Come back TOM’s style
After great qualifying, coming very sunny race day.
Race format is here
・Race distance 203km
・Need to 1 pit stop (change at least 1 tyre)
In start, pole sitter Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) makes hole shot! Position change for 2nd, Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) up to 2nd passed Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo/Inging).
Many driver into pit before end lap1, because this race is not too long distance.
So into first lap is mainstream strategy for not top group.
7th start Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) into pit and refuel plus change front right tyre.
Next lap 4th position Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo/Inging), Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen), etc. Pit strategy separate between finish pit duty end up to lap4 and other.
In lap 13, Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) into pit and done fuel and rear 2 tyre change). Return to track ahead Pierre Gasly. But Kobayashi still cold tyre, so can’t hold position.
But Kobayashi passed Gasly lap 20 at Hitachi Automotive chicane.
Main rival for Kobayashi, Takuya Izawa (DOCOMO Team Dandelion) into pit next lap and protect to position against Kobayashi.
Running 3rd, Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing) into pit and little long refuel and 4 tyre change. So down to position behind Andre Lotterer.
After that, non pit man Kazuya Oshima (SUNOCO Team LeMans) spun out and engine stop at spoon curve. Oshima doesn’t move again, so SC introduce.
In this time, top 2 driver Kazuki Nakajima and Naoki Yamamoto did a pit duty same 2 tyre change and refuel.
Restart of the race last 10 lap, Kazuki hold position and stay cool.
Many battle mid field, put on new tyre Tsukakoshi push hard and try to pass Lotterer.
But Lotterer block and hold 5th.
And super rookies battle for 10th, after difficult qualifying Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) shows good pace and try to catch up Pierre Gasly.
Behind that same rookie Jan Mardenborough (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) crashed at turn 1.
Finally, top runner Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) dominate wins at NGK Suzuka 2&4 race! It wins since 2015 Rd.5 Autopolis for Kazuki.
And return to winning spot for Team TOM’s since 2015 final round of JAF GP.
2nd is Honda ace Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen), 3rd is defending champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo/Inging).
4th is Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo/Inging), 5th is Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s). In this results, champion experienced person occupies 1st to 5th place.
Shows large presence despite reduce 1 car entry for 6th and fastest lap Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing).
Difficult debut for rookies, top of rookie is 10th Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen). Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) is 11th.
Kenta Yamashita (Kondo Racing) is 14th, Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing) is 17th. Crashed turn 1 Jan Mardenborough (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) 18th.