> Hosokawa sets GT4 pace once again
> Result: Official Practice
D’station Racing’s Tomonobu Fujii took top spot in Official Practice at Okayama this afternoon while Team GMB’s Shinji Hosokawa was once again the driver to beat in GT4.
The Aston Martin’s 1m29.528s lap was 0.4s shy of Seiji Ara’s Free Practice pace but still sufficiently quick to beat Jazeman Jaafar’s Triple Eight JMR Mercedes-AMG by 0.172s.
Earlier, the Malaysian replaced AAS Motorsport’s Tanart Sathienthirakul at the top after 35 minutes before Fujii went faster still as the session ticked towards the last half-hour, which is reserved for Am drivers.
As such, SUGO’s race winner was unlikely to be usurped, and so it proved.
Ara backed up his earlier form by placing BMW Team Studie’s M4 third quickest, albeit seven tenths down on his own lunchtime effort, while Porsche Center Okazaki’s Yuta Kamimura took the best of the 911s to fourth overall.
Sathienthirakul’s erstwhile benchmark was good enough for fifth – 0.7s down on Fujii’s time and just 0.007s clear of joint championship leaders Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Nick Foster who, in turn, were half-a-tenth quicker than title rivals Takeshi Kimura and Kei Cozzolino.
Bingo Racing’s Corvette was fastest of the Am class contingent in an impressive eighth overall.
Hosokawa didn’t have things all his own way in GT4 but still set two times fast enough for top spot. The Team GMB Mercedes-AMG he shares with Hiroaki Hatano was 0.4s quicker than Akiland’s Toyota of Masayuki Oyama.
Qualifying begins at 09:50 tomorrow before the first of this weekend’s two races goes green at 14:50 JST (GMT +9).