Super GT Round 3 at Fuji – Lexus SC430 Dominates Qualifying

Lexus secured a 1-2-3 position in the GT500 Class after the qualifying session for the 3rd Round of the Autobacs Super GT 2010 Series ended at the Fuji International Speedway. On pole is the MJ KRAFT SC430 (above) of Hiroaki Ishiura and Kazuya Oshima, joined by the PETRONAS TOM’S SC430 of Juichi Wakisaka and Andre Lotterer on the front row. The most impressive performance was from the ENEOS SC430, the leader in the driver’s point ranking. Although with a 42 kg handicap, 28 kg more than pole position winner and 4 kg more than 2nd place PETRONAS TOM’S SC430, the driver pairing of Daisuke Ito and Bjorn Wirdheim managed to secure third spot on the grid.

The Lexus SC430 is clearly the car to beat here, as the Nissan GTR and the Honda HSV-010 struggles for pace and couldn’t challenge for pole. All the 3 last spots on the grid will be occupied by the Honda HSV-010, despite their early dominance with 2 pole positions in the first two rounds. The highest qualifying spot for the GTR is occupied by the MOTUL AUTECH GT-R of Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer in 4th place.

In the GT300 Class, it’s two Porsches on the front row of the grid, led by the HANKOOK PORSCHE (above) of Mitsuhiro Kinoshita, Masami Kageyama and Tomonobu Fujii ahead of the ZENT Porsche RSR of Akihiro Tsuzuki and Takeshi Tsuchiya. In 3rd is the COROLLA Axio apr GT of Takuto Iguchi and Yuji Kunimoto while the leader in the driver’s point ranking, the pairing of the UP START MOLA Z’s Naoki Yokomizo and Tsubasa Abe will start from 18th place on the grid.

Pole position winner comments :

No. 35 MJ KRAFT SC430 [GT500]

Kazuya Oshima: “So far this season the car has been running very well, but we have been unable to get good results in the first two rounds because of my mistakes. I had a lot of pent-up frustration as a result, and it looks like it all just exploded today [in my good performance]. Our team has done well here at Fuji before, so we came here with the intention of winning again this time. The flow has been good this week and I want to keep this momentum going into tomorrow’s race.”

Hiroaki Ishiura: “Before the qualifying, I was saying that I hoped we would get the pole position and, half jokingly, I said it would be good to run a time in the 1 min. 33 sec. range. I never expected [Oshima] to actually do it. That is just how amazing a time his 1 min. 33.5 sec. was out there today. The setting of the new aero parts and the balance of the car has gone well. I want to run clear from the pole position like last year when we won at Suzuka.”


Masami Kageyama: “When I heard Tsuchiya’s (car No. 25) time while waiting in the pit, I thought it would be hard to win the class pole. But, as a veteran, I was determined to give it my best shot. In fact, tomorrow is my birthday and I wanted to make it a good day. I think this time is due to the fact that we put everything into getting the pole position.”

Mitsuhiro Kinoshita: “I believed that since it was Kageyama out there driving for us, we would get a good result. Since round two at Okayama we have been using a new tire spec and that has produced good results for us. The car is in very good condition, so we only had a few slight adjustments to make. Also, it will be to our advantage if the temperature is high again for tomorrow’s race.”

Tomonobu Fujii: “I have just joined as a member of this team for the first time with this round. I don’t have much experience driving the Porsche, but just from watching, I thought that Kageyama’s run out there today was very good, with no mistakes. I thought it was a very well-run lap.”

Photo : Masaaki Kitagawa
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