fell and the track became completely dry for the afternoon Super Lap. Running last in the Super Lap, Kogure drove the TAKATA DOME NSX to an even faster time of 1 min. 16.697 sec. to keep his position as the fastest qualifier. This gave the TAKATA DOME NSX the pole position.
Or the TAKATA DOME NSX team this is their second pole position of the 2008 series, following the one in round three. It is also their second PP in two consecutive years here at the SUGO round.
In the GT300 class the pole position went to the WedsSport IS350 driven by Manabu Orido with a time of 1 min. 23.938 sec. This is also the first GT pole position for new Lexus IS350 since it began full-fledged competition in round three of this season.
Pole Position Winner Comments
No.18 TAKATA DOME NSX [GT500]
Takashi Kogure: "Since we are carrying handicap weights, the teams thought we might have a better chance in the rain, but it turned out that even on a dry track the machine had the potential we needed to get the pole. It was a little hard to drive through the turns but I was able to give it give it hard throttle with confidence. In round three I went out there too hard with the feeling that I had to do something to get us a win, and as a result my wheels were locking and I ended up losing tire grip. This time we are carrying a lot of weights, but I am going to try do my best whatever conditions arise."
Ryo Michigami: We are carrying a big load of handicap weights this time and in the rain on Friday I actually felt that the weights helped us. But the machine's balance was good in the morning session today and Kogure worked hard in the Super lap, where ours was the only machine to improve on our morning time. Both of us are working on the development of the NSX and we are confident that the machine is OK even when carrying weights. The weights will of course make the final race more difficult for us but I want to try to get us the win."
No.19 WedsSport IS350 [GT300]
Manabu Orido: "This is the third GT race for the new IS350. Yokohama Tires has developed us some new tires specifically for the IS350, but since it rained yesterday, this morning's session was our first opportunity to try them out, and they were perfect. Although I don't feel I had a very good run in the Super Lap, We were still able to get the pole position. We owe this to the team, to Yokohama Tire and to Toyota. I feel grateful and happy with today's result."
Tsubasa Abe: "This year is my first season in GT racing and I am very grateful for this opportunity to be here in the pole position interview with such a good driver as Orido san and with such a good team. I am just going to try to run well with no mistakes in tomorrow's race. I will try to put as little strain on the tires as possible and drive a well-managed race without dropping the pace considerably."