|← 2013 Motegi GT 250 km||Round 1 of 2014||2014 Fuji GT 500 km →|
The 2005 layout of the Okayama International Circuit.
|Date||6th April 2014|
|Location||Okayama International Circuit|
Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture, Japan
|Course||Permanent racing track,|
|Scheduled distance||81 laps, 299.943km (186.416 miles)|
|Pole Position (GT500)|
Oshima / Kunimoto
|Pole Position (GT300)|
Nitta / Saga
Ito / Caldarelli
Oshima / Kunimoto
Yasuda / Oliveira
Taniguchi / Kataoka
Müller / Ara
Hiranaka / Wirdheim
The 2014 Okayama GT 300 km is the opening race of the 2014 Super GT Season, which took place at the Okayama International Circuit, Okayama Prefecture, Japan over the weekend of 4th-6th April.
|This page uses content from SUPERGT.net. The original article can be found here. As with Super GT-Pedia, the text of the original article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|
On April 5, the official qualifying for the OKAYAMA GT 300km RACE, Round 1 of the 2014 AUTOBACS SUPER GT was held at the Okayama International Circuit (Okayama Prefecture). In the GT500 class, where all the entries are new cars this season, the No. 6 ENEOS SUSTINA RC F driven by Kazuya Oshima won pole position. In the GT300 class, the No. 31 OGT Panasonic PRIUS T (Morio Nitta) won the class pole.
The GT300 class Q1 session began exactly at 2:00 in the afternoon. In this 15-minute session, the fastest 13 machines would win the right to move on to Q2. The weather was as it had been from morning with a full cloud cover. However, the clouds appeared light with little chance of rain.
About three minutes into the session, the No. 4 GOODSMILE HATSUNEMIKU Z4 (Nobuteru Taniguchi), leading the BMW Z4 teams that had performed so well in the morning practice, was the first to warm up its tires and run a fast time of 1'28.096 on its third lap to take top position on the time board. This became the target time for the other teams. But, the real aim was not only to better this time but also beat the course record of 1'27.851 set in the morning practice by the No. 7 Studie BMW Z4 (Seiji Ara). The next time to go up on the boards was a close 1'28.839 run by the No. 31 OGT Panasonic PRIUS (Koki Saga). This was a time that reflected its good performance at the official Okayama test event. But, car No. 31's time was quickly beaten with a 1'27.539 by the No. 3 B-MAX NDDP GT-R (Kazuki Hoshino) that had appeared to be a practice run at first. With this, No. 3 stood in 2nd position on the board. Halfway into the Q1 session, in the seventh minute, the No. 7 Studie BMW Z4 (Seji Ara) that had started its warm-up a bit later than the others made a determined attack and scored an impressive time of 1'26.759. By dipping under the 1'27 mark, Ara had not only risen to the top of the time board but also set a new course record. Following this, car No. 7 also ran a fast time of 1'27.077 to move into 2nd position. Certain of qualifying for Q2 with these times, the two BMW Z4 machines returned to the pit with five minutes remaining in the session. The No. 60 TWS LM corsa BMW Z4 (Daiki Yoshimoto) also moved up to 4th position with seeming assurance of a place in Q2.
Improving their times in the latter half of the session were the Honda hybrid teams. On his last attack, Takashi Kobayashi in the No. 55 ARTA CR-Z GT recorded a time of 1'27.280 that moved him up from the knock-out border position of 13th all the way up to 3rd position. Also, Yuhki Nakayama in the No. 0 MUGEN CR-Z GT moved up to 6th position with a time of 1'27.563. On the other hand, car 31 continued to drop in position despite improving its times somewhat, but in the end of the session it ran a time of 1'27.796 to move up to 10th position. However, as car No. 0 and the No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT (Takuto Iguchi) also improved, No. 31 ended the session in 12th position and just managed to qualify for Q2. The No .86 CrystalCroco LAMBORGHINI GT3 (Koji Yamanishi) that had stood in 13th position in the morning practice and the No. 21 Audi R8 LMS ultra (Tomonobu Fujii) ended up in 14th and 16th positions respectively and failed to qualify for Q2. Also, after suffering a crash in practice the No. 67 STP TAISAN GAIA POWER GT-R team failed to repair the damage in time and was forced to withdraw from the Qualifying.
