Motegi Super GT: Honda locks out top three in qualifying

Jamie Klein
·2-min read

Hiroki Otsu had topped Q1 at the wheel of Nakajima's Dunlop-shod #64 Honda NSX-GT with a time of 1m36.368s, and teammate Izawa narrowly bettered that with a 1m36.140s - enough for the top spot by a margin of nearly half a second.

#100 RAYBRIG NSX-GT

#100 RAYBRIG NSX-GT<span class="copyright">Masahide Kamio</span>
#100 RAYBRIG NSX-GTMasahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio

Behind the leading trio, Ronnie Quintarelli qualified the championship-contending NISMO Nissan GT-R (carrying 45kg) fourth, and was the last driver to get within a second of Izawa.

#61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT

#61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT<span class="copyright">Masahide Kamio</span>
#61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORTMasahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio

Despite carrying 51kg of success ballast, Iguchi topped his Q1 group and Yamauchi followed that up with a 1m46.200s effort in Q2 to take Subaru's first pole of the season and narrowing the gap to the head of the standings to 16 points.

Hironobu Yasuda had gone even faster than that in the second Q1 group, setting a 1m46.157s at the wheel of the #11 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 (62kg). But teammate Katsuyuki Hiranaka couldn't match that pace, setting a 1m46.433s to slot in third behind the ballast-free #244 Max Racing Lexus RC F of Rintaro Kubo.

In his first SUPER GT qualifying session, ex-Formula 2 racer Nobuharu Matsushita put the #55 ARTA Honda NSX GT3 (57kg) 12th on the grid, 1.4s off the pace.

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Matsushita not treating Super GT call-up as 2021 audition

The points-leading LEON Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (77kg) was knocked out in Q1 and will start Sunday's race down in 20th on the grid, one place ahead of the race winner last time out, the Team Hitotsuyama Audi R8 LMS (44kg).

GT500 qualifying results:

1

64

Nakajima Honda

Japan
Japan

 Takuya Izawa

Japan
Japan

 Hiroki Otsu

1m36.368s

1m36.140s

2

8

ARTA Honda

 

Japan
Japan

 Tomoki Nojiri

Japan
Japan

 Nirei Fukuzumi

1m36.861s

1m36.593s

3

100

Kunimitsu Honda

Japan
Japan

 Naoki Yamamoto

Japan
Japan

 Tadasuke Makino

1m36.825s

1m36.779s

4

23

NISMO Nissan

Italy
Italy

 Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan
Japan

 Tsugio Matsuda 

1m37.233s

1m36.885s

5

19

Bandoh Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Yuji Kunimoto

Japan
Japan

 Ritomo Miyata

1m36.714s

1m37.151s

6

38

Cerumo Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan
Japan

 Yuji Tachikawa

1m37.226s

1m37.173s

7

36

TOM'S Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Yuhi Sekiguchi

France
France

 Sacha Fenestraz

1m37.271s

1m37.500s

8

3

NDDP/B-Max Nissan

Japan
Japan

 Kohei Hirate

Japan
Japan

 Katsumasa Chiyo

1m37.078s

1m46.060s

9

14

Cerumo Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Kazuya Oshima

Japan
Japan

 Sho Tsuboi

1m37.304s

 

10

17

Real Racing Honda

Japan
Japan

 Koudai Tsukakoshi

Belgium
Belgium

 Bertrand Baguette

1m37.328s

 

11

16

Mugen Honda

Japan
Japan

 Hideki Mutoh

Japan
Japan

 Ukyo Sasahara

1m37.463s

 

12

39

SARD Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Yuichi Nakayama

Finland
Finland

 Heikki Kovalainen

1m37.564s

 

13

37

TOM'S Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Ryo Hirakawa

Japan
Japan

 Kenta Yamashita

1m37.572s

 

14

12

Impul Nissan

Japan
Japan

 Daiki Sasaki

Japan
Japan

 Kazuki Hiramine

1m37.615s

 

15

24

Kondo Nissan

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

 Jann Mardenborough

Japan
Japan

 Mitsunori Takaboshi

1m37.860s