Nissan in charge as SUPER GT testing kicks off at Suzuka

A total of eight cars were in action at the Japanese Grand Prix venue for the first day of a two-day test that marks the first GT500 group running of the year.

Nissan was the best represented marque, with all four of its new Z machines that will race in 2022 in attendance along with an extra NISMO test car.

It was this car that set the fastest time of the day, a 1m44.846s, ahead of the likewise Michelin-shod #23 NISMO and #3 NDDP Racing machines.

Honda convert Bertrand Baguette had his first experience in the #12 Impul Z that he will share with Kazuki Hiramine this season, having been finally unveiled as a Nissan driver on Tuesday morning.

Impul’s Bridgestone-equipped car was fastest in the morning session with a best time of 1m45.168s, but was only fifth in the afternoon behind the sole Honda in attendance, the Real Racing NSX-GT.

Tuesday marked new signing Nobuharu Matsushita’s first running aboard the Astemo-backed car, which was running with Type S-spec bodywork.

Both of Yokohama’s two GT500 entries were present at Suzuka – the Kondo Racing Nissan, which was sixth fastest and slowest of the Z contingent, and Racing Project Bandoh’s Toyota GR Supra.

The only other Toyota present was a test car on Bridgestone tyres, the #90 machine. Cerumo pair Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura were among those on driving duties, along with reigning champion and TOM’S man Sho Tsuboi.

Dunlop was the only GT500 tyre manufacturer not represented at Suzuka, but was present for a Honda test at Fuji Speedway, where Nakajima Racing’s #64 machine was in action along with ARTA’s #8 NSX-GT and an additional test car.

Testing continues on Wednesday at Suzuka, with further running likely to take place prior to the first of two official pre-season tests in early March at Okayama.

Suzuka testing times:

Pos. No. Car/Team Drivers Morning Afternoon
1 230 Nissan test car 1’46.234 1’44.846
2 23 NISMO Nissan  Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

1’45.350 1’44.982
3 3 NDDP Nissan Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

1’45.336 1’44.995
4 17 Real Honda Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

1’45.495 1’45.092
5 12 Impul Nissan Belgium Bertrand Baguette

JapanKazuki Hiramine

1’45.168 1’45.136
6 24 Kondo Nissan Japan Kohei Hirate

Japan Daiki Sasaki

no time 1’45.239
7 90 Toyota test car 1’45.584
8 19 Bandoh Toyota Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

no time 1’46.145

…Read more.

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