Qualifying for the Takanokono Hotel FUJI GT 500km RACE, Round 2 of the 2021 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series, took place on May 3rd (Mon., holiday) at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture. The GT500 class Pole Position was won by Ritomo Miyata in the No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra (Yuji Kunimoto/Ritomo Miyata). The GT300 class pole was taken by Hideki Yamauchi in the No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT (Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi). These two cars will start from the front of their respective class grids in tomorrow’s race starting at 2:30 in the afternoon.
On this day, there were clear skies from morning over Fuji Speedway. The Q1 session of the GT500 class qualifying began at 3:03 in the afternoon. The No. 38 ZENT CERUMO GR Supra (Hiroaki Ishiura) was first to set a target time atop the time board of 1’27.815. Then, the NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT500 car No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda) beat that to take top position by just two 10ths of a sec. with a time of 1’27.569. Then it was time for a high-level battle between the TOYOTA GR Supra GT500 and Honda NSX-GT cars. The result of this contest, the top time finally went to the No. 14 ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra (Kenta Yamashita) with a time of 1’27.176, while 2nd fastest was the No. 8 ARTA NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri) with a 1’27.195 lap. The fastest of the GT-R cars was the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R, which just barely qualified to Q2.
The 10-minute GT500 class Q2 session was contested by the fastest eight machines from Q1. The session started with Yuji Tachikawa in the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO GR Supra beating the top time of car No. 14 in Q1 with a fast lap of 1’27.114. Then the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli) ran a lap just a 10th of a second slower to move into 2nd position on the time board. With this, it looked like the pole winner was decided, until Ritomo Miyata in the No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra recorded a time of 1’26.496 to take the top spot away from car No. 38. Then the No. 8 ARTA NSX-GT (Nirei Fukuzumi) came in with a time of 1’26.499, just 0.003 sec. behind to settle into 2nd position. This gave Miyata in the No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra his first-ever Pole Position. Qualifying in the 2nd and 3rd positions were the No. 8 ARTA NSX-GT and the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO GR Supra. The No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R ended the qualifying in 7th position.
The GT300 class Q1 was competed in two groups, A and B. The fastest car in Group A was the No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT (Takuto Iguchi), while the fastest in Group B was the No. 60 SYNTIUM LMcorsa GR Supra GT (Shunsuke Kohno). The following Q2 session was contested by the fastest eight cars of the two groups, for a total of 16 cars. In the last two minutes of this Q2 session, the SUPER GT rookie Ren Sato in the No. 55 ARTA NSX GT3 recorded a top time, but only to see Hideki Yamauchi in car No. 61record a best time of 1’35.343. This gave the No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT with its new car debuting this year their first Pole Position of the season. Qualifying 2nd was the No. 55 ARTA NSX GT3. Third place went to the No. 60 SYNTIUM LMcorsa GR Supra GT.
Pole Position winner comments
No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra
“Last year we got a top time in Q1 but weren’t able to get a good result in the end, so this year I talked with Kunimoto-san and the team and we agreed to try to get a good flow going from the qualifying. Finally, I was able to get the top time in Q2, so I’m very happy. In Q1, Kunimoto-san made a really good time attack for us, so we took advantage of the data from that and I was able to go all-out and attack hard in Q2. The race is a long 500 kilometers. We have to run it while putting as little stress as possible on the car and the tires, so I want to approach it from a different perspective from this qualifying. This will be the first time I am starting from Pole Position, but I am going to do my best to keep from losing position in my stint.”
No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT
“The team put together a good car set-up for us, and Dunlop prepared some very good tires, so I was able to make a good time attack. And most important of all, I was able to make the most of the advice Iguchi-san gave me after his Q1 run. I want to tell Iguchi-san how much that helped me. I’m really grateful. Tomorrow, I want to do my very best to show that this team, that all of us are the strongest out there.”
Source. Super GT