JGTC USA – Qualifying Report
© Gary Horrocks
In a last lap effort, Richard Lyons claimed the pole for the JGTC
All-Star 200. The Xanavi Nismo Z was fastest for most of the hour
session, but near the end the Calsonic Impul Z got on top, only
to see Lyons climb back on top with a lap that actually finished
after the session was over. Lyons will be partnered in the race
by Satoshi Motoyama.
It is fitting
that the Nissan effort takes the pole for the race here, as they
are the reigning champions for this season. Nissan swept the top
two grid spots, followed by a Toyota, a Honda and another Nissan.
The top six times were all within a second of each other.
is very different from what we’re used to because there’s
many cones and not real chicanes,” said Lyons, of his first
JGTC pole. “A lot of people started to cut the corners [defined
by the cones]. It’s a challenge, and I’m enjoying it.
that I didn’t want to push too hard at the start; I just wanted
to keep building up. Coming into these braking points is quite difficult,
so each lap I was building up to the last lap - to do the maximum.”
will start second in the #12 12 Calsonic/Impul Nissan 350Z, after
sitting on top of the charts until the last moments: Lyons pipped
the Frenchman by less than two tenths. The Supra V8 of James Courtney
and Tatsuya Kataoka (#37), the Honda NSX of Ryo Michigami and Sabastien
Philippe and the Nissan 350Z of Masami Kageyama and Michael Krumm
completed the top five.
In the GT300
class, the Arta Garaiya was fastest (again): Morio Nitta set the
time. They had finished the season second in the championship. The
team they bettered in qualifying, the M-Tec NSX, was the season
champions. The Garaiya is a Nissan powered car that is, well, unique
In all, 22 cars
will take the start at 16:30. The start will be a rolling start
with all cars ordered to be single file through the “mickey
mouse” tire chicane, which is meant to slow the cars before
entering the infield portion of the track.
It is expected
that all of the cars will be required to stop twice during the 200
mile race. The over/under on the life expectancy of the tire chicanes
is in the single digits.
Car #6, a US entered
Porsche, the Stutgart Per Porsche of Geoff Escalette and Blake Russer,
will be allowed to start the race, even though they were outside
of the required 107% qualifying rule. This is based upon the average
speed of the top three cars in each class. Note – now there
is some confusion on whether this car will be allowed to start after
As an aside,
the entry lists are rather difficult to decipher. Besides the names
that I’m sure I’d butcher in spelling and pronunciation,
the sponsor/car listing does not name the manufacturer. Only the
car. Not wrong, just different from what ‘Mericans are used
(1), Satoshi Motoyama/Richard Lyons, Nissan 350Z Turbo, 1:23.124,
2, (12), Benoit Treluyer/Yuji Ide, Nissan 350Z Turbo, 1:23.289,
3, (37), James Courtney/Tatsuya Kataoka, Toyota Supra, 1:23.665,
4, (18), Ryo Michigami/Sebastien Philippe, Honda NSX, 1:23.842,
5, (22), Masami Kageyama/Michael Krumm, Nissan 350Z Turbo, 1:23.932,
6, (32), Tsugio Matsuda/Andre Lotterer, Honda NSX, 1:24.024, 98.543.
7, (100), Shinji Nakano/Hiroki Katoh/Bruce Jouanny, Honda NSX, 1:24.465,
8, (3), Toshihiro Kaneishi/Erik Comas, Nissan 350Z Turbo, 1:24.554,
9, (8), Katsutomo Kaneishi/Daisuke Ito, Honda NSX, 1:24.653, 97.811.
10, (35), Naoki Hattori/Shigekazu Wakisaka, Toyota Supra, 1:24.835,
(43), Morio Nitta/Shinichi Takagi, Garaiya, 1:29.190, 92.835.
Tetsuya Yamano/Hiroyuki Yagi/Haruki Kurosawa, Honda NSX, 1:29.956,
Masataka Yanagida/Naofumi Omoto, Nissan 350Z Turbo, 1:30.692, 91.298.
Takayuki Aoki/Nobuteru Taniguchi/Manabu Orido, Toyota, 1:30.852,
Katsuo Kobayashi/Tatsuya Tanigawa, Subaru Impreza, 1:30.940, 91.049.
Shinichi Yamaji/Hiroyuki Iiri, Mazda RX7, 1:30.959, 91.030.
Mitsuhiro Kinoshita/Kazuki Hoshino, Nissan 350Z Turbo, 1:31.146,
OSAMU/Takaya Tsubobayashi, RD 320R, 1:31.384, 90.606.
Tetsuji Tamanaka/Go Mifune, RD 320R, 1:31.645, 90.348.
Eiji Yamada/Patric Vanschoote, Dodge Viper Comp Coupe, 1:32.914,
Kazuho Takahashi/Akira Watanabe/Hiroki Yoshimoto, Honda NSX, 1:33.184,
Geoff Escalette/Blake Russer, Porsche 911 Cup, 1:36.658, 85.662.
Steven Bernheim, Porsche 911 Cup, 1:36.759, 85.573.