FONTANA, Calif. (Dec. 17, 2004) – England’s Richard Lyons paced the opening All-Japan GT Championship practice session Friday at California Speedway in his No. 1 Xanavi/NISMO Nissan 350 Z Turbo in preparations for Saturday’s 200-mile GT Live event. Australian James Courtney was second in a Toyota Supra.
The reigning JGTC GT500 class Champion, Lyons turned a fastest lap of 1:24.695 (97.762 mph) early in the hour-long session around the 2.3-mile oval/road course. Upon handing the car over to teammate and 2004 co-Champion Satoshi Motoyama, the NISMO crew dropped the car off its air jacks onto Lyons’ foot. Lyons was examined and later cleared to drive this afternoon.
Courtney was just 0.102-second behind the Nissan in his No. 37 Dynacity Tom’s V-8 powered Toyota Supra, turning a fast lap of 1:24.797 (97.645 mph). Benoit Treyule (Calsonic Impul Nissan 350Z), Erik Comas (G’ZOX/SSR.Hasemi Nissan 350 Z) and Andre Lotterer (No. 32 PIAA Honda NSX) completed the top five in the faster GT500 class.
Driving the No. 43 ARTA Garaiya, Japanese driver Morio Nitta turned a fastest time of 1:30.204 (91.792 mph) to lead the GT300 class. Nitta and teammate Shinchi Takagi finished one point behind Tetsuya Yamano and Hiroyuki Yagi in the season-long Championship, but led the champions’ M-Tec Honda NSX by 1.194 seconds.
Live Timing & Scoring Presented by SCCA Pro Racing is available for this afternoon’s final practice session, scheduled for 4:50 p.m. (PST) at http://leaderboard.vfx.com/SCCA/JGT/LiveTiming_800.asp.
For more information, please visit www.scca.com or www.jgtcusa.net.