TOM'S Toyota fastest on opening day of Okayama test

Toyota set the pace on the opening day of official SUPER GT pre-season testing at Okayama, as reigning champion Sho Tsuboi put the #36 TOM'S GR Supra on top of the pile.

TOM'S Toyota fastest on opening day of Okayama test
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Tsuboi's quickest time of the day came late on in the two-hour morning session, as he posted a 1m18.150s to beat the ARTA Honda NSX-GT of Tomoki Nojiri by a scant 0.034 seconds.

Honda's three Bridgestone-shod cars, now using the Type S bodywork revealed last month, locked out positions two through four, with Real Racing newcomer Nobuharu Matsushita setting the pace in the afternoon session with a 1m18.215s set during the 10 minutes of GT500-only running.

The Kunimitsu Honda was third-fastest in the morning in Naoki Yamamoto's hands and fourth overall, just three thousandths behind the Real Racing car.

Completing the top six were two more Toyotas: Tsuboi's title-winning partner from 2021, Yuhi Sekiguchi, was fifth-fastest for new team SARD, while Kazuya Oshima was next up aboard the Rookie Racing car.

Fastest of the all-new Nissan Zs was the #3 NDDP Racing car, now run in-house by NISMO, as Mitsunori Takaboshi set the second-fastest time in the afternoon of 1m18.407s to go seventh overall.


The next-best Nissan was the Impul car in ninth with Kazuki Hiramine at the wheel, just behind the second TOM'S Toyota driven by Ritomo Miyata. 

NISMO's flagship #23 car was 11th-fastest overall in the hands of Tsugio Matsuda.

GT300: JLOC Lamborghinis in control

In GT300, the #88 JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo ended up with the fastest time of the day, a 1m25.210s set by ex-Honda GT500 driver Takashi Kogure.

Shinichi Takagi, who has been reunited with old teammate Morio Nitta at the K-Tunes Lexus squad this year, was second-fastest on a 1m25.555s, followed by Kei Cozzolino in the Pacific CarGuy Racing Ferrari on a 1m25.898s.

The #87 JLOC car set the pace in the afternoon thanks to a 1m26.149s set by Natsu Sakaguchi, but Kosuke Matsuura's time in the morning put the second Lamborghini fourth-overall ahead of the UpGarage Honda NSX GT3 of SUPER GT rookie Kakunoshin Ota.

It was the UpGarage car that caused the day's third and final stoppage when it ground to a halt on track in the afternoon session.

The first two red-flag periods were triggered by offs for the #22 R'Qs Mercedes-AMG GT3, one in the opening minutes of the morning session and the other in the afternoon.

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Okayama testing times (GT500 class):

Pos. No. Car/Team Drivers Morning Afternoon
1 36 TOM'S Toyota

France Giuliano Alesi

Japan Sho Tsuboi

1'18.150 1'19.195
2 8 ARTA Honda

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

1'18.184 1'18.501
3 17 Real Honda

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

1'18.227 1'18.215
4 100 Kunimitsu Honda

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

1'18.218 1'18.815
5 39 SARD Toyota

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

1'18.314 1'18.965
6 14 Rookie Toyota

Japan Kenta Yamashita

Japan Kazuya Oshima

1'18.396 1'18.566
7 3 NDDP Nissan

Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

1'18.830 1'18.407
8 37 TOM'S Toyota

France Sacha Fenestraz

Japan Ritomo Miyata

1'18.422 1'19.105
9 12 Impul Nissan

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

1'18.522 1'18.512
10 16 Mugen Honda

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

Japan Toshiki Oyu

1'18.927 1'18.513
11 23 NISMO Nissan Italy Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

1'18.701 1'18.754
12 64 Nakajima Honda

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Hiroki Otsu

1'18.702 1'19.466
13 24 Kondo Nissan

Japan Kohei Hirate

Japan Daiki Sasaki

1'19.510 1'19.151
14 38 Cerumo Toyota

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

1'19.283 1'19.216
15 19 Bandoh Toyota

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

1'19.328 1'19.320

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