Satoshi Motoyama tasted SF14 first time at SUGO.

Lgeend  enjoyed it
After the Super Formula Rd.6 SUGO, JRP and Honda held engine manufacturer testing at SUGO.
This time only Honda bringing test car. And B-MAX Racing takes testing operation.
In, first day B-MAX regular Takashi Kogure drive and check run.
In 2nd day, 4 time Formula Nippon champion Satoshi Motoyama first ride SF14.
At the beginning of the morning session, Motoyama got used to getting used to the SF14.  After that Motoyama try to qualifying simulation.
Finally Motoyama sets 1:06.544. This time is can beat Rd.6 Q1 Kogure’s time! Off course condition was not same and more tyre rubber on circuit.

In Afternoon session, Motoyama try to start practice and first time hand clutch system. And done long run.  So Motoyama complete normally testing menu.

Comment from Motoyama ‘‘ It was interesting experience for me. I wanted to test SF14 for a better race commentary from before”
And about SF14 ‘‘Cornering G was harder than I expected. and very fast in middle and high speed corner. I want to ride again if I have the opportunity”.


4 time Formula Nippon champ Motoyama gets test SF14.

Legend meets SF14
4 time Formula Nippon champion and Super Formula official ambassador Satoshi Motoyama will test SF14.
Motoyama has not been on the Formula race at the end of 2008. So this chance is first time driver recently Japanese top Formula car.
This testing is within engine manufacturer testing.
Formua Nippon legend will drives Honda owns SF14 test car. The purpose of this test is for promotion and Motoyama gets information about SF14 for race commentary.
Satsoshi Motoyama still top runner in Super GT GT500 class as Nissan works driver. And last Friday, Motoyama test F3 car.
It is development testing for Japanese F3 N-class 2018 spec (F312+VW N-Class engine).
Very interesting his performance and comment about SF14.

Japanese press release

Sekiguchi wins 2 consecutive years at SUGO!

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.

Qualifying results

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.

Race results

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.
Point standing

Pierre Gasly grabs 2nd wins, Team LeMans double podium.

It is world class
Autopolis round coming back since 2015 due to huge earthquake in 2016.

Yokohama tyre continue introduce ”2 spec tyre”. But big change in Q1.
JRP decide to limited medium tyre for Q1.
In Q1, all drivers sets medium tyre. The session had passed smoothly. But last 1min, Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing) crashed out. So session was stop.
Session restarted last 3min, everyone tried position up.
Finally Kazuya Oshima (SUNOCO Team LeMans), Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing), Daisuke Nakajima (Nakajima Racing), Takashi Kogure (B-MAX Racing) drop out from Q1.

In Q2, they sets new soft tyre. Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) marks record breaking lap and top. Unfortunately Rd,4 pole sitter Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing), Rd.4 3rd finisher Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) are out from Q2.

In Q3 pole showdown start last 6min, Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) into top first man. But amazing lap for Tomoki Nojiri (Docomo Team Dandelion).
Finally Tomoki Nojiri takes 2nd pole position and sets circuit record 1:26.196.
And first Honda engine pole in this season. 2nd is Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo・Inging), 3rd is Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG).

Qualifying results

In race, drivers and team were very struggled to choice of start tyre and strategy.
However, top group choose medium tyre, only Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) sets soft tyre.
After the formation lap, race start. pole sitter Tomoki Nojiri (Docomo Team Dandelion) takes hole shot. And great start for Pierre Gasly. Red Bull man jump up 5th to 2nd at turn 1.
Accident for Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) contact with Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen). Lotterer broken suspension, Yamamoto was spun.
Early of race Takashi Kogure (B-MAX Racing) into the pit and change tyre medium to soft+refuel.  And interesting move for SUNOCO Team LeMans.
Both Felix Rosenqvist and Kazuya Oshima were pitted and change medium to soft tyre lap4 and 6.
Good pace and overtake show for ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL guys, Yuhi Sekiguchi and Jan Mardenborough. Both IMPUL guys seems to 2 stop strategy.
So Sekiguchi into the pit lap 11, and change soft to soft tyre+short refuel.
Top group is no change, Gasly chasing Nojiri but Nojiri hold his position 1.
3rd position Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo・Inging) straggle the pace and around 10sec from top. 4th runner Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) into the pit and change medium to soft+refuel. But Kobayashi passed by Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging). Ishiura was done pit 2 lap early than Kobayashi.

