Sepang: CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R takes Pole Position!


The KONDO Nissan struggled, just missing out on the SuperLap

The official qualifying for Round 4 of the 2010 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series, the SUPER GT INTERNATIONAL SERIES MALAYSIA, was held on the afternoon of June 19. The winner of the pole position in the Super Lap format qualifying was Tsugio Matsuda in the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R. The GT300 class pole winner was Tetsuya Tanaka in the No. 11 JIMGAINER DIXCEL DUNLOP F430.

Qualifying #1 Weather:Fine | Course:Dry | Air Temp. 34°C | Track Temp. 41°C
Super Lap Weather:Fine | Course:Dry | Air Temp. 35°C | Track Temp. 46°C

The first qualifying session began at 14:15. It was run according to a schedule in which the first 15 minutes of the session was a combined segment for both the GT500 and GT300 class cars, the next 10-minute segment was exclusively for the GT300 class and the last 10-minute segment exclusively for the GT500 class.


As the session entered the last ten minutes exclusively for the GT500 class, the competition to record fast lap times intensified, with the No. 8 ARTA HSV-010 (Ralph Firman), the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda) and the No. 6 ENEOS SC430 (Daisuke Ito) repeatedly bettering the fastest time. The only one to run under the 1 min. 58-sec. barrier was Ito in car No. 6, which made him the fastest qualifier to move on to the Super Lap.
The second fastest qualifier in the GT500 class was Matsuda in car No. 12 and the third fastest was Takuya Izawa in the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010, who just managed to better Firman's (car No. 8) time in his last time attack. The remaining cars filling out the top eight to qualify for the Super Lap were the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 (Yuji Tachikawa), No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama), No. 24 HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R (Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira ) and the No. 18 Weider HSV-010 (Loic Duval).

The GT500 class Super Lap began at 16:55 with the eighth fastest qualifier from the first session, Duval in car No. 18 as the first runner. The second runner, de Oliveira in car No. 24, developed machine trouble in the middle of his Super Lap that brought him to a stop at trackside. This brought out the red flag to stop the action.

With this, the session was interrupted just as Motoyama in car No. 23 was set to make his run. Nonetheless, he managed to record a time of 1 min. 57.703 sec., which beat the fastest time of the first session.

This time wasn't bettered until two cars later, when Firman drove car No. 8 to a time of 1 min. 57.495 sec. at claimed the tentative pole position at that point. The next runner, Izawa in car No. 100 managed to run a time under 1 min. 58 sec. but only fast enough to claim 3rd position behind Motoyama.

Now all attention turned to the two remaining cars. Driving car No. 12, Matsuda cleared the first sector of the track in a time 0.1 sec. faster than Firman's (No.8) and was able to maintain that margin through the rest of the lap. He was especially fast over the last sector and emerged with an impressive time of 1 min. 57.409 sec.

The last car to run its Super Lap was No. 6. Ito drove it hard but was unable to match Matsuda's time. So the pole position went to the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R.
This was the first PP win for the CALSONIC team since the ninth round of the 2007 season at Fuji. For Matsuda, it was his first PP in SUPER GT competition.


The Pole winners from both classes

Qualifying 2nd was the No. 8 ARTA HSV-010, while 3rd place went to the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R and 4th to the No. 6 ENEOS SC430. This 4th place was the highest position for the SC430 camp and a somewhat disappointing position for Daisuke Ito after having finished the first qualifying session in 1st place.

The weight handicap carried by the current ranking leader, the No. 1 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430, may have been the reason it was only able to qualify 10th in the first session and missed its chance to compete in the Super Lap. It will start tomorrow's race from 10th position on the grid.

No.11 JIMGAINER DIXEL DUNLOP F430

The GT300 class pole position winner was the No. 11 JIMGAINER DIXEL DUNLOP F430 driven by Tetsuya Tanaka. After qualifying second fastest in the first session, Tanaka ran a nearly flawless Super Lap to record a time of 2 min. 09.167 sec. and take pole position. This is Tanaka's 5th career PP and his first in the GT300 class since the opening round of the 2009 season at Okayama.

Running the Super Lap as the fastest qualifier from the first session, Nobuteru Taniguchi in the No. 7 M7 MUTIARA MOTORS AMEMIYA SGC 7 recorded the fastest times over the first two sectors oft the track before suffering a big time loss on the last corner to finish with a time of 2 min. 09.491 sec. and settle for 2nd place on the starting grid for tomorrow's race.

The 3rd-place qualifier was the No. 33 HANKOOK PORSCHE driven by Masami Kageyama. After qualifying 6th in the first session, Kageyama managed to better his own time by 0.5 sec. and move up in the order.

Qualifying 4th came the No. 88 RIRE Lamborghini RG-3 driven by Shinya Hosokawa. Having entered the GT300 class as the third Lamborghini machine this year, the No. 88 team has struggled up until this round, but finally the team's efforts seem to have brought fruit as they qualified for the Super Lap for the first time. In the Super Lap Hosokawa was able to move up one position from his 5th place in the first session.

The top ranked No. 46 UP START MOLA Z struggled under its 70kg of handicap weights and was only able to qualify in 11th place.

As for the No. 2 I.M JIHAN CO.LTD・APPLE・Shiden, a problem developed in its oil line in the first qualifying session that kept it from completing a run. The No. 27 NAC EISEICOM LMP Ferrari was also unable to qualify due to trouble in its exhaust system.