Honda dominates first day of Okayama SUPER GT testing

A total of 10 cars participated of what marks the third group test of the year so far for GT500 cars, with all five Honda NSX-GTs joined by a quartet of Toyota GR Supras and a single Nissan Z. 

The #17 Astemo-sponsored Real Honda of Koudai Tsukakoshi set the day’s quickest time in the two-hour morning session of 1m16.263s, around a second faster than last year’s pole time at Okayama, albeit in somewhat cooler and therefore faster conditions.

The team’s nearest challengers were the two Mugen-run ARTA Hondas that had paced last week’s Fuji test, with the #8 car of Tomoki Nojiri and Toshiki Oyu leading the #16 machine of Nirei Fukuzumi and Hiroki Otsu.

Best of the non-Hondas was the #36 TOM’S Toyota of Sho Tsuboi and Ritomo Miyata in fourth, around seven tenths off the pace.

Both TOM’S GR Supras were running in their bold new liveries revealed by the team ahead of the test on Tuesday.


The only Nissan present for this test, the #1 Team Impul car of Bertrand Baguette and Kazuki Hiramine, was sixth-fastest, slotting in behind another Honda outfit, Team Kunimitsu.

Honda likewise dominated the slower afternoon session, locking out the top five places. Nobuharu Matsushita in the Real car outpaced the #100 Kunimitsu NSX-GT to the tune over six tenths to end the day on top.

Toyota team Rookie Racing had been slated to attend Okayama but the team is understood to have not yet successfully repaired or replaced the car damaged in Kenta Yamashita’s crash at Suzuka last month.

Testing at Okayama continues on Thursday in what is expected to mark the final large-scale group running for GT500 cars until March 2-3 at Suzuka.

Meanwhile, at Fuji, a 15-car test for GT300 machinery came to a close on Wednesday. Teppei Natori was revealed to have joined Joao Paulo de Oliveira aboard the #56 Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, strongly suggesting he will take over the seat vacated by Kiyoto Fujinami.

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Okayama SUPER GT testing times:

Pos. No. Team/Car Drivers Morning Afternoon
1 17 Real Racing/Honda

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

1’16.263 1’17.108
2 8 ARTA/Honda

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Toshiki Oyu

1’16.516 1’17.882
3 16 ARTA/Honda

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

Japan Hiroki Otsu

1’16.797 1’17.692
4 36 TOM’S/Toyota

Japan Sho Tsuboi

Japan Ritomo Miyata

1’16.988 1’19.186
5 100 Kunimitsu/Honda

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

1’17.075 1’17.664
6 1 Impul/Nissan

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

1’17.113 1’18.776
7 64 Nakajima Racing/Honda

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Kakunoshin Ota

1’17.685 1’18.174
8 37 TOM’S/Toyota

France Giuliano Alesi

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

1’17.818 1’19.538
9 39 SARD/Toyota

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

1’17.943 1’19.055
10 38 Cerumo/Toyota

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

1’18.134 1’18.314

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