Suzuka SUPER GT: Nakajima Honda leads all-Dunlop front row

Nakajima Racing secured pole position for the fourth round of the SUPER GT season at Suzuka, as Dunlop-shod Honda NSX-GTs locked out the front row.

Suzuka SUPER GT: Nakajima Honda leads all-Dunlop front row
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Hiroki Otsu set the tone by setting a sensational lap of 1m44.763s aboard the #64 Nakajima car in Q1, going some 0.857s quicker than his counterpart in the #16 Mugen Honda, Ukyo Sasahara.

Takuya Izawa was at the wheel of the Nakajima car for the Q2 pole shootout but suffered an early scare as he ran through the gravel at the Dunlop chicane, albeit returning to the track without problems.

Honda veteran Izawa brushed off that error to go fastest on a 1m45.128s, some way shy of Otsu's earlier effort but still enough for pole by 0.221s ahead of Toshiki Oyu in the Mugen car.


Behind the two Dunlop-equipped Hondas, the Michelin-shod NISMO Nissan GT-R that was fastest in practice earlier in the day was third fastest in the hands of Ronnie Quintarelli, 0.582s off the pace.

Mitsunori Takaboshi made it an all-Nissan second row aboard the #24 Kondo Racing car, the best of the Yokohama runners.

Bridgestone's best-placed car was the #8 ARTA Honda of Tomoki Nojiri in fifth place, followed by the #17 Real Racing NSX-GT of Bertrand Baguette, who was only a tenth slower than Nojiri despite carrying the stage one fuel flow restrictor.

Kohei Hirate (B-Max Nissan) and Nobuharu Matsushita (Impul Nissan) rounded out the Q2 runners.

Toyota didn't manage to get any cars out of Q1, its best representative being the #19 Bandoh GR Supra that qualified in ninth place.

The remaining cars running with fuel flow restrictors all fell in the first segment, with the Motegi-winning #1 Kunimitsu Honda qualifying in 11th place with Naoki Yamamoto at the wheel.

The two TOM'S Toyotas will start 12th and 14th respectively, split by the SARD Toyota, while the points-leading Rookie Racing Supra, the only car saddled with the stage two restrictor, was 15th and slowest.

Subaru takes second pole of the season

In the GT300 class, it was the works R&D Sport Subaru BRZ that came out on top, with Hideki Yamauchi and Takuto Iguchi grabbing their second pole in three races.



Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Iguchi set the pace in his qualifying group before Yamauchi set the pole-winning time of 1m57.322s, which was good enough to beat nearest rival Yuya Hiraki (Team Mach Toyota 86 MC) by 0.499s.

The #244 Max Racing Supra topped its Q1 segment in the hands of Yuui Tsutsumi, but Atsushi Miyake could only manage the third-best time in Q2, a further 0.054s behind.

Takashi Kogure put the #88 JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in fourth ahead of Kei Cozzolino in the Pacific Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 and Nobuteru Taniguchi's Goodsmile Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.

The Inging/Cars Tokai Lotus Evora MC that won last time out at Motegi was a strong seventh despite its 63kg weight handicap in the hands of Ryohei Sakaguchi, but the other cars carrying heavy ballast largely struggled.

The two cars that jointly lead the standings, the #11 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 and the LEON Racing Mercedes (both 75kg), managed just 17th and 22nd places respectively, while Kondo Racing's Nissan (72kg) likewise fell in Q1, and will line up 18th on Sunday.

GT500 qualifying results:

Pos. No. Car Team Drivers Tyre Q1 Q2
1 64 Honda Nakajima Racing

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Hiroki Otsu

D 1'44.733 1'45.128
2 16 Honda Mugen

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

Japan Toshiki Oyu

D 1'45.590 1'45.349
3 23 Nissan NISMO

Italy Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

M 1'45.761 1'45.710
4 24 Nissan Kondo Racing

Japan Daiki Sasaki

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

Y 1'45.727 1'45.861
5 8 Honda ARTA

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

B 1'45.927 1'46.030
6 17 Honda Real Racing

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

B 1'46.028 1'46.155
7 3 Nissan NDDP/B-Max

Japan Kohei Hirate

Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

M 1'46.022 1'46.289
8 12 Nissan Impul

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

B 1'46.153 1'49.072
9 19 Toyota Racing Project Bandoh

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Ritomo Miyata

Y 1'46.177  
10 38 Toyota Cerumo

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

B 1'46.235  
11 1 Honda Kunimitsu

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

B 1'46.310  
12 36 Toyota TOM'S

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

Japan Sho Tsuboi

B 1'46.326  
13 39 Toyota SARD

Finland Heikki Kovalainen

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

B 1'46.377  
14 37 Toyota TOM'S

Japan Ryo Hirakawa

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

B 1'46.514  
15 14 Toyota Rookie Racing

Japan Kazuya Oshima

Japan Kenta Yamashita

B 1'46.736  
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