The newly crowned SUPER GT champion S Road MOLA GT-R fastest in Race 1 qualifying
Race 2 qualifying postponed to the morning of the 12th
Qualifying for the “JAF Grand Prix SUPER GT & Formula NIPPON FUJI SPRINT CUP 2011” took place on November 11 at Fuji Speedway (one lap 4.563 km) in Shizuoka Pref. This is a race event that brings together Japan’s premier production car race, the SUPER GT, and Japan’s premier formula car race, Formula Japan, together on the same day.
Unlike the regular season SUPER GT series races competed by a relay of two drivers for each machine, this event is competed in two races on the 12th and 13th driven by one driver each. The final team standings for the event are determined by the point totals of each team’s two drivers in these two races. For this reason the driver for each race also drives the respected qualifying round.
Today, rain fell on Fuji Speedway from the morning, and in the GT500 class qualifying for Race 1 (to be held on the 12th) Ronnie Quintarelli in the S Road MOLA GT-R ran the fastest lap of １’47. 212. Having just won the GT500 class title in his first season in SUPER GT, Quintarelli showed his speed here as well.
In the qualifying for the GT300 class Race 1, Katsuyuki Hiranaka in the JIMGAINER DIXCEL DUNLOP 458 won pole position with a time of １’53.719. He and his team were winners of this race last year and will e looking for a repeat victory.
Just before the start of the qualifying for Race 2, the rain grew heavier and eventually the sessions had to be postponed until the early morning of the 12th with the starting time set for 7:50.
Pole Position Winner Comments - Race 1
No. 46 S Road MOLA GT-R [GT500]
Ronnie Quintarelli: “Having just won the series championship, I was able to come to this Fuji Sprint Cup weekend feeling more relaxed than with other races and go into the qualifying working together with the team as usual. The race wasn’t very strong for the first ten minutes of the session, so I pushed hard early on but was only to get a time 3-tenths of a second off 2nd place. In the end I believe I was able to get the pole position because everything, including my driving and the setting of the machine, were close to perfect.”
No.11 JIMGAINER DIXCEL DUNLOP 458 [GT300]
Katsuyuki Hiranaka: “Since I knew that the performance of the Dunlop tires is good in the rain, I was able to go into the qualifying with no worries. But, Knowing how fast the BMW Z4 (car No. 4) was in the rain in Round 7 at Motegi, I new I couldn’t let up at all. In the end, the BMW Z4 came within a tenth of a second of my time, so I think I was lucky to get the pole position. We were beaten by the BMW Z4 during the series and as a team we weren’t able to win a single race all season, so I really want to win tomorrow. Also, we won at the Fuji Sprint Cup last year and I would like very much to make it two wins in a row. So, I am really looking forward to starting tomorrow’s race from a good position.”