Fuji Dream Race: Cassidy leads Duval in qualifying

Fuji Dream Race: Cassidy leads Duval in qualifying


Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy took pole position for the first Dream Race between SUPER GT and DTM, with Audi’s Loic Duval leading the German contingent in second.

In wet conditions that were expected to favour the DTM cars, Cassidy placed his Lexus on pole position in the early phases of qualifying as worsening conditions prevented the majority of the 22-car field from making late improvements.

Cassidy, who raced at the DTM’s Hockenheim finale and gathered crucial experience of the control Hankook tyre, drove his TOM’S Lexus to a 1m41.827s lap time.

That effort was enough to put him 0.331s up on Duval, who bar Rene Rast’s impressive FP2 time-topping effort on Friday, has often been the lead DTM runner and has experience of racing in Japan as a SUPER GT and Formula Nippon champion.

The Kunimitsu Honda squad took part in the DTM’s Hockenheim round also but with only 2009 Formula 1 champion Jenson Button racing.

With Button competing in the Baja 1000, 2018 Super GT champion Naoki Yamamoto is driving alone and has placed his Honda NSX-GT third on the grid.

The third and final Super GT Hockenheim entry, the works NISMO Nissan GT-R, qualified fourth through Ronnie Quintarelli to make it four different manufacturers in the top four.

Mike Rockenfeller was the second-highest DTM entry in fifth, ahead of Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing Honda), Friday practice pacesetter Jann Mardenborough (Kondo Racing Nissan) and Frederic Makowiecki (B-Max Nissan).

A pair of Lexus LC500s, the Bandoh car of Sho Tsuboi and the second TOM’S machine of Yuhi Sekiguchi, completed the top 10.

Reigning DTM champion Rene Rast qualified in 14th, with the final Audi of Benoit Treluyer back in 16th.

BMW’s Kamui Kobayashi, experiencing a DTM car for the first time this weekend, qualified in 18th but is under investigation for blocking a rival during the session.

Marco Wittmann was a lowly 19th in his BMW M4 DTM, with Alex Zanardi down in 22nd.

After a huge crash in opening practice for the Mugen Honda of Hideki Mutoh forced it out of the afternoon’s running, it returned to the track to qualified in 21st.

That put it behind ex-Formula 2 racer Tadasuke Makino’s Nakajima Racing Honda that had set the pace in Thursday’s test running.

Session results:

1. Nick CassidyTOM’S Lexus LC5001:41.827
2. Loic DuvalPhoenix Audi RS 51:42.158
3. Naoki YamamotoKunimitsu Honda NSX-GT1:42.215
4. Ronnie QuintarelliNISMO Nissan GT-R1:42.358
5. Mike RockenfellerAbt Audi RS 5 1:42.527
6. Koudai TsukakoshiReal Honda NSX-GT1:42.609
7. Jann MardenboroughKondo Racing Nissan GT-R1:42.724
8. Frederic MakowieckiB-Max Nissan GT-R1:42.785
9. Sho Tsuboi Bandoh Lexus LC5001:42.810
10. Yuhi SekiguchiSARD Lexus LC5001:42.887
11. Kenta YamashitaLeMans Lexus LC5001:42.927
12. Daiki SasakiImpul Nissan GT-R1:43.064
13. Takuya IzawaARTA Honda NSX-GT1:43.121
14.  Rene RastRosberg-Audi RS 51:43.387
15. Yuji TachikawaCerumo Lexus LC5001:43.412
16. Benoit TreluyerWRT Audi RS 51:43.447
17. Kazuki NakajimaSARD Lexus LC5001:43.583
18. Kamui KobayashiRBM BMW M41:43.667
19. Marco Wittmann RBM BMW M41:43.707
20. Tadasuke MakinoNakajima Honda NSX-GT1:43.936
21. Hideki MutohMugen Honda NSX-GT1:44.637
22. Alex ZanardiRBM BMW M41:45.211

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