Autobacs Super GT press release
DENSO SARD SC430 third Pole Position of the Season!
Squeaking through by one thousandth of a second!
On Oct. 1, the qualifying for the SUPER GT IN KYUSHU 250KM, Round 7 of the 2011 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, was held at the AUTOPOLIS (lap = 4.674 km) in Oita Pref. In this qualifying, Hiroaki Ishiura in the DENSO SARD SC430 won his second GT500 class pole position in a row, following the last round at Fuji Speedway. With this, the DENSO SARD SC430 team (drivers: Hiroaki Ishiura/Takuto Iguchi) will start from the front row in the race on the 2nd.
In the first qualifying session that started at 12:00 the current drivers’ ranking leader, the S Road MOLA GT-R recorded the fastest time, while the DENSO SARD SC430 was second. After this, the top ten qualifiers from the first session moved on to compete in the Super Lap (time trials run by one car at a time). The two fastest qualifiers in the first session were both running on Michelin tires that have been performing so well this season. Sharing this advantage, the lap times of the two cars were separated by just the slimmest of margins. Running first of the two, the DENSO SARD SC430 (Hiroaki Ishiura) ran an almost perfect lap, recording a time of 1’39.901 and becoming the first to break the 1’40 barrier. The final runner in the Super Lap was the S Road MOLA GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli). Perhaps because of the pressure, however, Quintarelli made two braking mistakes that raised smoke from his tires on the first half of the course. Still, he was able to come back hard in the second half of the lap to finish with a time of 1’39.902, just a thousandth of a second behind Ishiura’s time. This gave the DENSO SARD SC430 its second consecutive pole position and third on the season.
In the GT300 class qualifying, the R&D SPORT LEGACY B4 driven by Kota
Sasaki won pole position, the first ever for the Subaru Legacy B4. This was Sasaki’s
fifth career pole position in the GT300 competition, and for Subaru it was the fifth
pole position including its four with the Impreza.
Pole position winner comments
No. 39 DENSO SARD SC430 [GT500]
Hiroaki Ishiura: “I have to admit that this came as a surprise for me. With my previous two pole positions I had confidence going into them, but I really thought I was going to lose position in this one. Before the Super Lap I left all the decisions up to the engineers whether to change the settings or not. And when I actually started running the feeling was so good. They made a number of changes for me and made me realize how amazing our engineers are. Even though our tire choices were made with priority on tomorrow’s race, we were still able to get the pole position. So, I really want to be up there on the podium after the race tomorrow. Last time we were unlucky (missed getting 2nd place due to a collision with another machine), and we ended up with a result that was out of our control. This time it will be great if we can win by giving it all we have. Kumamoto is my father’s hometown and my partner Iguchi is from Fukuoka here in Kyushu and there will be a lot of people coming to cheer for us. I want to show them all a really good result.”
No. 62 R&D SPORT LEGACY B4 [GT300]
Kota Sasaki: “I really like the Autopolis. My simulation showed that the Legacy B4 is well suited to the circuit, and when I actually ran it here it felt very good. The setting up before the qualifying went well this time, which gave us some extra leeway, and I think that is what helped us get the good times we did. We chose softer tires with a focus on the qualifying but I didn’t have to push too hard. In the race we will both concentrate on tire management, and the Legacy B4 is also a car that is easy on the tires. Also, the Yokohama tires are reliable, so I think we have a good chance of going all the way in the lead.”