Fuji Super GT: ARTA leads Honda front row lockout

Jamie Klein
·3-min read

After qualifying second to the best of the Toyota GR Supras three weeks ago during the opening round, Nojiri went one better this time around at the wheel of the #8 Honda NSX-GT with a 1m27.300s laptime at the end of the 10-minute pole shootout.

That was enough to beat Koudai Tsukakoshi in the #17 Real Racing Honda by 0.159s.

However, ARTA only barely qualified for Q2 as Nojiri's teammate Nirei Fukuzumi just scraped through Q1 in eighth place after a Turn 1 lock-up.

Both the #8 and #17 Hondas are benefitting from the weight handicap system this weekend, with ARTA carrying only 6kg of ballast after finishing eighth in the season opener and the Real car carrying none at all after failing to score last time out.

By contrast, all five of the Bridgestone-shod Toyotas are carrying ballast this time around following their lockout of the top-five in the curtain-raiser.

The lightest of those, the #39 SARD machine, was third-fastest and best of the non-Hondas in the hands of GT500 rookie Sena Sakaguchi, 0.429s off the pace.

Sakaguchi, who is standing in for the absent Heikki Kovalainen at SARD, narrowly outpaced the best of the Nissan GT-Rs, the #12 Impul car of Daiki Sasaki in fourth.

Nissan's flagship Michelin-shod NISMO car was fifth-fastest with Ronnie Quintarelli at the wheel, best of the non-Bridgestone cars and within half a second of pole.

#6 ADVICS muta MC86

#6 ADVICS muta MC86 <span class="copyright">GTA</span>
#6 ADVICS muta MC86 GTA

GTA

Super Formula driver Toshiki Oyu fell only 0.108s short in the #55 ARTA Honda NSX GT3 to take second, while Hiroki Katoh made it two 'mother chassis'-based cars in the top three in the #2 Cars Tokai Dream28 Lotus Evora MC, which had topped its Q1 group earlier.

The works R&D Sport Subaru BRZ also topped its Q1 segment but had to settle to fourth ahead of the LEON Mercedes-AMG GT3 that took pole for the Fuji opener three weeks ago.

Carrying 60kg of ballast a result of its victory last time, Saitama Toyopet's all-new GR Supra GT300 qualified a respectable ninth in the 30-car field in the hands of Kohta Kawaai.

GT500 qualifying results:

1

8

ARTA Honda

Japan
Japan

 Tomoki Nojiri

Japan
Japan

 Nirei Fukuzumi

1m27.991s

1m27.300s

2

17

Real Racing Honda

Japan
Japan

 Koudai Tsukakoshi

Belgium
Belgium

 Bertrand Baguette

1m27.952s

1m27.459s

3

39

SARD Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Yuichi Nakayama

Japan
Japan

 Sena Sakaguchi

1m27.602s

1m27.729s

4

12

Impul Nissan

Japan
Japan

 Daiki Sasaki

Japan
Japan

 Kazuki Hiramine

1m27.634s

1m27.795s

5

23

NISMO Nissan

Italy
Italy

 Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan
Japan

 Tsugio Matsuda

1m27.971s

1m27.799s

6

36

TOM'S Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Yuhi Sekiguchi

France
France

 Sacha Fenestraz

1m27.887s

1m27.863s

7

100

Kunimitsu Honda

Japan
Japan

 Naoki Yamamoto

Japan
Japan

 Tadasuke Makino

1m27.328s

1m27.987s

8

14

Cerumo Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Kazuya Oshima

Japan
Japan

 Sho Tsuboi

1m27.959s

1m28.049s

9

16

Mugen Honda

Japan
Japan

 Hideki Mutoh

Japan
Japan

 Ukyo Sasahara

1m28.089s

 

10

37

TOM'S Toyota

New Zealand
New Zealand

 Nick Cassidy

Japan
Japan

 Ryo Hirakawa

1m28.094s

 

11

38

Cerumo Toyota

Japan
Japan

 Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan
Japan

 Yuji Tachikawa

1m28.101s

 

12

19

NDDP/B-Max Nissan

Japan
Japan

 Kohei Hirate

Japan
Japan

 Katsumasa Chiyo

1m28.168s

 

13

64

Nakajima Honda

Japan
Japan

 Takuya Izawa

Japan
Japan

 Hiroki Otsu

1m28.197s

 

14

12

Impul Nissan

Japan
Japan

 Yuji Kunimoto

Japan
Japan

 Ritomo Miyata

1m28.236s

 

15

24

Kondo Nissan

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

 Jann Mardenborough

Japan
Japan

 Mitsunori Takaboshi

1m29.073s