Ferrari takes pole for 10H Suzuka
HubAuto Corsa’s Ferrari driven by Nick Foster has claimed the pole position for the inaugural edition of Suzuka 10 Hours after beating the Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing’s Raffaele Marciello in the qualifying session.
Foster’s time in Q1 remained unbeaten over the subsequent two sessions, and the Australian was back aboard his 488 GT3 for qualifying’s final quarter following further good work from co-drivers Hiroki Yoshida and David Perel, who also topped Q2. Foster’s dominance continued in the Pole Shootout when two times good enough for P1 – his fastest a 2:01.740s – were enough to beat Marciello by 0.297s. The Italian wasn’t originally scheduled to contest the final session, but was added – along with three more cars – following a review of Suzuka’s procedure involving the application of track limits infringements.
HubAuto’s second Ferrari shared by Matt Griffin, Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon starts directly behind its pole-sitting Pro/Am team-mates after the latter lapped just 0.043s slower than Marciello, while a late lap from Luca Stolz moved the SunEnergy1 Racing’s Mercedes-AMG on to the second row just before Modulo Drago Corse’s Honda brought the Shootout to an early close by spinning into the gravel.
The KCMG-run Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 driven by Oliver Jarvis was shuffled from second to fifth during the final five minutes but still did enough to beat Fred Makowieki’s Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3R, which was also a late Shootout addition after initially finishing outside the top-20.
Another of Intercontinental GT Challenge’s full-season manufacturers, Bentley, was next up thanks to Jules Gounon who finished just half-a-tenth shy of Jarvis, while championship leaders Audi were eighth in the hands of Team WRT driver Jake Dennis.