Heavy rain kept all but a small handful of the teams in the garage for Saturday morning’s Super GT test session at Suzuka Circuit, with only fourteen of the 42 cars entered for the test session doing a lap at speed in the horrid conditions.
Still, Kiwi rookie Nick Cassidy set the fastest time in the downpour, his au TOM’s Lexus RC-F recording a fastest lap of 2:14.643.
Like most drivers who spent the session signing autographs, taking photos and shooting the breeze with their friends in the paddock, Cassidy still had plenty of energy for some friendly banter on Twitter with NDDP’s Jann Mardenborough just minutes after setting the fastest time of the morning session:
Going second-fastest was the Calsonic Impul Nissan GT-R of Hironobu Yasuda and J.P. Oliveira, the Brazilian recording a 2:17.828, 3.2 seconds slower than Cassidy’s best time.
The fastest Yokohama Advan-clad car was the WedsSport Bandoh RC-F (Yuhi Sekiguchi / Yuji Kunimoto), in third place. The Michelin-equipped Motul NISMO GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda / Ronnie Quintarelli) was fourth-quickest, possibly running at the maximum 100kg of success ballast.
The only Honda on the board was the number 100 Raybrig NSX (Naoki Yamamoto / Takuya Izawa) in fifth place overall.
Kazuki Hiramine in the ManePa JLOC Lamborghini Huracan led a surprising 1-2 for the Italian Bulls in GT300, going sixth fastest on the outright timesheets with a best lap of 2:33.554 in the final minutes of the session. The Direction 108 Racing Huracan of Kyosuke Mineo was second in class, seventh overall, but just under five seconds slower than the ManePa Huracan.
Third-quickest in the Sanbyaku was the number 111 EVA RT-01 Mercedes AMG of Rn-sports (Masayuki Ueda / Kazuya Tsuruta / Keishi Ishikawa).
With the rain likely to last all afternoon, is unlikely that yesterday’s benchmark times set by Hideki Mutoh in GT500, and Hiroki Katoh in GT300 respectively, will be threatened in the afternoon’s fourth and final session of the two-day test.