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Japan Takes Pole for Both Qualifying Races

Japan’s Hamaguchi, Sasahara on pole for the FIA Motorsport Games GT Cup qualifying races…

Photo: Patrick Hecq

Japan claimed pole position for both FIA Motorsport Games GT Cup qualifying races at Vallelunga, despite a dead heat with France in Saturday’s second qualifying session.

Hiroshi Hamaguchi turned in a time of 1:38.443 to lead the first session, before reigning Asian Formula 3 champion Ukyo Sasahara clocked a 1:32.898 in session two.

Sasahara’s time aboard the No. 519 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo was identical to that posted by Jim Pla in the team France Mercedes-AMG GT3, but the Japanese driver was given pole because his lap came first.

The Q1 order sets the grid for the first race of the weekend, taking place this afternoon at 2:45 p.m. CET, while Q2 sets the grid for the second race on Sunday.

The two qualifying races will then determine the grid for the main race on Sunday afternoon, which will decide the GT Cup medal winners.

In Q1, Hamaguchi’s effort in the Lamborghini prepared by Orange 1 FFF Racing Team put him 1.397 seconds clear of Salih Yoluc in the team Turkey Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

Rinat Salikhov qualified Russia’s Ferrari 488 GT3 in third, ahead of Portuguese driver Miguel Ramos in his country’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

Both drivers made late improvements to get ahead of Steffen Goering in the team Germany Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Rob Ferriol placed the United States sixth with a time of 1:43.698.

In the second session, Patric Niederhauser lapped third-quickest in the Switzerland Lamborghini behind the Japan-France dead heat.

Niederhauser’s 1:32.098 effort was 0.329 seconds off the pace of the leading pair, but good enough to beat Australia’s Brenton Grove, driving a Porsche, by a tenth.

Fifth in Q2 was Russia’s Denis Bulatov, ahead of Weiron Tan of Malaysia and Henrique Chaves of Portugal.

RESULTS: Qualifying 1
RESULTS: Qualifying 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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