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Honda dominates in-season Super GT test at Sugo

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Honda dominates in-season Super GT test at Sugo
By:
Aug 12, 2019, 8:20 AM

Honda teams swept the top four spots in last weekend's SUPER GT test at Sugo ahead of the final three races of the 2019 season.

Conditions largely varied across the two-day test, with rain and heavy fog necessitating two red flags in the first morning session. 

However, the weather drastically improved later on and it wasn’t until the final afternoon that rain hit the track again, forcing teams to switch to wet compounds.

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Real Racing broke the 1m11s barrier on both days, Bertrand Baguette and Koudai Tsukakoshi ending the in-season test at the top of the charts with a time of 1m10.634s.

The Nakajima Honda team was classified more than four tenths adrift in second, with former Formula 2 driver Tadasuke Makino completing all the running for Satoru Nakajima’s squad in the absence of teammate Narain Karthikeyan.

Formula 1 champion Jenson Button also missed the test at the venue where he lodged his maiden SUPER GT win, although Naoki Yamamoto’s quickest lap was good enough to place the Kunimitsu Honda squad third in the timesheets.

Yamamoto was also the fastest of all in wet conditions, lapping two tenths quicker than the Real Racing duo of Baguette and Tsukakoshi in a rain-soaked final afternoon session.

Long-time Honda squad ARTA made it four NSXs in the top four, with Tomoki Nojiri and Takuya Izawa logging a time of 1m11.136s.

The Honda monopoly at the front was broken by the Bandoh Lexus pairing of Yuji Kunimoto and Sho Tsuboi, the duo finishing six tenths off the pace in fifth.

The Impul team led the charge for Nissan, James Rossiter and Daiki Sasaki lapping just 0.001s ahead of the championship-leading LeMans Lexus pairing of Kazuya Oshima and Kenta Yamashita in seventh.

The Mugen Honda team (Daisuke Nakajima and Hideki Mutoh) was classified eighth, while the top 10 was completed by B-Max Nissan (Frederic Makoweicki and Kohei Hirate) and Cerumo Lexus (Hiroaki Ishiura and Yuji Tachikawa).

Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy, who sit second in the standings, were classified 12th in the #37 TOM’S Lexus, just ahead of another championship-contending car, the NISMO Nissan of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda.

Apart from the entire GT500 field, 24 GT300 cars also participated in the test, with Tsuchiya Engineering's #25 Toyota 86 MC topping the times.

Test results:

Pos.

#

Drivers

Team/Manufacturer

Time

1

17

Bertrand Baguette

Koudai Tsukakoshi

Real Honda

1m10.634s

2

64

Tadasuke Makino*

Nakajima Honda

1m11.046s

3

1

Naoki Yamamoto*

Kunimitsu Honda

1m11.128s

4

4

Tomoki Nojiri

Takuya Izawa

ARTA Honda

1m11.136s

5

19

Yuji Kunimoto

Sho Tsuboi

Bandoh Lexus

1m11.180s

6

12

James Rossiter

Daiki Sasaki

Impul Nissan

1m11.259s

7

6

Kazuya Oshima

Kenta Yamashita

LeMans Lexus

1m11.260s

8

5

Daisuke Nakajima

Hideki Mutoh

Mugen Honda

1m11.603s

9

3

Frederic Makowiecki

Kohei Hirate

B-Max Nissan

1m11.707s

10

38

Hiroaki Ishiura

Yuji Tachikawa

Cerumo Lexus

1m11.713s

11

36

Kazuki Nakajima

Yuhi Sekiguchi

TOM’S Lexus

1m11.781s

12

37

Nick Cassidy

Ryo Hirakawa

TOM’S Lexus

1m11.929s

13

23

Ronnie Quintarelli

Tsugio Matsuda

NISMO Nissan

1m11.934s

14

39

Heikki Kovalainen

Yuichi Nakayama

Sard Lexus

1m12.057s

15

24

Jann Mardenborough

Mitsunori Takaboshi

Kondo Nissan

1m12.156s

* teammate absent from the test

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About this article

Series Super GT
Drivers Bertrand Baguette , Koudai Tsukakoshi
Teams Real Racing
Author Rachit Thukral