Makino was very best of the non-Toyota motorists in Saturday’s Q2 pole shootout, putting the #100 Staff Kunimitsu NSX-GT he shares with Naoki Yamamoto powering only the Rookie Racing and SARD GR Supras.
Toyota dominated very last year’s Okayama opener, sweeping the top five in qualifying and major four in the race, and the moment once more the GR Supra was the car or truck to have on Saturday with five of its 6 vehicles advancing to Q2.
Having said that, Makino is optimistic that he and Yamamoto have the probability to avert a further Toyota washout on Sunday many thanks to their robust race speed.
“It was a complicated problem for me in observe,” Makino instructed Motorsport.com. “My finest lap was a 1m18.5s, so to discover two seconds [for qualifying] was incredibly hard, also to change the car. But in the conclusion P3 was not a poor final result for us and in particular for Honda. I consider we can struggle from there.
“Q1 is actually restricted, and today’s most important issue was Yamamoto-san producing it by Q1. This was a huge spotlight. That was crucial for us.”
On his and Yamamoto’s prospective clients for the race, Makino added: “The race tempo is not terrible really. I know it is difficult to struggle Toyota for the reason that their straight pace is greater than ours.
“Let’s see what we can do in a race problem but I imagine our very long-operate speed is excellent, and the tyres ought to be high-quality for higher temperatures. It ought to be ok, hopefully. I believe we can battle the Toyotas.”
This weekend’s Okayama opener will take on excess importance for Makino and Yamamoto, as it marks the first Super GT event considering that the demise of famous crew founder Kunimitsu Takahashi.
Makino explained the predicament only additional to the team’s perseverance to score its 3rd GT500 title and avenge final year’s dramatic defeat.
“We generally want to emphasis on successful, but especially this season,” Makino reported on Takahashi’s tragic passing. “It is a big enthusiasm for us. Of training course it’s unfortunate news about ‘Kuni-san’ but we want to fight for the championship yet again because this was his hope for us.
“Past yr we missing the probability to earn consecutive titles, so [reclaiming the title] really essential for us and Honda. This is our target. This 12 months is for ‘Kuni-san’.”
Nojiri “pissed off” with Q1 elimination
Team Kunimitsu was the only of the 5 Hondas to make it out of Q1, with the future-best of the NSX-GTs becoming the ARTA car or truck of Tomoki Nojiri and Nirei Fukuzumi in 10th position.
Nojiri admitted it was “incredibly annoying” to pass up out on a Q2 location but was in a position to acquire heart from Workforce Kunimitsu’s efficiency as he eyes a recovery in Sunday’s 300km opener.
“In the morning we did a lengthy operate in planning for tomorrow and we are not so worried about that, so I imagine there’s a optimistic there, but of class it would have been better to qualify a bit further forward,” Nojiri explained to Motorsport.com.
“I want to aim for the podium. Overtaking is complicated at Okayama, and usually a ton of ‘tricky’ issues transpire, so I want to keep target and fight till the end.
“[Toyota’s performance] was as we anticipated. I assumed they would be rapidly, and so it was. But the #100 motor vehicle was equipped to combat very well, they certified 3rd, so that indicates we are extra aggressive than we were being final yr.”