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CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R WINS SUPER GT POLE POSITION AT FUJI

The qualifying for the FUJI GT 500km RACE, Round 2 of the 2016 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, was held at the Fuji Speedway (one lap 4.563 km) in Shizuoka Prefecture on May 3. In the GT500 class, the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R driven by Hironobu Yasuda and Joao Paulo de Oliveira won pole position. In the GT300 class, the No. 55 ARTA BMW M6 GT3 (Shinichi Takagi/Takashi Kobayashi) won the class pole. Both top qualifiers showed their speed by breaking the class course records for Fuji Speedway. These two cars will start from front position on their respective class starting grids in the race on May 4.CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R

SUPER GT qualifying is conducted in a “knock-out” format with two sessions (Q1, Q2). It is a tough format in that the cars failing to finish among the designated number of top qualifiers in Q1 fail to move on to Q2 and are thus “knocked out” the qualifying at that point. In the GT500 class only the eight fastest of the 15 cars in the class qualify for Q2.

May 3rd in the middle of Japan’s “Golden Week” holidays brought cloudy skies to Fuji Speedway, but there was no fear of rain. The Q1 session for the GT500 class started from 14:50. It was the Nissan GT-R teams that initially showed the best speed. The winner of this season’s opening round at Okayama, the No. 1 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R
(Tsugio Matsuda), was the first to post a top time, but it was soon topped by the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Hironobu Yasuda). Then the GT500 rookie that performed so well in the opening round, Katsumasa Chiyo in the No. 46 S Road CRAFTSPORTS GT-R, moved to the top of the time board with a time of 1’27.366, beating the old course record (1’27.552) as well as the senior GT-R drivers. In the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R, Yasuda also set a personal best to eventually finish the session in 2nd position. These results put Chiyo in 1st position in Q1 for the second straight round, following the one in Okayama.
In the Q2 session that would decide the pole position winner, the driver of the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R, Joao Paulo de Oliveira, ran a magnificent attack lap of 1’27.453 to beat Yasuda’s record-breaking lap from Q1 and place him atop the time board. Doing their best to attempt to better this time were perennial top competitors, the No. 46 S Road CRAFTSPORTS GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama) and the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO RC F (Yuji Tachikawa), but both fell short and ended up 2nd and 3rd respectively. These results gave the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R its first pole position of the season.
For De Oliveira this was his third GT500 class pole position and his first since the 7th round at Autopolis last year. For the Nissan GT-R, it was the first pole of the new season.

In the GT300 class, the No. 55 ARTA BMW M6 GT3 driven by Shinichi Takagi was the fastest in Q1, with a course record. In Q2, Takagi’s driving partner Takashi Kobayashi beat his teammate’s newly set record with a time of 1’35.707 to take the GT300 class pole. This was the first pole position for the BMW M6 GT3, which is making its
debut appearance in SUPER GT this season. For Kobayashi, this is his second pole position in the GT300 class (he also has one in the GT500 class).bmw m6 super gt

Pole Position Winner Comments

No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R [GT500]
Joao Paulo de Oliveira: “We were able to record faster times than our rivals from this morning’s practice session. But, due to minor trouble, Hironobu [Yasuda] wasn’t able to do any time attacks with new tires, and we had to go into the afternoon qualifying sessions without that information. But, in Q1 Hironobu managed to get us through to Q2 and also got us some good information, so I was able to attack hard with no worries in Q2. The machine’s condition is excellent. Tomorrow’s will be a long race, but all we have to do is
concentrate and run our race.”

No. 55 ARTA BMW M6 GT3 [GT300]
Takashi Kobayashi: “Normally, I am the one who usually drives in Q1 and tries to get a good time to put the pressure on [Shinichi] Takagi-san. But today, we had machine trouble in the [morning] official practice that kept me from getting almost any running time. So, it was decided that Takagi-san would drive in Q1. When he did, he got the fastest time in the session, and to tell the truth, that put a lot of pressure on me as I drove in Q2. But, I was able to make my time attacks without worrying about anything and I got the pole position for us. So, I have to say I am relieved.”

Source. Super GT

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