> Result: FP2
Ferraris finished one-two in second practice earlier today at Fuji where Davide Rigon pipped local hero Kota Sasaki by less than a tenth, while Japanese favourites BMW Team Studie once more topped the GT4 times.
The weather was again dry and warm for the day’s second 45-minute session in which Ferrari factory driver Rigon – making his debut as Tim Slade’s substitute at HubAuto Corsa –starred. After finishing second this morning the Italian went one better by lapping in 1m38.209s to lead a top-14 covered by less than one second.
Super GT driver Sasaki came closest to toppling Rigon, but his best in ARN Racing’s 488 GT3 fell just 0.084s short.
Raffaele Marciello again finished third in GruppeM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG, albeit just two tenths behind his European Blancpain GT Series rival Rigon, while morning pace-setter Alex Imperatori slotted into fourth aboard the first of KCMG’s Nissans.
Incredibly, it was an Am Cup pairing that claimed fifth overall after the class’ championship leaders, Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka, posted a time less than half-a-second shy of the ultimate pace. Their KCMG Audi finished one place ahead of the OD Racing example shared by Aditya Patel and Mitch Gilbert, and the first of Craft-Bamboo’s Porsches driven by Shae Davies and Sandy Stuvik.
Two Absolute Racing Audis and KCMG’s second Nissan completed a top-10 covered by just 0.659s.
In GT4, BMW Team Studie’s Sunako Jukuchou and Takayuki Kinoshita picked up where they’d left off in the earlier session by again topping the class. Their best of 1m47.294s was just 0.167s quicker than Team iRace.Win’s Mercedes-AMG of Gilles Vannelet and Ringo Chong, who again finished as the #81 BMW M4’s nearest rivals.
GruppeM’s Hwang Doyun and championship leader Reinhold Renger were lurking another 0.7s behind after beating Team Studie’s second entry to P3.
Tomorrow’s busy day sees one final practice session take place in the morning ahead of qualifying and Race 1. Watch the latter two live on the championship’s Facebook page and website.