Following the GT300 Q1, the GT500 class Q1 started at 2:15 in the afternoon under cloudy skies. It was a 15-minute session for the entries to attempt to get a lap time in the top eight and move on to Q2. As soon as the GT500 time board was posted the No. 24 D'station ADVAN GT-R was the first to go out on the track, while the other teams continued to wait. After GT500 rookie Daiki Sasaki recorded a time of 2'13.713, the other 12 machines went out onto the circuit one after another. Waiting a little longer, the last two to leave the pit join and them on the track were the No. 46 S Road MOLA GT-R (Masataka Yanagida) and the No. 18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT (Naoki Yamamoto). Having been the first to warm up its tires, the No. 24 D'station ADVAN GT-R was gradually improving its lap times when the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda) ran a faster lap of 1'28.219 and jumped to the top of the time board. At 2:24, the No. 18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT bettered that time with a 1'25.501 to take the lead, only to have it bettered by the No. 37 KeePer TOM'S RC F (Daisuke Ito) with a 1'24.646 lap. The top spot on the time board continued to change hands rapidly as Yamamoto ran a time of 1'20.314 and others improved their times as well. But, the time the lead for the No. 18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT was soon cut short when the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R recorded a time of 1'19.876 to take the lead.
After that, the No. 6 ENEOS SUSTINA RC F (Yuji Kunimoto) and the No. 18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT also produced times in the 1'19 range but were unable to beat Matsuda's time. This left the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R with the provisional pole position until the last minute of the session when Ito in the No. 37 KeePer TOM'S RC F rose to the top of the board with a time of 1'19.862 to take the provisional pole. Also in the last minute, the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Hironobu Yasuda) moved into 2nd position and the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R took 3rd position. Meanwhile, the No. 39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD RC F (Oliver Jarvis), the No. 24 D'station ADVAN GT-R and last year's champion team, the No. 1 ZENT CERUMO RC F (Kohei Hirate) failed to make the cut to move on to Q2.
When the GT300 Q2 session began at 2:40 in the afternoon the skies had grown darker than they had been for Q1. Although it hadn't begun to rain, fear that it might and knowledge that this was a shorter 12-minute session prompted the teams to begin their time attacks soon after the session started.
The first to post a time of 1'27.369 that would become the target for the other teams was the No. 31 OGT Panasonic PRIUS (Morio Nitta) that had barely qualified for Q2. Next, the No. 7 Studie BMW Z4 (Jorg Muller) rose as expected to post a time of 1'27.861. But, other teams soon followed with times in the 1'27 range, causing the 2nd position spot to change hands rapidly between the No. 65 LEON SLS (Haruki Kurosawa), No. 11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS (Katsuyuki Hiranaka) and the No. 3 B-MAX NDDP GT-R (Lucas Ordonez). Although car No. 31's position had looked solid at first, it was finally beaten by the No. 4 GOODSMILE HATSUNEMIKU Z4 (Tatsuya Kataoka), running the first time to break the 1'27 barrier at 1'26.869 and moving it into the top spot. But, No. 31 quickly took the top spot back with a time of 1'26.774. Then car No. 7 made a run to record a time of 1'27.126 that moved it into 3rd position but failed to break into the 1'26 range. The No. 55 ARTA CR-Z GT (Shinichi Takagi) also failed to break the 1'27 barrier with a time of 1'27.034, though it was enough to beat car No. 7 and move into the 3rd spot.
With three minutes remaining in the session, car No. 31 returned to the pit and watched the remaining attempts for pole position from there. Driven by his pride as a BMW works driver, Muller continued to make time attacks, but was unable to better his time. Rookie driver Tomoki Nojiri in the No. 0 MUGEN CR-Z GT also continued to make time attacks until near the end of the session and managed to take 5th position with a time of 1'27.367. These results gave the No. 31 OGT Panasonic PRIUS (Nitta/Saga) its second pole position, following one in round 2 of the 2011 season at Fuji. For Nitta it was his eighth career pole and his first since round 2 of the 2008 season at Okayama. Finishing in 2nd and 3rd positions respectively were the No. 4 GOODSMILE HATSUNEMIKU Z4 (Taniguchi/Kataoka) and the No. 55 ARTA CR-Z GT (Takagi/Kobayashi). The top five positions went to two hybrid cars and the BMW Z4 cars, while 6th position went to the winner here at Okayama two years ago, the No. 11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS (Hiranaka/Wirdheim).
