Qualifying under heavy wet condition. But race day turns full dry condition.
Before start. Super Formula family and Japanese race party devoted a moment of silence for Jules Bianchi.
Rest in peace Jules.
In start, pole sitter Andrea Caldarelli (Lenovo Team IMPUL) not good start. In contrast, team mate J.P.Oliveira (Lenovo Team IMPUL) goes to top position. And Kazuki Nakajima (Petronas Team TOM’s) jump up from 8th to 2nd!
At first corner, Caldarelli lost front wing contact with Kamui Kobayashi (KYGNUS SUNOCO Team LeMans).
And despite best grid start, Daisuke Nakajima (Nakajima Racing) crash with Narain Kararthikeyan (Docomo Dandelion).
Daisuke has puncture, Narain broken front suspension.
So SC introduce lap1.
After the SC run, restart to race. Andre Lotterer (Petronas Team TOM’s) into pit lap10. TOM’s done refuel and no tyre changes.Some driver reaction of Lotterer’s pit. Lap11 Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) and Andrea Caldarelli both coming pit and some service (refuel and no tyre changes).
In top group, J.P.Oliveira steady pace up against Kazuki Nakajima. Then 3rd position, Kamui Kobayashi into pit lap 20 with refuel and 4tyre changes. Kobayashi return to before Lotterer.
Next is 2nd position Kazuki Nakajima same refuel and 4 tyre changes. 4th position Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU・Cermo/Inging) done full service but no position changes from Kobayashi.
After 26laps almost top group driver same full service. Lap27 1st position, Oliveira into pit and back to top position In room.
After the pit stop, Kamui Kobayashi drop the pace due to didn’t good work new set tyre.
So Kunimoto pass Kobayashi. And young team mate Ryo Hirakawa (KYGNUS SUNOCO Team LeMans) pass too.
Difficult situation for Kobayashi.
Next one is Caldarelli who is same difficult race due to crash at opening lap. Kobayashi and Caldarelli are fighting long time final stint of race. Good battle and fight between Kobayashi and Caldarelli.
Finally Caldarelli takes 9th.
Point leader Hiroaki Ishiura wasn’t into pit until 41lap. Ishiura has good pace and strategy, so jump up 10th grid to 3rd position after the pit stop.
Finally J.P.Oliveira dominate race and takes first win this season! It became the best weekend for the Lenovo Team IMPUL. pole and win. 2nd is return to podium Kazuki Nakajima (Petronas Team TOM’s).
3rd is Rd.2 winner Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU・Cermo/Inging). ishiura keeps point lead. 4th is Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU・Cermo/Inging).
5th is best position of no tyre changer Andre Lotterer (Petornas Team TOM’s).
6th Ryo Hirakawa, 7th James Rossiter gets first point of this season. 8th is best Honda engine user Tomoki Nojiri (Docomo Dandelion). Difficult QF 17th, but great job gets 1point.
Pole sitter Andrea Caldarelli (Lenovo Team IMPUL) disappointment no point finish, but shows good pace and fight.
Kamui Kobayashi (KYGNUS SUNOCO Team LeMans) is 10th.
This season become more close and chaos. Because 3 race 3 different pole sitter and winner.
Next race is Rd.4 Twinring Motegi. August 22 and 23.