Toyota monopolises top four as wet Fuji SUPER GT test ends

Toyota monopolises top four as wet Fuji SUPER GT test ends

The #14 Rookie Racing Toyota concluded the final official test with the fastest time of 1m39.293s, set by the returning Kenta Yamashita during a phase of slightly lighter rain during the two-hour afternoon session.

That was a little under three seconds slower than the best time recorded by the pace-setting NDDP Racing Nissan on Saturday afternoon, when conditions were at their least treacherous across both days of testing.

All the quickest times of Sunday’s running were set around the same time, with Ukyo Sasahara putting the #37 TOM’S car second on a 1m39.360s, followed by Yuhi Sekiguchi in the SARD Toyota on a 1m40.150s.

Fourth-fastest was the #36 TOM’S car with Ritomo Miyata at the wheel, meaning the four Toyotas running with the new aero device in the bonnet cooling ducts were at the head of the timesheets.

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Best of the non-Toyotas was the #16 ARTA Honda NSX-GT, a little over a second off the pace, followed by the Team Kunimitsu Honda in sixth.

Bridgestone proved the tyre to have in the heavier wet conditions of Sunday, as evidenced by a lockout of the top eight positions in GT500 and the top four in GT300 in the morning session.

Fastest on that occasion was the #36 TOM’S Toyota of Sho Tsuboi with a best time of 1m41.661s.

#36 au TOM'S GR Supra

#36 au TOM’S GR Supra

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

The quicker of the two Michelin-shod NISMO Nissan Zs was only ninth-fastest in the morning and two seconds off the pace, but the #3 car of Katsumasa Chiyo closed the gap to 1.1s when the rain eased during the afternoon session to take the seventh-fastest time of the day.

On the other hand, Ronnie Quintarelli caused the day’s first red flag when he crashed at the 100R right-hander on his out lap in the sister #23 Nissan, which didn’t reappear for the rest of the afternoon.

Yokohama’s new-spec wet tyre, which appeared to work well in the mixed conditions of Saturday afternoon, proved hopelessly off the pace in the full wet conditions prevailing on Sunday.

The Kondo Racing Nissan of Daiki Sasaki completed only nine laps in the afternoon, the best of which was almost 10 seconds off the pace, after registering a single, excruciatingly slow flying lap in the morning.

Toyota squad Racing Project Bandoh didn’t run in the afternoon at all, leaving it at the bottom of the timesheets for the day on the strength of Yuji Kunimoto’s best effort in the morning session.

In the GT300 class, the fastest time of the day belonged to the Saitama Toyopet Green Brave Toyota GR Supra GT, which was one of only seven cars in the class to go out in the afternoon.

Hiroki Yoshida set the benchmark time of 1m48.404s, outpacing the Dunlop-shod works Subaru BRZ of Hideki Yamauchi to the tune of 0.176s.



Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Third-fastest was the Team UpGarage Honda NSX GT3, which caused the second and final red flag of the day when rookie Shun Koide suffered an off at 300R.

Setting the pace in the morning session was the Inging Toyota GR86 GT of Yuui Tsutsumi with a 1m50.762s, followed by Yoshida in the likewise Bridgestone-shod Saitama Toyopet Supra.

Besides the Tsuchiya Engineering Supra that was heavily damaged in a crash on Saturday, nine other cars did not run in the morning session, and all of these ended up sitting out the day entirely.

This group included both JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3s, the Goodsmile Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, the #10 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 and the K-tunes Racing Lexus RC F GT3.

Fuji SUPER GT testing times (GT500 class):

Pos. No. Team/Car Drivers Morning Afternoon
1 14 Rookie Racing/Toyota

Japan Kazuya Oshima

Japan Kenta Yamashita

1’41.751 1’39.293
2 37 TOM’S/Toyota

France Giuliano Alesi

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

1’44.861 1’39.960
3 39 SARD/Toyota

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

1’43.182 1’40.150
4 36 TOM’S/Toyota

Japan Sho Tsuboi

Japan Ritomo Miyata

1’41.661 1’40.327
5 16 ARTA/Honda

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

Japan Hiroki Otsu

1’42.381 1’40.337
6 100 Kunimitsu/Honda

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

1’43.211 1’40.389
7 3 NDDP Racing/Nissan

Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

1’50.452 1’40.471
8 8 ARTA/Honda

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Toshiki Oyu

1’41.946 1’40.714
9 38 Cerumo/Toyota

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

1’43.695 1’41.061
10 1 Impul/Nissan

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

1’45.805 1’41.417
11 17 Real Racing/Honda

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

1’43.918 1’41.514
12 64 Nakajima Racing/Honda

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Kakunoshin Ota

1’45.346 1’43.753
13 23 NISMO/Nissan

Italy Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

1’44.302 no time
14 24 Kondo Racing/Nissan

Japan Daiki Sasaki

Japan Kohei Hirate

2’07.350 1’49.016
15 19 Racing Project Bandoh/Toyota

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

1’54.123 no time

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