‘Hirobon’ and Yuki Fujii share pole positions at Fuji
03 April 2021
‘Hirobon’ in the Birth Racing Project CUPRA and Yuki Fujii in the Hitotsuyama Racing Audi RS 3 LMS claimed one pole position apiece in TCR Japan’s season opener at Fuji Speedway.
In the Qualifying for Saturday series, ‘Hirobon’ and Fujii had a close fight for the pole position. Halfway through the 15-minute session, Fujii posted a provisional fastest lap of 1:48.101, but ‘Hirobon’ improved to 1:47.855. Fujii stroke again with a lap of 1:47.650, but ‘Hirobon’ settled the matter for good as he was clocked at 1:47.588.
Behind them, Keiichi Inoue moved into P3 with a lap of 1:48.151 in the session’s dying moments, demoting Jun Sato and Masanobu Kato to fourth and fifth.
Mineki Okura had topped the timesheet in the very early stages with a lap of 1:48.739 at the wheel of his Alfa Romeo Giulietta, but then returned to the pits and did not rejoin; he then qualified sixth.
The session for the Sunday series was less lively. On his second timed lap, Fujii annihilated the field with a 1:46.681 that nobody was able to match. Soon afterwards, ‘Hirobon’ climbed to second with a lap of 1:47.584 that improved by four thousandths his pole position time from the previous session. The two rivals seemed satisfied and sat in the pits for the rest of the session, while Kato posted the third fastest lap and demoted Okura and Sato to fourth and fifth.
Race 1 will start at 13:10 local time (06:10 CEST); live streaming at www.tcr-series.com.
Fuji – Qualifying Saturday Series
1:47.588 ‘Hirobon’ (Birth Racing Project, CUPRA)
1:47.650 Yuki Fujii (Hitotsuyama Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)
1:48.151 Keiichi Inoue (NILZZ Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)
1:48.610 Jun Sato (Adenau IDI, Volkswagen Golf GTI)
1:48.638 Masanobu Kato (Audi Team Mars, Audi RS 3 LMS)
Fuji – Qualifying Sunday Series
1:46.681 Yuki Fujii (Hitotsuyama Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)
1:47.584 ‘Hirobon’ (Birth Racing Project, CUPRA)
1:48.059 Masanobu Kato (Audi Team Mars, Audi RS 3 LMS)
1:48.211 Mineki Okura (Team Stile Corse, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce)
1:48.367 Jun Sato (Adenau IDI, Volkswagen Golf GTI)
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