Great race at Okayama.
Very hot and shine for race day. Condition become so different from qualiying day.
In start, pole sitter Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU/CERUMO・INGING) done great start and keep first position. And J.P.Oliveira junp up from 5th to 2nd!
Incident between Yuichi Nakayama (KCMG) and Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU/CERUMO・INGING) at turn 1. Both car out of race.
James Rossiter (Kondo Racing) was running 6th. But suffered mechanical trouble and retired.
In 15lap, Andrea Caldarelli (Lenovo Team IMPUL) is first man done pit stop. IMPUL decide no-tyre change+refuel for Caldarelli. But Takuya Izawa (Real Racing) and Narain Karthikeyan (Docomo Dandelion) change 4-tyre+refuel.
Caldarelli gain some position with no-tyre change.
In top group after 33lap, 5th Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) rear tyre change+refuel. Next lap, 4th Tomoki Nojiri (Docomo Dandelion) same rear tyre change+refuel. No position change between Nojiri and Yamamoto both Honda powerd top driver.
In 38lap, 2nd J.P.Oliveira (Lenovo Team IMPUL) and 3rd Kamui Kobayashi (KYGNUS SUNOCO Team LeMans) coming pit lane. And same pit strategy (4 tyre change+refuel). But IMPUL crew make a mistake. So JP lost position 2nd to 5th.
On the other hand, Kobayashi gain position 3rd to 2nd.
Nojiri push to out lap’s Kobayashi at back straight end. But Kobayashi keep position.
And great battle shows in mid position group.
Lap leader Ishiura coming pit after the JP and Kobayashi’s pit. CERMO/INGING decide 4 tyre change+refuel.
And back to race top position.
After the pit Kobayashi push hard to Ishiura every lap. But Ishiura never make a mistake and Okayama is difficult to overtake.
Finally, Ishiura keep top position all lap and takes first ever top formula win his 6th season!
It win is the first time in 7 years for CERMO/INGING. Last win is 2008 same Okayama international circuit with Super GT champ Ronnie Quintarelli.
Kobayashi finished first podium in Super Formula. 3rd is top of Honda engine user Nojiri.
4th is Yamamoto, 5th is Oliveira.
So tough race for Team TOM’s. Andre Lotterer (Petronas Team TOM’s). Lotterer finished from 13th to 8th and gets only 1point. Replace from injured Kazuki Nakajima this race, Kazuya Oshima (Petronas Team TOM’s) finish 15th.
Next race is Fuji at July.