The #16 Motul Mugen Honda NSX-GT of Hideki Mutoh and Daisuke Nakajima was the fastest car on the first day of the two-day Official Test Session for the Autobacs Super GT Series at Sportsland Sugo.
Leading a Honda 1-2 order at the top of the GT500 standings, the fastest time of the Mugen NSX and the #17 Keihin NSX-GT (Koudai Tsukakoshi/Takashi Kogure) were separated by just 0.008 seconds in the afternoon session on Saturday!
Honda’s mid-engined NSX-GT led both sessions, with the #8 ARTA NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Takashi Kobayashi) going fastest in a morning session interrupted by several red flags. Nojiri’s best time of the morning, a 1:12.056, was the fifth-fastest time of the day overall, followed by the #6 Wako’s 4CR Lexus LC500 (Kazuya Oshima/Andrea Caldarelli), and the #24 Forum Engineering Advan Nissan GT-R (Daiki Sasaki/João Paulo de Oliveira) second and third.
The top three cars in the morning session, representing the trio of GT500 manufacturers, were covered by just 0.137 seconds.
In the afternoon session, Hideki Mutoh set the fastest time of the day aboard the #16 Mugen NSX-GT, a 1:11.787 – 1.2 seconds slower than the current GT500 lap record held by Oshima. Tsukakoshi’s fastest time in the Keihin NSX was a 1:11.795.
The third-fastest car of Day 1 was the #19 WedsSport Advan LC500 (Yuhi Sekiguchi), setting a fastest time of 1:11.905. All in all, a great day for the three teams on Yokohama tyres in GT500, and for Honda, who had four of the top six times of the day.
With their co-drivers at Le Mans, James Rossiter (#36 au TOM’s LC500) and Nick Cassidy (#37 KeePer TOM’s LC500) were the iron men of the test, with Rossiter logging 168 laps, and Cassidy doing 160 laps.
In GT300, the #3 B-Max NDDP Nissan GT-R GT3 (Kazuki Hoshino/Mitsunori Takaboshi) set the quickest lap of the day, with a 1:18.611 from Takaboshi in the morning session. The #21 Hitotsuyama Audi R8 LMS (Richard Lyons/Masataka Yanagida) was second fastest courtesy of Lyons’ 1:18.823, just 0.004 seconds than the pace setter from the afternoon session – the #25 VivaC 86 MC (Takamitsu Matsui/Kenta Yamashita/Takeshi Tsuchiya), who set a 1:18.827.
The #35 Arto Toyota 86 MC 101 (Nattavude Charoensukhawatana/Nattapong Horthongkum) was involved in a heavy crash in the morning session and is unlikely to run on Sunday.