SUPER GT switches qualifying format to aggregrate lap times

As part of the overhaul, lap times of each car from Q1 and Q2 sessions will be combined to determine who gets to start the race from pole position.

Teams will be limited to a single set of tyres throughout Q1 and Q2, which must then be used in the opening stint of the race.

Top crews and teams will also receive additional rewards for qualifying, with three points now going to pole-sitters, two points awarded for qualifying second and another point going to the third-placed drivers.

SUPER GT explained that it wants to ‘further characterise’ the appeal of the championship, where two drivers share a car and fight for victory. It also aims to equalise the tyre situation for all cars, taking away any advantage teams got when they didn’t couldn’t progress into Q2.

To make it easier for fans to follow the qualifying system, aggregate times will be displayed in real time on TV during Q2. SUPER GT stated that it is working on a new display system to make this possible.

#52 Saitama Toyopet GB GR Supra GT leads #2 muta Racing GR86 GT

#52 Saitama Toyopet GB GR Supra GT leads #2 muta Racing GR86 GT

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

The Japanese series previously ran a Formula 1-style knockout format, with top eight cars in GT500 and top 16 cars in GT300 advancing into the second session. Teams had to nominate their drivers for Q1 and Q2 before each round. A single extra point was also awarded to the team that scored pole position.

No cars will be eliminated under the new system, which should provide both an opportunity and a challenge for teams.

The number of dry tyre sets available to teams for the entire weekend will be reduced from six to five for 300km rounds in GT500, and five to four in GT300. This is part of SUPER GT’s drive to cut down C02 emissions by half by 2030.

More details about the new format will be published in due course. GTA, the promoter of the championship, also hinted at a “special rule” for GT300 runners that could be utilised under certain conditions and create “new entertainment.”

The new season will kick off at Okayama on 14 April and will run entirely in Japan.

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