Like a Hoshino style.
Many new things introduce this Motegi round.
After the wet FP2, In strong sunshine and high temperatures, makes dry condition on Qualifying session.
So they use new Soft tyre.
In Q1 session, almost driver sets Soft tyre. But only ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL guys sets Medium tyre for Q1.
This strategy was successful due to no big time difference between Soft and Medium.
So both IMPUL guys pass Q1. In Q2, Sekiguchi continue fast. But his team mate unexpected J.P.Oliveira knock out from Q2.
And Mclaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne out 9th.
In Q3, Only Sekiguchi has new soft tyre, because Sekiguchi didn’t use soft tyre at Q1.
So rookie man Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) gets his first time Super Formula pole position.
Tyre selection of drivers, From top to 10th driver sets Soft, 10th to 15th grid use Medium. Last 4 driver sets Soft.
In start, Pole man Yuhi Sekiguchi makes good start and keep position 1.
2nd start Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU/Cermo Inging) is drop position passed by Andre Lotterer (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) and Tomoki Nojiri (Docomo Team Dandelion).
Local man and point leader Naoki Yamamoto (Team MUGEN) start 8th, but Yamamoto mistake to braking and off turn 1. So drop out to 19th.
Sekiguchi shows great opening pace, and lead 5 sec from 2nd position Lotterer.
Unfortunately trouble for Nojiri and Oliveira.
Lap5, 3rd position Tomoki Nojiri slow down due to electrical problem. And some problem for Rd.3 winner J.P.Oliveira (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL). Oliveira stop lap8.
After 12 laps, Narain Karthiykeyan (SUNOCO Team LeMans) is first man inter to pit. And front runner Kazuki Nakajima (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) pit and changes tyre from Medium to Soft.
Then a few laps Kazuki shows great speed. But Kazuki stack to behind group.
Always Motegi is difficult to overtake. So Kazuki suffer significant time loss.
In 34laps, 1st position Sekiguchi coming pits and no trouble completing the pit work. Lap36, 2nd position Andre Lotterer and James Rositter (Kondo Racing).
Next lap Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU/Cermo・Inging) coming pits.
Ishiura push hard his in lap, but Lotterer makes fantastic put lap. So Lotterer keep 2nd position.
After the pit, Sekiguchi continue lead the gap, and management the machine.
2nd position battle between Lotterer and Ishiura around 1sec.
Finally Yuhi Sekiguchi (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) impressive pole to dominate wins! His first time win in rookie season. It was since Tomoki Nojiri (Docomo Team Dandelion) 2014.
Andre Lotterer (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) comeback to podium spot 2nd. Hiraoki Ishiura (P.MU/Cermo Inging) is 3rd.
4th is Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU/Cermo Inging). 5th season best results for James Rossiter (Kondo Racing). Top Honda driver Stoffel Vandoorne (Docomo Team Dandelion).
Kazuki Nakajima (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) is 7th that strategy did not work.
Local man and newlywed Naoki Yamamoto (Team MUGEN) great recovery from 19th to 8th.