Honda’s Daisuke Nakajima snatches Fuji race two pole from Audi’s Loïc Duval

Honda’s Daisuke Nakajima snatches Fuji race two pole from Audi’s Loïc Duval

Photo: DTM

Honda Team Mugen’s Daisuke Nakajima claimed pole position for the second DTM/SuperGT race at Fuji Speedway, snatching the top spot from Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Loïc Duval at the checkered flag with a time of 1 minute 46.696 seconds, a margin of 0.244 seconds.

The two-time podium finisher in SuperGT claimed top spot in a car that was almost completely rebuilt following teammate Hideki Mutoh’s monumental crash during Friday practice.

A heavy fog lingered over the Fuji Speedway, however it began to clear as the session got underway, and sunshine threatened to beam down for the first time this weekend. Rain throughout the morning had left the circuit wet, with all of the drivers using the full wet Hankook tyres.

It took around five minutes for representative times to come in as drivers learned the track and brought the tyres up to temperature.

Honda Team Kunimitsu’s Naoki Yamamoto set the first competitive time at 1 minute 47.690 seconds, the 2018 SuperGT champion would then lower the bar to a 1 minute 47.118 seconds.

Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller would go second fastest with a 1 minute 47.692 second lap before being bumped down the order by Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s Rast who would take second place by a tenth.

Drivers would return to pitlane midway through the session to strap on a fresh set of wet tyres, and head out to improve their times.

The track looked to have improved significantly, and immediately drivers started going faster around the 4.3km circuit.

Nakajima improved, lowering the bar to 1 minute 47.003 seconds, critically crossing the line before the checkered flag to have one more shot at going quicker.

Duval, keen to repeat the performance of Saturday qualifying briefly claimed pole position at the checkered flag, with a time of 1 minute 46.940 seconds before Nakajima went quicker, snatching pole on his final attempt.

Nakajima and Duval will lead the field away for the second ‘Dream Race’, with 2019 DTM champion Rast heading the third row in in fifth place, thanks to a best lap of 1 minute 47.151 seconds, less than half a second off pole.

BMW Team RBM’s Marco Wittmann and Rockenfeller will share the fourth row, in seventh and eighth respectively. The two-time DTM champion clocked a 1 minute 47.327 second lap a mere 0.069 seconds faster than his Audi rival.

Ryo Hirakawa, who takes to the helm of the race one winning Lexus Team KeePer TOM’s car will start in ninth with a best lap of 1 minute 47.484 seconds, the first driver over a second slower than pole.

BMW Team RBM’s Kamui Kobayashi will start race two from 13th place, managing a best time of 1 minute 48.008 seconds, with Audi Sport Team WRT Hitotsuyama’s Benoît Treluyer 15th fastest a further 0.094 seconds slower.

Alex Zanardi was the slowest of the DTM competitors and will start race two from 22nd on the grid, with a best lap at 1 minute 50.558 seconds.

Race two will get underway at 05:33 GMT.

Qualifying result

1 16 Daisuke NAKAJIMA TEAM MUGEN Honda NSX-GT 10 1:46.696 0.000
2 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:46.940 0.244
3 64 Narain KARTHIKEYAN Modulo Nakajima Racing Honda NSX-GT 10 1:47.034 0.338
4 1 Naoki YAMAMOTO TEAM KUNIMITSU Honda NSX-GT 10 1:47.118 0.422
5 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:47.151 0.455
6 17 Koudai TSUKAKOSHI KEIHIN REAL RACING Honda NSX-GT 9 1:47.308 0.612
7 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 10 1:47.327 0.631
8 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:47.396 0.700
9 37 Ryo HIRAKAWA LEXUS TEAM KeePer TOM’S Lexus LC500 10 1:47.484 0.788
10 38 Hiroaki ISHIURA LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO Lexus LC500 9 1:47.764 1.068
11 36 Kazuki NAKAJIMA LEXUS TEAM au TOM’S Lexus LC500 9 1:47.925 1.229
12 8 Tomoki NOJIRI ARTA Honda NSX-GT 10 1:47.940 1.244
13 0 Kamui KOBAYASHI BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 10 1:48.008 1.312
14 19 Yuji KUNIMOTO LEXUS TEAM WedsSport BANDOH Lexus LC500 10 1:48.051 1.355
15 21 Benoït TRÉLUYER WRT Hitotsuyama Team Audi Sport Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:48.102 1.406
16 39 Heikki KOVALAINEN LEXUS TEAM SARD Lexus LC500 10 1:48.129 1.433
17 23 Tsugio MATSUDA NISMO Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 11 1:48.520 1.824
18 3 Kohei HIRATE NDDP RACING with B-MAX Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 10 1:48.789 2.093
19 12 James ROSSITER TEAM IMPUL Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 10 1:49.066 2.370
20 6 Kazuya OSHIMA LEXUS TEAM LEMANS WAKO’S Lexus LC500 8 1:49.567 2.871
21 24 Mitsunori TAKABOSHI KONDO RACING Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 10 1:49.947 3.251
22 4 Alessandro ZANARDI BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 10 1:50.558 3.862