KEIHIN SUZUKA 2&4 RACE Qualifying
Motoyama qualifies 1st in the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R!
The qualifying for the KEIHIN SUZUKA 2&4 RACE, Round 2 of the 2009 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, took place at the Suzuka Circuit (one lap 5.807 km) in Mie Pref. on April 18. Driving the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R, Satoshi Motoyama won the pole position as the fastest qualifier and will start from the front row in the final race on the 19th.
In the first qualifying session in the morning, Motoyama in the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R recorded the second fastest lap time behind Yuji Tachikawa in the ZENT CERUMO SC430. The fact that Motoyama and Tachikawa share the record for most wins in the GT500 class, with 10 each, added special interest to this dual.
In the afternoon's Super Lap (time trials run individually by the top eight qualifiers from the first session to decide the starting grid positions for the race) Motoyama was the second to the last runner. With a time of 1 min. 53.487 sec. he took the lead at that point. As the last runner, Tachikawa was unable to beat Motoyama's time, thus giving the pole position to Motoyama and the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R team.
This was Motoyama's second career pole position in the GT500 class and the first for the Nissan GT-R this season.
In the GT300 class the fastest qualifier was the HANKOOK PORSCHE driven by Masami Kageyama with a time of 2 min. 3.836 sec. This was the first pole position ever won by a machine on HANKOOK tires in SUPER GT/JGTC competition.
Pole position winner comments
No.1 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R [GT500]
Satoshi Motoyama: "Today the machine condition was extremely good from early on in the morning. After our very disappointing result in the last race (finished 13th due to a collision), I was psyched up this time. And since [teammate] Benoit [Treluyer] wasn't able to run in the morning's practice session, it fell to me to run the qualifying attack laps. Since Benoit ran all the attack laps last season, I pushed hard to do something in return for him."
Benoit Treluyer: "This was certainly an easy day for me (laughs)! Motoyama ran magnificently in his timed attack laps, didn't he? It was Motoyama's first Super Lap in four years, and for that reason, it was especially interesting to watch. But tomorrow I will have to do some of the work (laughs).
No.33 HANKOOK PORSCHE
Masami Kageyama: "Since we didn't enter the season opener and hadn't done any tests either, there was some uncertainty going into this qualifying today. But in the first run this morning things felt good, and as we were trying out the tires, I began to think that we might be able to get the pole position. Since I am known as the "Saturday morning guy" (first qualifying session) I want to show that I could win the pole in the afternoon too. I am grateful to Hankook for making us some good tires during the off-season."
Mitsuhiro Kinoshita: "I am very happy we got this pole position. Suzuka has never been a good circuit for our Porsche machines. The renovation of track surface has made the "S" curve better, and our cornering performance has improved thanks to the tire development. That's what made us faster. I want to win here at the Suzuka circuit that has always been bad for us, and this pole shows that things are moving in that direction."