Big move for top group lap 23, 2nd runner Pierre Gasly into the pit and change soft to medium+refuel.
But Nojiri didn’t reaction to Gasly’s pit in. His behind man Yuji Kunimoto and Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) were push hard with fuel getting lighter.
Kunimoto catch up to around 2~3 sec.
At the time, Kazuki Nakajima into the pit and change medium to soft tyre+refuel. Kazuki return to 10th.
Lap38, position 1 Tomoki Nojiri into the pit and change medium to soft+ refuel. But his stop is a bit long refuel. So back to 7th. Kunimoto follow to Nojiri’s pit and into the pit next lap. Kunimoto passed Nojiri after the pit, and accident his behind.
Nojiri contact to Kobayashi and lost his front wing.
After the everyone’s pit duty, Gasly back to top. But very surprised to see both SUNOCO Team LeMans guys Rosenqvist and Oshima position up 2nd and 3rd.
Especially Rosenqvist’s pace was not so bad and continue chase to Gasly with around 50 lap running soft tyre. But Gasly control and hold his position.
Finally  Pierre Gssly (Team Mugen) finish 1st and great 2 consecutive Super Formula victory! Gasly shows great judgment of start tyre and high flexibility.
2nd is 3rd consecutive podium finish for Felix Rosenqvist. 3rd is long time come back to podium since 2012 Kazuya Oshima.
So SUNOCO Team LeMans complete early pit and very long distance with soft tyre.
Around 50 lap with soft tyre, fantastic strategy and good save tyre and fuel for both driver. Team LeMans gets double podium since 1998!

4th is point leader Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging). Not his day, but 2015 champion steady run and takes important point.
5th is his team mate Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo・Inging). 6th is Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s).
Top of 2 stop strategy for Jan Mardenborogh (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) 8th and takes fastest lap.

Super Formula is into final 2 race.
Point standing after the Rd.5
Gasly jump up to 2nd, Rosenqvist goes to 2nd. But Japanese ace Hiroaki Ishiura hold his lead.
More exciting race will come Rd.6 SUGO.

Race results

Pierre Gasly takes first wins at event full Motegi race.

Many battle and exciting race

Super Formula Rd.4 Motegi held at last weekend.
Yokohama tyre introduce 2 spec tyre for Rd.4 Motegi and Rd.5 Autopolis.
And Toyota and Honda introduce 2nd engine for second half of season.
Both engine manufacturer sets some update for new engine.

In Q1, early of session rain fall. And immediately road condition turns wet.
So results were decided in the order in which they warm up run.
As a results, 2016 team champion P.Mu Cermo・Inging due knock out from Q1, and local man Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) and Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing) were out.
Q2 was start delay due to heavy Rain and thunder. Finally race control decided to cancel Q2 and Q3. But move to Sunday morning.

After the short 10min FP3, Q2 and Q3 restart.
Local man Tomoki Nojiri (Docomo Team Dandelion) sets official circuit record 1:31.888.
Surprised results for top team, Vantelin Team TOM’s guys and ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL guys knock out from Q2.
In Q3, Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) sets fastest time early of session, but super rookie Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing) beat Kobayashi and takes first pole position.

Qualifying results

・Race (58 laps)
After the Japanese road race, some rain fall at circuit. But condition turns dry from race start.
This race they must use 2 spce tyre. So tyre choice was split.
Top3 (Ymashita, Kobayashi , Nojiri) sets soft tyre. 4,5,6 foreign super rookies (Gasly, Cassidy, Rosenqvist) sets medium tyre.

