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Nakajima, Lexus Team au TOM’s Lead Second Test Day At Motegi

Long runs the focus of Tuesday testing; Goodsmile Racing fastest in GT300

Race simulations and finding the setups for the final two races of the season were the focus for the teams in the second day of a two-day Super GT test at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.

Once again, it was the Lexus LC500s that had the pace in testing, as the #36 au TOM’s LC500 of Kazuki Nakajima and Yuhi Sekiguchi recorded the fastest time on Tuesday morning, with a best lap of 1’37.610 recorded in the second hour of the morning test by Nakajima, who’ll travel to Fuji Speedway this weekend for the WEC 6 Hours of Fuji.

They were a half-second clear of the #6 Wako’s 4CR LC500 (Kazuya Oshima/Felix Rosenqvist) in 2nd, and the #23 Motul Autech NISMO GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli) in 3rd. Best of the Hondas was the #8 ARTA NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Takuya Izawa) in 5th place, while the championship-leading #100 Raybrig NSX-GT (Naoki Yamamoto/Jenson Button) focused the entire day on race pace with ballast onboard, and ranked only 13th-fastest on the day.

Track temperatures jumped during the middle of the morning session from 25°C to 35°C, and the conditions remained the same for the fourth and final two-hour afternoon session – with no major incidents to report in either session of the test.

Once again, it was a Lexus 1-2, led by the #6 Wako’s 4CR LC500 of Felix Rosenqvist. Rosenqvist, who announced on 28 September that he will join the IndyCar Series full-time from 2019, is wrapping up his brief stay in Super GT at the end of the season.

His best lap of the fourth session was 1’38.814, a tenth better than the best lap set by Ryo Hirakawa in the #1 KeePer TOM’s LC500 (with Nick Cassidy) in 2nd. The #16 Motul Mugen NSX-GT (Hideki Mutoh/Daisuke Nakajima) was 3rd, ahead of the #12 Calsonic Impul GT-R (Daiki Sasaki/Jann Mardenborough) in 4th.

In the GT300 class, the #0 Goodsmile Hatsune Miku Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Tatsuya Kataoka led the day with a best lap of 1’47.391, followed by the #7 D’station Porsche 911 GT3-R of Tomonobu Fujii in 2nd, and Kohei Hirate in the #31 Toyota Prius apr GT (with Koki Saga) in 3rd.

During the afternoon session, where teams once again prioritized race setups, the #61 Subaru BRZ R&D Sport (Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi) was quickest, followed by the #60 Syntium LM Corsa Lexus RC F GT3 (Hiroki Yoshimoto/Ritomo Miyata) in 2nd, and in 3rd, the #25 Hoppy Toyota 86 MC (Takamitsu Matsui/Sho Tsuboi/Kazuto Kotaka) in 3rd.

Kotaka completed another 13 laps to pass his Super GT rookie test, which would certify the 19-year-old rookie candidate to race in the series as early as the 250km season finale at Motegi on 10-11 November.

The championship-leading #55 ARTA BMW M6 GT3 (Shinichi Takagi/Sean Walkinshaw) was 7th-fastest today, after finishing 14th fastest on Monday.


Images courtesy of the GT Association (GTA)