The official qualifying for the MOTEGI GT 300km RACE, Round 7 of the 2021 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series, was held at the Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi Prefecture on November 6 (Sat.). In the GT500 class, the No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra driven by Yuji Kunimoto and Ritomo Miyata won its second Pole Position of the season following the in Round 2 at Fuji Speedway. In the GT300 class, Natori won his personal first pole position in the No. 18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3 (Takashi Kobayashi/Teppei Natori) with a course record time.
The GT500 class’s 10-minute Q1 session began at 2:53 in the afternoon under clear autumn skies. The first car to take to the track after the start of the session was the No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra (Yuji Kunimoto). The other 14 cars began to leave the pit area with about seven minutes remaining in the session. As the cars from each team began to record their best times, it was the No. 24 Realize corporation ADVAN GT-R (Mitsunori Takaboshi) and the No. 17 Astemo NSX-GT (Koudai Tsukakoshi) that unbelievably ran exactly the same time of 1’36.602. Since the regulation states that the first to record the time in such a case is given the leading place, this put car No. 24 in 1st position and No. 17 in 2nd as the Q1 session ended. The top finisher among the TOYOTA GR Supra GT500 cars was No. 19 in 6th position. It turned out to be a very competitive Q1 session with the top seven cars all recording times within a span of just 0.3 seconds.
The 10-minute GT500 class Q2 session to decide the pole position for Round 7 started at 3:31 in the afternoon. The first to enter the track was Ronnie Quintarelli in the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R, and after one lap of warmup he recorded a time of 1’37.305. Just after that, the No. 24 Realize corporation ADVAN GT-R (Daiki Sasaki) made a big improvement to its time with a lap of 1’36.071 to top the time board. But after that, the No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra (Ritomo Miyata) beat that with a time of 1’35.839. After that, there were no cars that could beat the time of No. 19 or 2nd-place No. 24, so with this, the No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra (Yuji Kunimoto/Ritomo Miyata) took its second Pole Position of the season following the in Round 2 at Fuji Speedway.
It happens that this was the first time that a GT500 car running on Yokohama tires has taken pole position at Motegi. Finishing the qualifying in 2nd position was the No. 24 Realize corporation ADVAN GT-R (Mitsunori Takaboshi /Daiki Sasaki), which meant that cars running on Yokohama tires took the top two positions. Finishing in 3rd position was the winner of the last round, the No. 8 ARTA NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Nirei Fukuzumi), which meant that all three makers got one car in the top three.
The GT300 class was divided into two groups, A and B, and in Group A the fastest qualifier was the No. 11 GAINER TANAX GT-R (Hironobu Yasuda), while in Group B it was the No. 35 arto RC F GT3 (Giuliano Alesi). In the ensuing Q2 session for the top eight qualifiers in the two groups, meaning a total of 16 cars, it was Teppei Natori in the No. 18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3 that beat the existing course record (1’45.907) with a time of 1’45.654. This gave GT300 class pole position to the No. 18 team (Takashi Kobayashi/Teppei Natori). For the GT300 class rookie, Natori, this was his first pole position. Qualifying in 2nd position was the ranking leader, the No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT (Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi), despite carrying the highest load of Success Weight in class of 75 kg. Qualifying in 3rd position was the 3rd-ranked No. 55 ARTA NSX GT3 (Shinichi Takagi/Ren Sato).
Pole Position winner comments
No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra
“Since we had finished the morning practice at the very bottom of the class for the first time, I never thought that we would get pole position. When Kunimoto san got us through Q1, the team with the top time was also a Yokohama tire user, so I thought I also had a chance. So, as I it came time for the Q2 session, I told myself that this was going to be different from the morning practice. Since I had decided that I was just going to give it my best shot, I think that is what enabled me to get such a good time.”
No.18 UPGARAGE NSX GT3
“I feel just great! The car’s condition was so good. But I made mistakes in both my first and second time attacks, so I am not really satisfied with my performance. But I am very happy that we got pole position anyway. I though a course record was within our reach, but to tell the truth, I wanted to get a time that put us even further ahead of 2nd place.”
Source. Super GT