Fuji Super GT: ARTA leads Honda front row lockout

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Fuji Super GT: ARTA leads Honda front row lockout
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Honda secured a front row lockout for the second round of the 2020 SUPER GT season at Fuji Speedway, as Tomoki Nojiri took pole for the ARTA squad.

After qualifying second to the best of the Toyota GR Supras three weeks ago during the opening round, Nojiri went one better this time around at the wheel of the #8 Honda NSX-GT with a 1m27.300s laptime at the end of the 10-minute pole shootout.

That was enough to beat Koudai Tsukakoshi in the #17 Real Racing Honda by 0.159s.

However, ARTA only barely qualified for Q2 as Nojiri's teammate Nirei Fukuzumi just scraped through Q1 in eighth place after a Turn 1 lock-up.

Both the #8 and #17 Hondas are benefitting from the weight handicap system this weekend, with ARTA carrying only 6kg of ballast after finishing eighth in the season opener and the Real car carrying none at all after failing to score last time out.

By contrast, all five of the Bridgestone-shod Toyotas are carrying ballast this time around following their lockout of the top-five in the curtain-raiser.

The lightest of those, the #39 SARD machine, was third-fastest and best of the non-Hondas in the hands of GT500 rookie Sena Sakaguchi, 0.429s off the pace.

Sakaguchi, who is standing in for the absent Heikki Kovalainen at SARD, narrowly outpaced the best of the Nissan GT-Rs, the #12 Impul car of Daiki Sasaki in fourth.

Nissan's flagship Michelin-shod NISMO car was fifth-fastest with Ronnie Quintarelli at the wheel, best of the non-Bridgestone cars and within half a second of pole.

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Completing the Q2 order were Yuhi Sekiguchi in the #36 TOM'S Toyota, carrying 30kg of ballast, the #100 Team Kunimitsu Honda of Naoki Yamamoto (10kg) and the best of the Cerumo Toyotas, the #14 machine of Sho Tsuboi (22kg).

The #37 TOM'S car, carrying 42kg of ballast after its victory in round one, was eliminated in Q1 with Ryo Hirakawa qualifying 10th behind the Yokohama-shod Mugen Honda.

In GT300, pole position went to the #6 Inging Motorsport Toyota 86 MC of Kazuto Kotaka, who set a time of 1m36.270s in the car he shares with Ryohei Sakaguchi.

#6 ADVICS muta MC86

#6 ADVICS muta MC86

Photo by: GTA

Super Formula driver Toshiki Oyu fell only 0.108s short in the #55 ARTA Honda NSX GT3 to take second, while Hiroki Katoh made it two 'mother chassis'-based cars in the top three in the #2 Cars Tokai Dream28 Lotus Evora MC, which had topped its Q1 group earlier.

The works R&D Sport Subaru BRZ also topped its Q1 segment but had to settle to fourth ahead of the LEON Mercedes-AMG GT3 that took pole for the Fuji opener three weeks ago.

Carrying 60kg of ballast a result of its victory last time, Saitama Toyopet's all-new GR Supra GT300 qualified a respectable ninth in the 30-car field in the hands of Kohta Kawaai.

GT500 qualifying results:

Pos. No. Team/Car Drivers Q1 Q2
1 8 ARTA Honda

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

1m27.991s 1m27.300s
2 17 Real Racing Honda

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

1m27.952s 1m27.459s
3 39 SARD Toyota

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

1m27.602s 1m27.729s
4 12 Impul Nissan

Japan Daiki Sasaki

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

1m27.634s 1m27.795s
5 23 NISMO Nissan

Italy Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

1m27.971s 1m27.799s
6 36 TOM'S Toyota

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

France Sacha Fenestraz

1m27.887s 1m27.863s
7 100 Kunimitsu Honda

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

1m27.328s 1m27.987s
8 14 Cerumo Toyota

Japan Kazuya Oshima

Japan Sho Tsuboi

1m27.959s 1m28.049s
9 16 Mugen Honda

Japan Hideki Mutoh

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

1m28.089s  
10 37 TOM'S Toyota

New Zealand Nick Cassidy

Japan Ryo Hirakawa

1m28.094s  
11 38 Cerumo Toyota

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

1m28.101s  
12 19 NDDP/B-Max Nissan

Japan Kohei Hirate

Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

1m28.168s  
13 64 Nakajima Honda

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Hiroki Otsu

1m28.197s  
14 12 Impul Nissan

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Ritomo Miyata

1m28.236s  
15 24 Kondo Nissan

United Kingdom Jann Mardenborough

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

1m29.073s  
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About this article

Series Super GT
Event Fuji II
Author Jamie Klein