WedsSport RC-F leads opening practice at Buriram

Yuhi Sekiguchi turned in the fastest lap of Saturday’s opening practice session at the Buriram Super GT Race in Thailand, heading up a Yokohama Advan 1-2 result in GT500 aboard his #19 WedsSport Lexus RC-F with Yuji Kunimoto.

Sekiguchi’s lap time of 1:24.929 was just two-tenths off of the course record at Chang International Circuit, and only 0.006 seconds faster than second-placed Daiki Sasaki in the #24 Forum Engineering Nissan GT-R.

In GT300, #25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC driver and championship contender Takamitsu Matsui shattered the old GT300 lap record at Buriram, going quicker by over a half-second than the rest of the field.

Behind Sekiguchi and Sasaki, Koudai Tsukakoshi turned the only other sub-1:25s lap time in his #17 Keihin Honda NSX, a 1:24.986, to go third-fastest.

Tadasuke Makino made an immediate impression in his first GT500 practice session, earning high praise from the team including co-driver Hideki Mutoh for his consistency and feedback, and going fourth-quickest in the #15 Drago NSX with a 1:25.169. Hironobu Yasuda (#12 Calsonic GT-R) was fifth-fastest.

Katsumasa Chiyo went sixth-fastest in his first practice session back from injury, in the first of the Michelin-clad cars, the #46 S Road GT-R.

GT500 championship leaders Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli could do no better than eleventh in the max-ballasted #1 Motul NISMO GT-R, and Suzuka 1000km winner Yuji Tachikawa was 13th fastest in the #38 ZENT Cerumo RC-F.

In GT300, Matsui’s fastest lap of 1:32.895 broke the old lap record for GT300 cars by 0.612 seconds (previously held by Alexandre Imperatori in 2014), and was 0.533 seconds quicker than the best lap of Hiroki Katoh in the #2 Syntium Apple Lotus Evora MC.

Behind Katoh, the #11 Gainer Tanax Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Bjorn Wirdheim) was third quickest, the #88 ManePa Lamborghini Huracan (Manabu Orido) was fourth, and the #31 apr Toyota Prius GT (Koki Saga) was fifth.

The two-time and defending race winners, the #3 B-Max GT-R of Kazuki Hoshino and Jann Mardenborough, was seventh-fastest in GT300.

Nattavude Charoensukhawatana ensured the #35 Arto 86 MC was quickest of the two wildcard teams, going 15th fastest, one place ahead of Australian rookie Morgan Haber’s best time in the #28 Vattana BMW M6.

They were both quicker than the championship-leading #61 Subaru BRZ (Hideki Yamauchi), which was only 20th fastest at +94kg of ballast, one place ahead of the #55 ARTA BMW M6 (Takashi Kobayashi) in 21st – two title contenders in GT500 struggling for pace in the opening practice.


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