Honda once again locks out front row at SUPER GT Autopolis

Honda locked out the front row at Autopolis for the second year running as Real Racing led last year's polesitting ARTA team in SUPER GT qualifying

Honda once again locks out front row at SUPER GT Autopolis

Koudai Tsukakoshi underlined the chart-topping pace shown by Real Racing in both practice and Q1, clocking a time of 1m33.262s in the #17 NSX he shares with Bertrand Baguette.

That was enough to secure the outfit's first pole position since last year's Okayama season opener and the first for Honda in 2019.

ARTA made it a one-two finish for Honda in qualifying, although Tomoki Nojiri and Takuya Izawa ended up over seventh tenths off the pace with a time of 1m33.967s.

Nissan GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough and Mitsunori Takaboshi qualified third in the Kondo Racing Nissan, which is using the manufacturer's upgraded Spec 2 engine this weekend.

The #36 TOM'S Lexus duo of Yuhi Sekiguchi and Kazuki Nakajima were fourth fastest in qualifying ahead of the Sard Lexus of Heikki Kovalainen and Yuichi Nakayama.

B-Max Nissan pairing Kohei Hirate and Frederic Makowiecki were next up in sixth, while Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa, who sit second in the drivers' standings, qualified seventh in the #37 TOM'S Lexus.

The Q2 field was propped up by Fuji 500km winners Hiroaki Ishiura and Yuji Tachkiawa and the Cerumo Lexus squad runners are set to line up eighth on the grid.

The championship-leading LeMans Lexus of Kenta Yamashita and Kazuya Oshima qualified a distant 14th, saddled with ballast equivalent to 100kg, which includes a Stage 3 fuel-flow restrictor designed to peg back performance.

Reigning champions Jenson Button and Naoki Yamamoto also missed out on a Q2 berth for the second consecutive race as the Kunimitsu Honda duo qualified 1.4s off the pace in 12th.

Motorsport.tv will bring live coverage of this Sunday's Autopolis SUPER GT race to Autosport, with coverage starting at 6:30am BST.

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