In start,  2nd grid Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) takes hole shot into turn1. Pole sitter Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing) drop to 3rd.
Kobayashi lead 4sec from Nojiri after 5 lap. Yamashita stack to Nojiri, so Yamashita decided to pit and done full service.
Top Honda runner Nojiri into pit lap 18, and change tyre (soft to medium). Nojiri return to course before Yamashita. But Yamashita passed cold tyre Nojiri at turn 3.
Over the half way, 3rd position Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) into the pit and change tyre (Medium to soft). Next lap, 4th position Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing) reaction from Rosenqvist and done pit.
But no position change.
Top of medium tyre man Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) into pit after 28 lap, done full service and return to course behind Yamashita.
But Gasly shows good pace and early pass Yamashita. And Rosenqvist follow Gasly and pace up with soft tyre and pass Nojiri and Yamashita both medium tyre man.
At least long time top runner Kamui Kobaayshi (KCMG) into the pit lap 33. Kobayashi has big lead from Gasly. But KCMG crew makes mistake change right rear tyre.
It cost loose 1st position, and passed by Gasly.
Situation change for Kobayashi. Kamui difficult to chase Gasly due to tyre disadvantage.
Finally Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) hold his position and finish first position! Red Bull young driver Gasly takes his first Super Formula wins!
And 2017 first wins for Honda engine. Gasly shows great performance, especially his first stint with medium tyre.
2nd is Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG), his best result in Super Formula, and first podium finish for KCMG team since start competition Japanese top formula 2010.
But this result that regret remains for Kobayashi and KCMG because so close to wins before pit accident.
3rd is Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans). Rosenqvist shows high quality and performance second consecutive podium finish. And move up to 3rd series ranking.

And Great recovery 2015 champion Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging). Ishiura start 17th.But Ishiura and team decide stay out with medium tyre for long stint.
After the 40 lap, Ishiura is final man into the pit and sets fresh soft. Good condition for Ishiura, good rubber and light weight, fresh tyre, so enable to pass Nojiri and Yamashita and Cassidy. Finally Ishiura gets valuable 4th.

After difficult race, but strong performance both Kondo Racing guys.
Nick Cassidy is 5th, pole sitter Kenta Yamashita 6th. Kondo Racing is only team lines top 8 finish both driver.
sld8.jpgAnother great strategy and fight for local man 15th start Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing) makes engine stall race start. But Tsukakoshi recovery from tail. Because Tsukakoshi only choice 2 stop strategy. So Tsukakoshi shows overtakes show.
As a result, Tsukakoshi finished 9th, but he was most ccandidate for driver of the day!

Race results 

Super Formula:Yokohama introduce 2 spec compound tyre for next 2 race.

More exciting race!

Super Formula organizer JRP reveals 2 spec tyre regulation for next 2 race.
2017 regular spec tyre is called medium, additional soft compound spec called soft tyre.
This try continue to last year’s Rd.4 Motegi. But 2016 spec soft tyre wasn’t as much work as expected.
So official tyre supplier Yokohama Tyre introduce update version Rd.4 Motegi and comeback after the huge earthquake Rd.5 Autopolis.

2017 spec soft tyre target more degradation and more grip.
New spec soft tyre faster than 2016 spec around 0.5~0.8 sec at SUGO engine makes testing in June. And tyre range will be around 150km.
Regular medium tyre is not big degradation and no need change tyre 1 race.
In Rd.4 and Rd.5, all driver must use 2 spec tyre in the each race.
At Autopolis international circuit, JRP held Super Formula engine makes testing 18/19 July.  This testing’s main task is final check of 2017 spec soft tyre.
As usual, both Toyota and Honda bringing each of test car.
ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL operate Toyota test car #00, Yuhi Sekiguchi and Jan Mardenborogh.
Team Mugen oparate Honda test car #05, Naoki Yamamoto and Pierre Gasly.
Gasly has coming Autopolis after the debut Formula E race at NY.
Unfortunately, rain fall 2 days testing. But in Day2 afternoon, they could check tyre.

Super Formula Rd.3: Ishiura takes wins, Rosenqvist on first podium.

Hard and hot race

Super Formula 2017 season R.3 is held at Fuji Speed Way.
Early summer coming in Fuji and so hot weekend.
2016 series champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo.inging) takes first career pole position. His team mate Hiroaki Ishiura is 2nd. So P.MU Cermo・Inging lines one-two. 3rd is Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL).

