Interesting because can not be expected
After the wet qualifying, race was first time Fuji+Dry condition.
Before the race, Daisuke Nakajima (Nakajima Racing) has huge crash at 300R in FP3. So Daisuke was DNS.
In start, pole sitter Stoffel Vandoorne (Docomo Team Dandelion) didn’t makes good start and side by side with Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging).
But former GP2 champ and 2015 SF champ both over run at turn 1. So 3rd start J.P.Oliveira (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) moves up to top.
And great start for Kazuki Nakajima (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) move up 6th to 2nd!
But Oliveira small off at final corner and Nakajima gets top. 3rd is Bertrand Baguette (Nakajima Racing). 4th is pole man Stoffel Vandoorne.
After 10laps, some driver try to pit service. Andre Lotterer (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) in pit 11laps. And Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo・Inging) in 12laps.
But lap16, Kunimoto has spun at turn 1 due to gearbox failure and stop.
So SC has development.
In this timing, all driver coming pit and most of the drivers only re fueling.
Race has restart on lap19, top group was not big position changes.
But some changes in circumstances, 2nd position J.P.Oliveira close the gap to top man Kazuki Nakajima.
In that behind so hard battle for 3rd. Baguette hold 3rd position from same Belgian Vandoorne. And Lotterer push hard to rookie Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL).
Big battle began least 10laps, Baguette’s pace was fall. So battle for 3rd group is big pack.
First, Sekiguchi over takes Vandoorne at Dunlop corner, Sekiguchi catch up to Baguette same Dunlop corner. Lotterer and Vandoorne both pass through Baguette.
After that, Vandoorne spun out turn 1 due to brake failure. In addition Baguette retire due to suspension failure. So tough day for Belgian fans.
Huge drama on lap 51, J.P.Oliveira pass Kazuki Nakajima at turn 1 with one chance.
Finally J.P.Oliveira (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) takes first wins 2016 season! And for the first time in 1 years win. Kazuki Nakajima (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) is 2nd.
Mortifying result for Kazuki, but great come back after LeMans 24h.
3rd is rookie Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) takes first time podium finish.
So ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL score 1-3 finish.
4th is Andre Lotterer (VANTELIN Team TOM’s), 5th is James Rossiter (Kondo Racing).
Dramatic finish for Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging) takes 6th from Narain Karthikeyan (Sunoco Team LeMans) only 0.01 second!!
Next race is Twin Ring Motegi. But in season testing held at Fuji tomorrow.
And this test is huge important for all driver. Because first time test new Soft compound tyre.