Quintarelli "surprised" by Nissan qualifying speed

Jamie Klein
·2-min read

Quintarelli and his teammate in the works NISMO car, Tsugio Matsuda, launched themselves back into title contention with a shock last-to-first win last time out at Suzuka, leaving them only two points away from the summit of the standings.

While the Yokohama marque moved to downplay its chances of beating GT500 rivals Honda and Toyota after that success, the #23 car ended up as the best-placed of the top five in the championship on the grid for Sunday's Motegi race.

Quintarelli was fourth-fastest in Q2, putting he and Matsuda three places clear of the #36 TOM'S Toyota, five ahead of the #14 Cerumo Toyota and six clear of the #17 Real Racing Honda NSX-GT that won on SUPER GT's previous Motegi visit.


#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R<span class="copyright">Masahide Kamio</span>
#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-RMasahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio

Asked how the #23 Nissan's long-run pace on the Michelin tyre is likely to hold up, Quintarelli said: "We haven’t had chance to do a proper long run, and it’s the first time we use this kind of tyre, so we don’t have much information, just predictions."

Quintarelli admitted that a podium finish this weekend will be needed to keep he and Matsuda realistically in the hunt ahead of the season finale at Fuji Speedway.

However, he is optimistic that Nissan can enjoy a stronger showing at the Toyota-owned Fuji track than it has been able to muster in three visits so far in 2020.

"Our car is better suited to this track layout than Fuji, but I think the car is better now than it was for the previous Fuji rounds," said Quintarelli.

"It’s good to see the improvement from our side. We’ve had a good recovery, and it’s nice for the fans. Especially our fans were very happy after our Suzuka victory and they were starting to dream! It’s good to keep the dream alive."

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