Qualifying Results

・Race  (55 laps)
So hot condition continue Air temp 32℃, road temp 44℃ for start race.
In start, Pole sitter Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo・Inging) makes hole shot. But 2nd start Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging) too much wheel spin and down to 4th.
3rd start Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) and Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) pass Ishiua.
Kunimoto push and extend lead from 2nd Sekiguchi.
Lap9, Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) is first man to enter the pit. And only refuel. Lap13, his team mate Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) to enter the pit and same menu.  Next man is Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) reacted to TOM’s guys action. Sekiguchi managed to hold his position from TOM’s guys.

So good situation for Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU/Cermo・Inging). 2 TOM’s and Sekiguchi were done to pit, it means clean air for Ishiura.
His behind top Honda man Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) shows good pace, but unfortunately accident for Yamamoto. His tyre puncture rear left at home straight and retire.
And same puncture for 4th running top rookie Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing).
Lap31, race leader Yuji Kunimoto into the pit and full service (4 tyre change+refule).
But huge moment for leader. Kunimoto return to pit due to suspension failure. Cermo・Inging try to fix, but not complete recovery, so disappointment retire.
After the this happening, 2nd position Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) hard push and into the pit lap 36, rear 2 tyre change+refuel.
Rosenqvist return to course 2nd position.
Lap 38 top man Hiroaki Ishiura into the pit and done full service.
Final pit enter Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG). But Kobayashi suffered problem and engine stall.
Big battle for 4th position. Yuhi Sekiguchi struggle the pace, and Red Bull man Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) push hard with new 4 tyre.
Both Sekiguchi and Gasly shows great battle. At final lap, Sekiguchi hold his position closed finish only 0.03 sec.
Finally 2015 champion Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging) wins first time 2017 season.  Great first ever Super Formula podium for super rookie Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans). In addition Rosenqvist sets fastest lap in this race.
3rd is legend Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) jump up 12th to 3rd.
Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) is 4th, 5th is top of Honda guys Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen),.

Race Results


Super Formula Rd.2 race2:Sekiguchi wins tough time race!

Makes revenge.
・Race 2 qualifying (Q1 and Q2)
Day2 for Rd.2 Okayama is 2 session QF and 50 laps race.
In 20min Q1, first 10min they try to check the car balance. Final 7min, all driver sets new tyre and into track. Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) up to 1st position. And many driver try to improve time. At that timing, Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing) crashed out at turn 2. So red flag shows last 1min.
Race director sets 2min 30sec for remaining time.
After the red flag, difficult only 1 lap battle, but Lotterer, Sekiguchi, Izawa jump up from knock out zone to Q2.
Defending champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU/Cermo・Inging) and 3rd in Rd.1 Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) knock out.
In Q2, into track last 7min, but they slowly tire warm up. So last 3min for last attack.
2017 Japanese F3 champ Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing) sets 1:14.104 and goes 1st. But Okayama mister Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU/Cermo・Inging) beat Yamashita and gets pole position. 2nd is impressive driver for Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing).
3rd is Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL).

Race 2 qualifying results

・Race 2
Race 2 is 50laps and they need to change 4 tyre in this race.
Very hot condition, air temp 27℃, road temp 47℃.
In start, pole sitter Hiroaki Ishiura makes hole shot and keep 1st. And Kenta Yamashita hold 2nd position.
After the lap1, 8 drivers into pit and change tyre.
Surprised to see, running 3rd in opening lap Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) finished pit duty.
Time competition began between the group that pitted and guys stayed out.
Sekiguchi pushed hard and keep running high pace. So Ishiura expand the gap behind 2nd Yamashita.
But Sekiguchi shows better pace than Ishiura.

In mid group, 2 time Macau GP winner Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) shine and shows as same pace as top group.
Lap31 Yamashita into the pit, Lap34, race leader Hiroaki Ishiura into pit. In this timing Sekiguchi pass to Ishiura. And big gap about 9sec.

But accident for Takuya Izawa (Docomo Team Dandelion). Izawa crashed out at turn 2. So SC introduce.In this timing Rosenqvist into pit and return to track with 4th.
Last 8 laps, restart the race.
With fresh tyre, Ishiura try to catch up Sekiguchi, same situation in battle for 3rd Lotterer and Rosenqvist.
But they can’t overtaking both guys, so Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) wins first time 2017 season. 2nd is Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU/Cermo・Inging).
Race 1 winner Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) hold P3.
Biggest mover and shows his talent Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) finish 4th.
Continue gets point for Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) is 5th, frustrating race for Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing) 2nd to 6th.

