On July 6, Day 2 of joint tests for the 44th edition of the Endurance World Championship (EWC) "Coca-Cola" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race 44th Tournament (Suzuka 8 Hours) was held at the Suzuka Circuit.
The participating bikes were divided into groups A and B. A 70-minute Session 5 for each group was held in the morning, followed by a similar 70-minute Session 6 in the afternoon. Unlike the previous day, conditions were hot in the morning with strong sunshine and soaring temperatures. 33℃ highs were forecast, but at Suzuka Circuit, heat reflected from the track surface and generated from the engines added to the scorching environment. Track temperature reached 55°C in the morning, and rose to 60°C in the afternoon, creating test conditions similar to the race itself.
In Session 5, Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing (Kosuke Sakumoto / Ryo Mizuno / Kazuma Watanabe) was third-fastest with 2 min 7.958s, F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Josh Hook / Mike Di Meglio / Alan Techer) was fourth with 2 min 7.891s, and Team HRC (Takumi Takahashi / Iker Lecuona / Xavi Vierge / Tetsuta Nagashima) was fifth-fastest with 2 min 7.791s. SDG Honda Racing (Teppei Nagoe / Naomichi Uramoto / Yuki Kunii) was sixth with 2 min 7.940s. Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA (Md Zaqhwan Bin Zaidi / Andi Farid Izdihar / Nakarin Atiratphuvapat) was eleventh-fastest with 2 min 8.499s.
In Session 6, Team HRC's Nagashima led the way with a 2 min 6.077s lap, followed by Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing with 2 min 6.638s, and F.C.C. TSR Honda France with 2 min 6.811s. SDG Honda Racing was fourth-fastest with 2 min 7.254s, Honda Dream RT SAKURAI Honda (Kazuki Ito / Daijiro Hiura / Kota Arakawa) was seventh with 2 min 7.895s, and Team ATJ (Satoru Iwata / Yuki Takahashi / Tomoyoshi Koyama) was tenth with 2 min 8.271s. Honda had six teams in the top 10 for the session.
Team HRC focused on long run tests, giving its riders a good feel for the bike. With ambient and track temperatures rising, the test was held in conditions similar to the actual race, allowing the team to accumulate valuable data. The team also performed race-condition pit work, preparing the crew for the race.
Honda aims for back-to-back wins in the Suzuka 8 Hours following last year, and if successful, Takahashi will tie Toru Ukawa's five Suzuka 8 Hours victories.