Jenson Button's Super GT team second, #8 ARTA Honda has Motegi pole

Jenson Button and Super GT team-mate Naoki Yamamoto will start Sunday's title decider at Motegi second on the grid, after narrowly losing out on pole to the #8 ARTA Honda

Jenson Button's Super GT team second, #8 ARTA Honda has Motegi pole

Button had topped the first segment of qualifying in the #100 Team Kunimitsu NSX-GT, but Yamamoto fell just 0.097s short of Honda stablemate Tomoki Nojiri in the #8 Honda (pictured below) during the Q2 pole shootout.

Nojiri's time of 1m35.550s was a new GT500 lap record at Motegi, coming in almost eight tenths faster than the previous record established last year.

Button and Yamamoto came to Motegi level on points with championship rivals Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa in the #1 TOM's Lexus LC500.

Hirakawa however could manage only sixth in Q2 as Honda swept four of the top five positions, although he and Cassidy could at least take solace in the fact Button and Yamamoto missed the bonus point on offer on pole.



Two other crews still stand a theoretical chance of the title, including Nojiri and ARTA team-mate Takuya Izawa, who are now 16 points off the lead after taking pole - with 25 points on offer for victory on Sunday.

At the opposing end of the GT500 grid, Yuki Sekiguchi will start in the #36 TOM'S Lexus.

Sekiguchi is 12 points behind Button/Yamamoto and Cassidy/Hirakawa, but his team-mate Kazuki Nakajima made an error on his final lap in Q1 and ended up 15th and last.

Toyota LMP1 racer Nakajima is already out of title contention as he was forced to skip May's first Fuji race owing to a clash with the World Endurance Championship opener at Spa.

shares
comments
Aston Martin receives orders for 20 new Vantage GT3 cars for 2019

Previous article

Aston Martin receives orders for 20 new Vantage GT3 cars for 2019

Next article

Super GT to hold first night race in 2020 at ex-F1 venue Sepang

Super GT to hold first night race in 2020 at ex-F1 venue Sepang
Load comments

About this article

Series GT
Author Jamie Klein
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

GT
Apr 8, 2021
Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers Plus

Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers

The convergence between the World Endurance Championship and IMSA over LMDh regulations offers a bright future for sportscar racing, but the imminent demise of IMSA's GT Le Mans class creates wider issues to which no catch-all solution exists

GT
Feb 3, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Plus

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it

GT
Jan 23, 2021
Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65 Plus

Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65

There's a saying among retired folk that life begins at 60, but endurance specialist Alain Ferte has never used the 'R' word. Some 40 years since his crowning glory in F3, he's still a driver in demand and gunning for more 24-hour racing success this weekend

GT
Jan 15, 2021
How a BTCC veteran conquered the summit in British GT Plus

How a BTCC veteran conquered the summit in British GT

After two decades in touring cars, Rob Collard had an uphill battle to unlearn the tools needed to be quick in tin-tops and understand how to hustle a GT3 car. But he did so with aplomb to prevail alongside Sandy Mitchell amid a challenging year for the series

GT
Dec 17, 2020
The high-power solution to counter a dying breed Plus

The high-power solution to counter a dying breed

SRO boss Stephane Ratel was worried about the disappearance of the amateur - or 'gentleman' - drivers who used to be the bedrock of GT3. So he invented a new category that brings back a familiar name from the past

GT
Dec 6, 2020
The Dutch oddity that was too niche for its own good Plus

The Dutch oddity that was too niche for its own good

Despite (briefly) having its own F1 arm, Spyker's period in international sportscar racing was spent mostly propping up the grid. Its C8 Laviolette GT2-R stands as one of the last underfunded factory GT efforts that never got a helping hand from BOP

GT
May 21, 2020
How a "fragile s***box" conquered a sportscar classic Plus

How a "fragile s***box" conquered a sportscar classic

It was rare to see anything other than a Ferrari or a Porsche winning GT2 races in the mid-2000s, but TVR's victory in the 2005 Spa 1000km was all the more remarkable given it first had to last the full six hours

GT
Apr 22, 2020