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Suzuka Super GT: ARTA Honda gets third pole of 2020

Jamie Klein
·3 min read

In the Q2 pole shootout, ex-Formula 2 racer Fukuzumi posted a 1m44.963s at the wheel of the ARTA's Honda NSX-GT, beating Takuya Izawa in Nakajima Racing Honda by 0.091 seconds.

Fukuzumi's teammate Tomoki Nojiri had only been third-fastest in Q1, which was topped by the Bandoh Toyota GR Supra of Ritomo Miyata ahead of Hiroki Otsu in the Nakajima car.

But while Fukuzumi and Izawa were both able to improve on their teammate's efforts, Yuji Kunimoto was slower than Miyata's benchmark in Q2, ending up 0.385s off the pace in third.

Team Impul driver Kazuki Hiramine, who suffered an off at the S Curve during morning practice, was fourth-fastest in the best of the Nissan GT-Rs, ahead of Kohei Hirate in the NDDP/B-Max Racing machine and Hideki Mutoh in the Mugen Honda.

A mistake from Yuji Tachikawa at the final chicane in the #38 Cerumo Toyota consigned him to seventh place, while Tadasuke Makino was eighth in the only car with a stage two fuel restrictor to get out of Q1, the Kunimitsu Honda.

The three cars carrying the strictest stage three fuel flow restrictors qualified in places nine through 11, with Koudai Tsukakoshi leading the trio in the Real Racing Honda NSX-GT.

Sho Tsuboi took the final spot in the top 10 in the points-leading #14 Cerumo Toyota, ahead of the two TOM'S GR Supras of Nick Cassidy and Yuhi Sekiguchi.

A crash for Tsugio Matsuda at Dunlop Corner during Q1, which brought out the red flags, consigned the NISMO Nissan he shares with Quintarelli to 15th and last.

GT300: K-Tunes breaks through for first pole

Morio Nitta and Sena Sakaguchi claimed pole in the GT300 class at the wheel of the #96 K-Tunes Racing Lexus RC F.

#96 K-tunes RCF GT3

#96 K-tunes RCF GT3<span class="copyright">Masahide Kamio</span>
#96 K-tunes RCF GT3Masahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio

Series veteran Nitta topped his Q1 group with a time of 1m56.459s, and Sakaguchi raised the bar to a 1m55.838s to beat Hideki Yamauchi in the works Subaru BRZ, one of five cars carrying the maximum 100kg handicap this weekend, by just over two tenths of a second.

Kazuko Kotaka qualified the best of the Mother Chassis cars, the Inging Motorsport Toyota 86, third, followed by the UpGarage Honda NSX GT3 of Takashi Kobayashi and Katsuyuki Hiranaka in the #11 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, which is also carrying the 100kg handicap.

The next best of the cars with the maximum penalty was the ARTA Honda NSX of Toshiki Oyu in seventh, followed by the Kondo Racing Nissan of Kiyoto Fujinami in 11th.

In his first SUPER GT qualifying appearance, ex-Rebellion LMP1 driver Mathias Beche qualified the Team Thailand Lexus 21st out of the 30 cars in class, while the points-leading LEON Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 struggled with its 100kg handicap to 25th.

GT500 qualifying results:

1

8

ARTA Honda

Japan
Japan

Tomoki Nojiri

Japan
Japan

Nirei Fukuzumi

1m45.478s

1m44.963s

2

64

Nakajima Honda

Japan
Japan

Takuya Izawa

Japan
Japan

Hiroki Otsu

1m45.218s

1m45.054s

3

19

Bandoh Toyota

Japan
Japan

Yuji Kunimoto

Japan
Japan

Ritomo Miyata

1m45.036s

1m45.348s

4

12

Impul Nissan

Japan
Japan

Daiki Sasaki

Japan
Japan

Kazuki Hiramine

1m45.698s

1m45.615s

5

3

NDDP/B-Max Nissan

Japan
Japan

Kohei Hirate

Japan
Japan

Katsumasa Chiyo

1m45.917s

1m45.890s

6

16

Mugen Honda

Japan
Japan

Hideki Mutoh

Japan
Japan

Ukyo Sasahara

1m46.254s

1m45.920s

7

38

Cerumo Toyota

Japan
Japan

Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan
Japan

Yuji Tachikawa

1m46.215s

1m46.664s

8

100

Kunimitsu Honda

Japan
Japan

Naoki Yamamoto

Japan
Japan

Tadasuke Makino

1m46.005s

1m46.907s

9

17

Real Racing Honda

Japan
Japan

Koudai Tsukakoshi

Belgium
Belgium

Bertrand Baguette

1m46.529s

10

14

Cerumo Toyota

Japan
Japan

Kazuya Oshima

Japan
Japan

Sho Tsuboi

1m46.673s

11

37

TOM'S Toyota

New Zealand
New Zealand

Nick Cassidy

Japan
Japan

Ryo Hirakawa

1m46.796s

12

36

TOM'S Toyota

Japan
Japan

Yuhi Sekiguchi

France
France

Sacha Fenestraz

1m46.805s

13

24

Kondo Nissan

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Jann Mardenborough

Japan
Japan

Mitsunori Takaboshi

1m46.924s

14

39

SARD Toyota

Japan
Japan

Yuichi Nakayama

Finland
Finland

Heikki Kovalainen

1m48.324s

15

23

NISMO Nissan

Italy
Italy

Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan
Japan

Tsugio Matsuda

1m54.508s