Fuji Super GT: Tachikawa takes pole as Lexus dominates
Lexus dominated qualifying for the second Super GT round on its home turf in Fuji, with the #38 Zent Cerumo squad taking pole position for the season’s second longest race.
Three-time Super GT champion Yuji Tachikawa set the pace in qualifying, topping the timesheets with a time of 1m27.825s.
His teammate Hiroaki Ishiura, a former Super Formula champion, was second-quickest in Q1.
Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli broke Lexus’ hegemony by qualifying the #23 Nissan GT-R on the front row of the grid, despite the latter lapping over three tenths slower in Q2.
The #6 Wako and #36 au TOM’S cars were separated by just 0.005s, with Kazuya Oshima upsetting Daisuke Ito, who is subbing for Toyota WEC driver Kazuki Nakajima.
Defending champions Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate were fifth quickest in the #1 SARD Lexus, while the Okayama-winning #37 KeePer TOM’S duo of Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy took seventh.
With all six Lexus cars making it to the Q2, only one Honda qualified in the top-eight - the Okayama pole-sitting #8 ARTA car, although Takashi Kobayashi was over a second off the pace in the NSX-GT.
GT300: Mercedes leads Porsche
In the GT300 category, Team Ukyo took the spot in qualifying, securing a second consecutive pole pole position for Mercedes.
Nobuteru Taniguchi, who shares the #4 AMG GT3 with Tatsuya Kataoka, lapped the Fuji Speedway in 1m35.824s, beating Gulf Racing duo Jono Lester and Kyosuke Mineo by a tenth of a second.
D’Station made it two Porsches in the top three, with Sven Muller and Tomonobu Fujii ending 0.185s adrift of Taniguchi’s chart-topping laptime.
GT500 Qualifying Results:
|1|| Yuji Tachikawa |
|2|| Tsugio Matsuda |
|Nissan||1'28.651 || |
|3|| Kazuya Oshima |
|4|| Daisuke Ito |
|5|| Heikki Kovalainen |
|Lexus||1'28.485 || |
|6|| Yuhi Sekiguchi |
|Lexus||1'28.474 || |
|7|| Ryo Hirakawa |
|Lexus||1'28.582 || |
|8|| Tomoki Nojiri |
|Honda||1'28.480 || |
|9|| Naoki Yamamoto |
|10|| Koudai Tsukakoshi |
|11|| Satoshi Motoyama |
|12|| Hironobu Yasuda |
|13|| Hideki Mutoh |
|14|| Daiki Sasaki |
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
|15|| Bertrand Baguette |
Okayama Super GT: Hirakawa, Cassidy win season opener
Fuji Super GT: Tachikawa, Ishiura lead all-Lexus podium