SUGO is alway dramatic
Super Formula 2017 Rd.6 SUGO held at last weekend.
Last 2 race Yokohama introduced 2 spec tyre, but final 2 race return to only medium tyre. And not pit duty for this race.
In Q1, they sets used tyre for first attempt. After first attack, difficult position for rookies Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) and Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans).
But final few minute, they sets new tyre for final run.
Finally Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) takes top, Gasly and Rosenqvist both title runner time up and goes to Q2.
Surprised knock out from Q1, Rd.5 pole sitter Tomoki Nojiri (DOCOMO Team Dandelion), Honda ace Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen), Rd,4 pole sitter Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing).
In Q2, they slow warm up and try to final attack around last 3 min.
Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) sets top time for Q2. Difficult results for defending champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo・Inging). Kunimoto drop from Q3 9th. Felix Rosenqvist is 10th, Rosenqvist suffered from traffic.
Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing) suffered trouble and didn’t flying lap.
In Q3, first man into the top is Andre Lotterer, but Lotterer little mistake. Then Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) beat before top time and sets fastest time.
But fantastic lap for Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing) goes top spot and breaking old record lap time! Finally nobody update that time, So former Japanese F3 champ Nick Cassidy maiden Super Formula pole position with new record time!
It is 2nd time pole for Kondo Racing both super rookie score. Last year SUGO winner Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) is 2nd, Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) best QF results 3rd.
Sunny day for race. Temperature improvement to 41℃.
Interesting move for Kazuya Oshima (SUNOCO Team LeMans), Oshima didn’t run warm up session. It is seems to no pit strategy and fuel save.
And 2nd gird Yuhi Sekiguchi ‘s mechanic repair work to until the grid walk. Due to crashed at FP3.
In start, good start for 2nd grid Yuhi Sekiguchi goes to top.
Terrible start for pole man Nick Cassidy (kondo Racing). Cassidy suffered electric and drop 5th. And Pierre Gasly try to pass Sekiguchi, but stay 2nd.
Both Vantelin Team TOM’s guys jump up to 3rd Andre Lotterer and 4th Kazuki Nakajima.
Point leader Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging) start 8th to drop 12th.
Lap7, 4th position Andre Lotterer into the pit in top group. Lotterer only re-fuel and return to course. After the pit stop Lotterer push hard and gain the time.
But big trouble for Lotteter, he penalize drive through to speeding the pitlane.
So Lotterer lose winning chance and big damage for title race.
In mid group, not good pace for Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) and Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans). But Both driver clearly lift and coast to save fuel. It seems to no pit strategy. So behind that Hiroaki Ishiura try to pass. Ishiura pass Rosenqvist lap26, Kobayashi lap 30. After the pass both guys, Ishiura sets fastest lap every lap.
1st runner Sekiguchi into the pit lap 40, due to lap down appeared. Sekiguchi only re-fuel and return ahead Kobayashi.
So Gasly up to top, but Gasly time battle to no pit strategy group. Subtle gap between Gasly and Kobayashi.
But Red Bull junior push hard and use OTS and into the pit lap 57, quick re-fuel and back to ahead Kobayashi. Next lap, Kazuki Nakajima casing Gasly into the pit. But Kazuki can’t over cat and back behind Gasly.
Final stage, Sekiguchi back to top. But Sekiguchi didn’t pace up due to trouble at pit stop. IMPUL’s re-fuel was not perfect and a little leaked out.
So Gasly push hard and try to pass Sekiguchi,
Finally Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) hold his position, takes 2nd wins since Rd.2 Okayama.
And 2 consecutive year wins at SUGO. Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) is 2nd. It is 3 consecutive podium finish. 3rd is Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) come back to podium since Rd.1.
4th is Defending champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo・Inging).
Drama for mid group, Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) completed no pit strategy and finish 5th. But same strategy man Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) suffered fuel pomp trouble and slow down. So drop 4th to 7th.
Strong race for point leader Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging). Ishiura down to 12th start, but 2015 champion recovery to finish 6th.
After the Rd.6, 2017 season only one remaining race.
Hiroaki Ishiura hold point leader. But PIerre Gasly goes 2nd and only 0.5 point behind from Ishiura. Felix Rosenqvist is 3rd off to 5 point.
SUGO winner Yuhi Sekiguchi jump up to 4th and off to 8 point.
Final round of JAF Suzuka GP is 2 race format and earn maximum 18 point (2 pole position, 2 race wins). So within 8 drivers to title race.