New tyre new drama
New season is coming, NGK Spark plug Suzuka 2&4 race.
Super Formula 2016 Rd.1 Suzuka. Many eventful things happen on qualifying session.
Key word is ”Yokohama Tyre”.
Q1 (20 minute)
All driver first time wear Yokohama ADVAN tyre for officila qualifying session.
They sets old tyre for first 10 min. Last 2min they try to sets new tyre.
But Big happening at this timing occurs. 2010 Champion J.P.Oliveira (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) spun out at Dunlop curve.
So red flag shows. Restart with 3min, they push hard to pass Q1.
But William Buller (Kondo Racing) spun out at spoon corner. Yellow flag has been shows at spoon corner. It had passed through the position at this timing, 2015 defending champion Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU CERMO/INGING) deleted by stewart his best time.
So Ishiura ended 14th and knock out from Q1.
Q1 out driver Hiroaki Ishiura, Yuichi Nakayama, J.P.Oliveira, William Buller, Daisuke Nakajima.
Q2 (7 minute)
Each driver early to enter the circuit due to difficult condition and difficult tyre.
In the beginning, Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) goes top with 1:38 stand.
At that time that each driver had to update the time, 2012 and 2014 champion Kazuki Nakajima (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) spun out at spoon corner.
So following the Q1, red flag re-post for Q2. And Kazuki out of Q2.
After the restart of session, under 8th position driver attack to want pass Q3.
Finally 2011 champion Andre Lotterer couldn’t pass Q3 and finish 9th.
Q2 out driver Andre Lotterer, James Rossitter , Takuya Izawa, Bertrand Baguette, Narain Karthikeyan, Kazuki Nakajima.
2015 team champion Team TOM’s guys both knock out from Q2.
Q3 (7 minute)
Final stage for qualifying. They push hard and carefully warm the tyre.
First great attack is Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing), but rookie Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) beat that time.
Additionally Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU CERMO/INGING) beat to Sekiguchi. But finally 2013 champion Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) sets overwhelming fastest time faster than Kunimoto 0.4 second.
Yamamoto shows worthy of the Suzuka Meister on Qualifying. His 7th pole position.
2nd is Yuji Kunimoto, 3rd is rookie driver Yuhi Sekiguchi.
4th is same rookie Stoffel Vandoorne (Docomo Team DANDELION). 5th is team mate Tomoki Nojiri.
・Yokohama tyre is so different and difficult than Bridgestone?
Many driver says Yokohama tyre is great performance, on the other hand pretty sensitive tricky moving on high speed range.
Actually, many red flag at Practice and Qualifying. Yokohama tyre to be bothering the champion experience drivers.
So It is going to be unpredictable in the expansion race.