The 12-minute GT500 class Q2 session began at 3:00. As soon as the session started the Lexus teams No. 6 ENEOS SUSTINA RC F (Kazuya Oshima), No. 36 PETRONAS TOM'S RC F (Kazuki Nakajima) and No. 37 KeePer TOM'S RC F (Andre Caldarelli) left the pit to begin their time attacks. A little later, the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli) left the pit, followed a minute later by the remaining four machines.
Being the first out on the track, the Lexus teams began to make their serious timed attacks first, and on his fourth lap, Oshima in the No. 6 ENEOS SUSTINA RC F made his first attack and recorded a fast time of 1'19.404. With this it appeared that he had a good chance for pole position, but then Oshima was called back to the pit by his LEXUS TEAM LeMans ENEOS. After returning to the pit, Oshima watched the continuing action on the monitor as the No. 36 PETRONAS TOM'S RC F and the No. 37 KeePer TOM'S RC F also recorded times in the 1'19 range but failed to beat his time in the No. 6 ENEOS SUSTINA RC F. During the second half of the session, the No. 46 S Road MOLA GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama) ran a 1'19.574 and the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Joao Paulo de Oliveira) recorded a 1'19.474 lap that just barely missed equaling Oshima's time. With this, Oshima won the memorable first pole position for the Lexus RC F in the new car's debut race, as well as winning his third consecutive pole, following ones at the final round of last season and the ensuing Fuji Sprint Cup. This was his fourth career pole in the GT500 class (series races). However, the 2nd and 3rd positions on the grid for tomorrow's race went to GT-R cars of the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R and No. 46 S Road MOLA GT-R teams, meaning that there promises to be hot action from the start of the race.
|1||6|| Kazuya Oshima
|2||12|| Hironobu Yasuda
João Paulo Lima de Oliveira
|3||46|| Satoshi Motoyama
- First race (GT500) for Jean-Karl Vernay, Bertrand Baguette and Vitantonio Liuzzi.
- First race (GT300) for Tomoki Nojiri.
- First race for a Belgian driver (also Walloon-Belgian) since 2002 where the Flemish-Belgian driver Patrick van Schoote left the series.
- The first race for the new GT500 cars after the old GT500 cars were replaced.
- Daiki Sasaki's first race for the GT500 class.
- Oliver Jarvis' first race (GT500) since the 2007 36th International Pokka 1000 km.
- Takuto Iguchi's first race (GT300) since the 2013 42nd International Pokka Sapporo 1000 km.
- Hiroki Yoshida's first race (GT300) since the 2012 41st International Pokka 1000 km.
- 25th start for the BMW Z4 GT3.
- 140th start for Team LeMans.
- Seiji Ara's first start at any other team since the 2011 Okayama GT 300 km.
- Hideki Mutoh's first start for Team Kunimitsu.
- Tsugio Matsuda's first start at any other team since the 2008 Suzuka GT 300 km.
- Yuhi Sekiguchi's first start at a Lexus car.
- Juichi Wakisaka's first start at any other team since the 2012 Okayama GT 300 km.
- Hironobu Yasuda's first start at any other team since the 2010 Suzuka GT 300 km.
- Tomonobu Fujii's first start at any other team since the 2011 Okayama GT 300 km.
- Hideki Yamauchi's first start at a Mercedes-Benz car.
- Akihiro Tsuzuki's first start at any other team since the 2009 Okayama GT 300 km.
- Masami Kageyama's first start at any other team since the 2008 Suzuka GT 300 km.
- Akira Iida's first race since the 2008 Motegi GT 250 km.
- Kyosuke Mineo's first start at any other team since the 2012 Okayama GT 300 km.
- Andrea Caldarelli's first victory.
- Daisuke Ito's first victory and first victory at any other team since the 2012 SUGO GT 300 km.
|Distances||300 km (2005-2010,2012-present) • 250km (2011)|
|Races||2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014|