Sasaki, Mardenborough lead in Buriram final practice

Daiki Sasaki (#24 Forum Engineering GT-R) and Jann Mardenborough (#3 B-Max GT-R) recorded the quickest times in Sunday’s Free Run morning practice session for the Buriram Super GT Race in Thailand.

Sasaki’s best time of 1:25.929 led the GT500 class, but he and co-driver Masataka Yanagida will have a long road ahead as they will start 13th in the GT500 field today.

In GT300, Mardenborough’s 1:34.081 lap time paced the field by nearly three-tenths of a second, boding well for him and Kazuki Hoshino, as they start from the front row with a chance to win three consecutive races in Buriram.

The #6 Wako’s RC-F (Kazuya Oshima/Andrea Caldarelli) was second in GT500, ahead of the #37 KeePer TOM’s RC-F (James Rossiter/Ryo Hirakawa), the pole-sitting #19 WedsSport RC-F (Yuhi Sekiguchi/Yuji Kunimoto), and the #12 Calsonic Impul GT-R (Hironobu Yasuda/Joao Paulo de Oliveira) completing the top five.

Fastest of the Hondas was the Dunlop-clad #64 Epson NSX (Daisuke Nakajima/Bertrand Baguette) in ninth place, and the championship leading #1 Motul GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli) was shotgun on the timesheets in fifteenth.

The GT300 polesitters, the #25 VivaC 86 MC (Takeshi Tsuchiya/Takamitsu Matsui) were second in the final practice session, ahead of the #11 Gainer Tanax AMG (Katsuyuki Hiranaka/Bjorn Wirdheim), the #55 ARTA BMW M6 (Shinichi Takagi/Takashi Kobayashi), and the #63 Direction Lamborghini Huracan (Adrian Zaugg/Naoki Yokomizo).

The championship-leading #61 Subaru BRZ (Takuto Iguchi/Hideki Yamauchi) was thirteenth-quickest out of twenty-four entries. Morgan Haber was fastest of the wildcards in the #28 Vattana BMW M6, placing eleventh.

One other note, the #2 Syntium Apple Lotus Evora (Kazuho Takahashi/Hiroki Katoh) did not run at all for the second straight session, after a crash in Saturday’s practice session left them to miss qualifying. Their participation in this race now seems very doubtful going into the 3:00 PM local start time.

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