Suzuka 1000: Series qualifying report

RAYBRIG NSX Loses Vanishing Pole Position The pole position start goes to the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R The Qualifying for Round 6 of the 2008 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, the 37th International Pokka 1000Km, was held on Aug. 23 at the Suzuka Circuit...

RAYBRIG NSX Loses Vanishing Pole Position

The pole position start goes to the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R

The Qualifying for Round 6 of the 2008 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, the 37th International Pokka 1000Km, was held on Aug. 23 at the Suzuka Circuit (one lap 5.807km) in Mie Prefecture. Recording the fastest lap time in the qualifying was the RAYBRIG NSX driven by Yuji Ide, but the pole position went to the second fastest qualifier, the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R, while the RAYBRIG NSX will be starting from 11th position on the grid for tomorrow's race.

It was a day plagued by rain, with the morning qualifying session starting on a completely wet track. In this session the RAYBRIG NSX driven by Yuji Ide ran the fastest time with a 2 min. 7.474 sec. lap.

In the afternoon the rain fell harder and there were water puddles on the track that made the driving conditions very difficult. Because of this the Super Lap (individually run timed laps to determine the race starting grid) was cancelled. As a result, the starting grid for the race was decided on the basis of the times from the morning qualifying, with GT500 class pole position going to the RAYBRIG NSX. However, because this machine had changed engines due to trouble in the Friday session, its starting position was lowered by ten positions in accordance with SUPER GT rules. It will start from 11th position in tomorrow's race.

As a result, the pole sitter will be the second fastest qualifier in the morning session, the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R.

In the GT300 class, the driver Tetsuya Yamano made full use of his all- wheel drive (AWD) advantage in the CUSCO DUNLOP SUBARU IMPREZA to run a fastest lap of 2 min. 22.432 sec. to win the team's second GT300 class pole position of the season.

Pole Position Winner Comments

No.100 RAYBRIG NSX [GT500]

Yuji Ide: "Before the morning qualifying I was talking with the engineers about trying to run a fast time when the track condition was best. First, we had Hosokawa clear the qualifying time while the rain was light, and then I went out to run my timed laps. There was still some loss when I ran my fastest time, but it was still the top time, which was fortunate. I think we will be able to race well tomorrow too. Am I confident? Of course I am!" (Laughs)

Shinya Hosokawa: "Today, everyone on the team was determined to get a good result, so I'm glad that we did. I have made more than my share of mistakes in the races so far this season, so I've got to do my best tomorrow. I will be trying my hardest."

Kosuke Matsuura: "I didn't get a chance to drive today, but yesterday I was able to run good times consistently with a full tank of gasoline. I have joined the team as the third driver for this race and I have found the team atmosphere to be very good. In the race I am going to do my best to carry the baton when it comes to me and do my part."

No.77 CUSCO DUNLOP SUBARU IMPREZA [GT300]

Tetsuya Yamano: "I'm very happy. I feel like I've won a Gold Medal! When the conditions get bad on the track the AWD does best, so I was determined to take advantage of today's chance. But it was still very tough out there in the qualifying. Tomorrow we will be running with a load of handicap weights, so it is going to be a very tough race. I hope we can finish the race with no problems."

Kota Sasaki: "Up until yesterday we had tried a lot of things to compensate for the handicap weights we have to carry in this race, and there are still some things we are not certain about. Today the weather was on our side. Tomorrow it will be a difficult race for us even if it rains. But everyone on the team is going to be going all out."

-credit: supergt

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