Sixth Pole for Davies with Mixed Fortunes for Title Rivals

Rhys Davies took his sixth pole position of the season for CWG Team MacMillan at the 2019 GT Super Series season finale at the Suzuka Circuit.

His strong form that has been one of the stories in the latter half of 2019 continued in Suzuka, with Davies taking the top spot in all the sessions he has taken part in this weekend. The main point from Davies’s best lap in qualifying being that it wasn’t his quickest lap of the weekend, his lap from the second practice session was two tenths quicker than what he was able to do in Qualifying. But his best lap from Qualifying was still nearly half a second clear of the second best time in the session, which was set by the Carson Speedworks driver Li Qi. With Qi’s teammate Joey Alliot qualifying third, it was a much needed morale boost for the factory Chevrolet team after their double retirement in Sepang.

The first of the drivers vying for the World Driver’s Championship will start alongside Joey Alliot on the second row of the grid, that being current second place in the championship Nathan McKane. While he was another four tenths behind off of the pole time of Davies, he lines up six positions ahead of third place in the championship Matteo Rossi. Importantly for those two, the current points leader will start outside the points paying positions with Chris Winter only managing to put in the thirteenth quickest time during Saturday’s qualifying. The reigning champion was a full two and a half seconds off the pace with his best time, and has a mountain to climb if he were to become back to back champion his main rival McKane starting fourth.

Qualifying on pole position for the Independents in a complete turn around from Sepang was Phil McCracken for Czechmate Motorsport. After qualifying dead last for the Round of Malaysia, the Ferrari driver bounced back and will start ninth for the last race of the season. It puts him in the best position to lock up third place in the Independent’s Trophy, even with skipping out on the first two rounds of the championship. Starting second in class is the part-time Saleen operated by Tsuchigami no Kyojin with Shota Sakai doing the time on Saturday. Last year’s Sepang race winner will share the sixth row of the grid with the GP Racing Lister piloted by Fabian Rei, in what will be GP Racing’s last race as the factory Lister outfit.

The two driver pairings remaining with a mathematical chance at winning the Independent’s Trophy on Sunday both struggled in Saturday qualifying. Peter Oliver and Melanie Bourne only managed to qualify in eighth and tenth in class respectively, and find themselves outside the top twenty overall. With Oliver, and second driver David Simmons, needing to outscore Bourne and Marie Alberta Luisa by eight markers, it is imperative for the Oliver Motorsports duo to drive through the field if they want to overcome their defect and become Independent’s Trophy champions.

Qualifying Results – Round of Japan

140MRhys DaviesMacMillan1:52.950
264MLi QiCarson+0.440
363MJoey AlliotCarson+0.460
42MNathan McKaneRavenwest+0.879
525MAnton RobishaudPagani+1.233
643MDarren Older Jr.MacMillan+1.540
728MJames James DaviesScuderia Italia+1.585
803MEmma PescatoreSolvalou+1.973
9550IPhil McCrackenCzechmate+2.097
106MMatteo RossiGulf+2.209
1114MFabian ReiGerald Pereria+2.361
1218IShouta SakaiTsuchigami+2.500
1301MChris WinterSolvalou+2.540
1488IHarrison WilkinsonLKM+2.593
1555IJames DouglasTom Douglas+2.631
1627MEvgeny RestovScuderia Italia+2.645
1724MAmato AgostiniPagani+2.650
1813INatsuki YanameWinton+2.708
1915MPaul TravesenGerald Pereria+2.739
2041IKoyomi SetouBest In The World+2.882
2132IKjeld AxelsenRMR+2.895
2219IPeter OliverOliver+2.913
2330IPaul JenkinsGlobex Scorpio+2.969
243IMelanie BourneBoutsen Ginion+3.160
2516ILaurent SeronWestside+3.353
2605INathan ScottAoi+3.361
274IEliana DiazBoutsen Ginion+3.523
28007IJohn MagnusFalken Tire+3.589
29555IAntonio Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+3.785
3034IArtesia MassOran+3.819