Race 2 results

Super Formula Rd.2 race1:Andre Lotterer return to top of the podium

German Samurai comeback!
Super Formula 2017 Rd.2 Okayama coming this weekend.
Rd.2 held 2 race format. Race 1 in Saturday, Race 2 in Sunday.
・Race 1 qualifying (20 min 1 sesion)
Race 1 qualifying is only 1 session of 20min. Almost driver sets used tyre for first run.
After the first attack, Okayama mister Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU/Cermo・Inging) sets top time. Last 6 min, they goes to last attack.
But 19 cars on narrow track, so many traffic. In such situation, IMPUL ace Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) gets pole position o.5min off to 2nd position Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s).
Great 3rd for rookie Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing).

Race 1 Qualiyfing results

・Race 1
After the qualifying, race 1 is only 30laps short sprint.
So they unnecessary pit duty.
In start, Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) makes hole shot from 2nd grid. Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) drop 2nd position.
3rd start Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing) keep his position.
Accident for PIerre Gasly (Team Mugen) and Takashi Kogure (B-MAX Racing). Gasly broken front wing, Kogure suffered flat tyre.
Okayama international circuit is too difficult to overtaking.
So no more big position change.
Finally WEC ace Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) wins Race 1. It is 24th win for Lotterer in Japanese top formula career. Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) is 2nd. First time podium finish for Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing).
Cassidy is rookie podium finisher in 2017 lineup.
Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) finish 4th. It is best results for KCMG team in Japanese top formula. 5th for Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen).
6th and 7th both F3 graduate rookies Jan Mardenborough (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) and Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing).

Race 1 results

Kazuki Nakajima dominate Suzuka weekend.

Come back TOM’s style
After great qualifying, coming very sunny race day.
Race format is here
・Race distance 203km
・Need to 1 pit stop (change at least 1 tyre)
In start, pole sitter Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) makes hole shot! Position change for 2nd, Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) up to 2nd passed Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo/Inging).
Many driver into pit before end lap1, because this race is not too long distance.
So into first lap is mainstream strategy for not top group.
7th start Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) into pit and refuel plus change front right tyre.
Next lap 4th position Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo/Inging), Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen), etc. Pit strategy separate between finish pit duty end up to lap4 and other.
In lap 13, Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) into pit and done fuel and rear 2 tyre change). Return to track ahead Pierre Gasly. But Kobayashi still cold tyre, so can’t hold position.
But Kobayashi passed Gasly lap 20 at Hitachi Automotive chicane.
Main rival for Kobayashi, Takuya Izawa (DOCOMO Team Dandelion) into pit next lap and protect to position against Kobayashi.
Running 3rd, Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing) into pit and little long refuel and 4 tyre change. So down to position behind Andre Lotterer.
After that, non pit man Kazuya Oshima (SUNOCO Team LeMans) spun out and engine stop at spoon curve. Oshima doesn’t move again, so SC introduce.
In this time, top 2 driver Kazuki Nakajima and Naoki Yamamoto did a pit duty same 2 tyre change and refuel.
Restart of the race last 10 lap, Kazuki hold position and stay cool.
Many battle mid field, put on new tyre Tsukakoshi push hard and try to pass Lotterer.
But Lotterer block and hold 5th.
And super rookies battle for 10th, after difficult qualifying Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) shows good pace and try to catch up Pierre Gasly.
Behind that same rookie Jan Mardenborough (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) crashed at turn 1.
Finally, top runner Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) dominate wins at NGK Suzuka 2&4 race! It wins since 2015 Rd.5 Autopolis for Kazuki.
And return to winning spot for Team TOM’s since 2015 final round of JAF GP.
2nd is Honda ace Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen), 3rd is defending champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo/Inging).
4th is Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo/Inging), 5th is Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s). In this results, champion experienced person occupies 1st to 5th place.

Shows large presence despite reduce 1 car entry for 6th and fastest lap Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing).
Difficult debut for rookies, top of rookie is 10th Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen). Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) is 11th.
Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing) is 14th, Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing) is 17th. Crashed turn 1 Jan Mardenborough (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) 18th.

Official results and report