Nick Cassidy has shrugged off concerns that the 2020 GR Supra Super GT is not as quick as both the Honda and Nissan challengers.
At the pre-season test from Okayama over the weekend, the New Zealander could only manage the 11th fastest time, finishing almost one-second behind the revised Honda NSX-GT of Bertrand Baguette.
But despite struggling to match the pace of their rivals, Cassidy believes the No.37 TOM’S Supra is not as far off the pace as testing indicates. Rather, the team would be up the front come to the start of the season.
“I think the three manufacturers are closer than ever,” Cassidy told Motorsport.com. “But testing has provided a pecking order.
“There’s no massive surprise about the times at Okayama, we had all tested there [privately] without the GT300s there which was more representative.
“Honda seems to be very fast this year with the new NSX, so I think we’ve our work cut out a little bit to chase them. But we’re in the game for sure.
“In testing in Japan, a lot of teams go flat out. That wasn’t our objective for this test so we’re not really worried by the times. We’ve never been far off being the first Toyota so I don’t expect that to be a problem in the first race either.”
Cassidy’s teammate, Ryo Hirakawa, expressed a very similar impression.
“Because Honda is fast and Nissan is also fast, I think all three manufacturers are in a similar place. I think we need to get faster,” said Hirakawa.
“Because there’s still time until the first race, I want to try out some different things. I think there are many points that can be improved upon, with the car itself and the engine.”
The season-opening round of the Super GT championship was set to be held from Okayama but has since been postponed. The 2020 season is now set to kick off from Fuji in early May.