Having topped both days at last week’s Fuji test and the opening day of the Okayama test on Wednesday, the NSX-GT contingent shone once again on Thursday, with the four Bridgestone-shod Hondas occupying places one to four in the faster two-hour morning session.
This time it was the turn of the #8 ARTA machine of Tomoki Nojiri and Toshiki Oyu to head the order, with Nojiri registering a 1m16.578s benchmark — 0.315s down on the best lap from Wednesday set by Real Racing.
Nobuharu Matsushita was second-fastest at the wheel of the Real car, fractionally ahead of the Team Kunimitsu’s NSX-GT and the second of the Mugen-operated ARTA cars, the #16 car.
Best of the rest in fifth was the #1 Team Impul Nissan Z, which suffered an off in the afternoon session when Bertrand Baguette locked up under braking at the hairpin and got beached in the gravel, an incident that brought out the red flags.
Toyota’s top representative in sixth place was the SARD GR Supra, which fractionally outpaced both of the TOM’S entries.
The #37 Deloitte-sponsored TOM’S car was also in the wars, being spotted with a damaged rear wing — a tell-tale sign of a rear-end collision with the barriers, albeit at relatively low speeds.
The afternoon session was topped by the #8 ARTA Honda of Oyu, with only the Nakajima Racing Honda improving from its morning time.
With the Okayama test now completed, the GT500 test schedule for the rest of the month largely comprises smaller-scale tyre tests and wet running.
Nissan’s pair of Michelin-shod NISMO Zs, absent from Okayama, are expected to run at Motegi on February 12-13, while the two Yokohama users in the field, the Kondo Nissan and Racing Project Bandoh Toyota, are set for their own running at Fuji on February 15-16.
A wet tyre test for some Bridgestone runners is also scheduled for February 16-17 at Motegi.
Okayama SUPER GT testing times: