May 9, 2015
Rd. 3 Motegi

Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb

◎ Cassidy Wins Second Straight after Beating Pole-sitter Yamashita
  F3-N: Ai Miura Fights off Ogawa to Score Second Win

The Japanese Formula 3 Championship moved from Suzuka Circuit to Twin Ring Motegi for the second race weekend of 2015 with 2 qualifyings and the third race on Saturday May 9th and the forth and the fifth races on Sunday May 10th. Completely unlike the clear weather on Friday, the sky was overcast on Saturday. As long as it would not rain the track conditions would certainly be improved with lower temperature from the practice sessions on Friday.

● Yamashita Takes His First Pole in a While

Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb

In qualifying of Rd 3 Kenta Yamashita of PETRONAS TEAM TOM'S took pole for the first time since Rd. 2 in 2014.
While HFDP RACING duo Tsubasa Takahashi and Nirei Fukuzumi placed high in the ranking with 1m45s level they set on their early attacks they could not really improve the times on an attack later. In the meanwhile Yamashita, after carefully warming up, moved up to the top with a time of 1m44.540. His team-mate Nick Cassidy did yet another attack, as he was not happy with his 1m45.020, but could only manage to reduce it to 1m45.000. Mitsunori Takaboshi of B-Max Racing team with NDDP set 1m45.078 to secure third grid, relegating Fukuzumi and Takahashi to 4th to 5th respectively.
"The car and my performance were both as good as yesterday", said Yamashita. "I was able to drive as well as in the practice sessions, and as the result of better track conditions I was even able to improve the time by one second. I hope I can make a decent start in the race as it'll be terrible if you mess up your start at Motegi."
Despite being surpassed for a while by Ai Miura Ryo Ogawa of TOM'S set 1m47.756 at the last minute to top the times in F3-N class ahead of the EXEDY RACING TEAM driver's 1m48.074; he was the only qualifier in the class who did under 1m48s. DRAGON of B-Max Racing team placed 3rd with a time of 1m48.996.

● A Head-to-head Battle Results in Cassidy's Win

It was occasionally drizzling into the afternoon, but was not as much as to wet the track, which was kept dry for the race. As the red signals went out at 4:03 p.m. Yamashita got a good start from pole. Cassidy also got a good start, and soon realised the effect of a decision that only Cassidy had made – to go out on new tyres – when he firmly gripped the track to overtake Yamashita at the first corner to take the lead. Following the two leaders was Takaboshi, whilst several places further back Ogawa bogged down in the top position of the class with stalled engine, allowing not only Ai Miura but also DRAGON to shoot past him. Guillaume Cunnington of FSC MOTORSPORT was also significantly lagged behind with stalled engine.
Yamashita was keeping pace with Cassidy even at better speed than his counterpart's, setting a fastest lap on lap 3, but Cassidy appeared to be very conscious of the Motegi course where overtaking was not easy; he strictly guarded pivotal points to win second straight. About two and a half seconds behind the leaders Takaboshi was following, while establishing new fastest laps on lap 7 and lap 8. The B-Max could not catch up with the two but proved himself as he scored a valuable point for setting the fastest lap.
Despite keeping the gap within a second into the last lap Yamashita could not turn the pole position into win. "Nick made no mistake, and because I was running right behind him I was somehow affected. Actually there was not a chance," he conceded defeat. Takaboshi placed 3rd ahead of Fukuzumi and Takahashi, the latter having battled it out with Lucas Ordonez of B-Max Racing team with NDDP.
"I'm very happy with the result as I didn't think I could win because I was not really good in performance yesterday," said Cassidy. "I got an extremely good start, so I concentrated on building as much lead as possible on the first lap, and after that since Yamashita was better at pace I was careful not to make a mistake. I want to continue to win the next two races tomorrow."

●Ai Miura Holds on to the Lead as Ogawa Suffers Engine Stall

Meanwhile in F3-N class the 3rd placed Ogawa passed DRAGON at the first corner on lap 3 and then started charging Miura, but she was calm enough in her defending to provoke Ogawa into making a mistake and spinning at turn 5 on the same lap. The TOM'S driver, however, regained the second spot from DRAGON on lap 8, and as soon as he resumed charging the class leader while setting new fastest laps, as much as seven seconds gap was quickly reduced, but Miura held on to earn her second win of the season after slightly opening up her lead on the final lap. It was also her first victory ever at a circuit other than Suzuka.
"Actually I almost stalled the engine, too. I was just lucky again as in the first race at Suzuka to take the lead in the start of the race," said Miura. "I did win, but it doesn't necessarily mean I did well, so I now realise I need to improve my driving," she did not forget to reflect on the good result.
DRAGON narrowly took the bottom step of the podium third times in a row, just 3 tenths ahead of Masaru Miura of CMS. The Rd 3 suggested even fiercer battle would be fought from now on.



Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb
Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb
Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb
Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb
Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb

[Round3 Race Result]
Pos. No. Driver Team/Car Team/Car Laps Total tone Delay Gap Best
1 37 ニック・キャシディ/Nick Cassidy PETRONAS TOM'S F314 Dallara F314 14 24'48.019 162.63km/h 1'45.565
2 36 山下 健太/Kenta Yamashita PETRONAS TOM'S F312 Dallara F312 14 24'48.794 0.775 0.775 1'45.618
3 23 高星 明誠/M.Takaboshi B-MAX NDDP F3 Dallara F315 14 24'52.847 4.828 4.053 1'45.539
4 7 福住 仁嶺/Nirei Fukuzumii HFDP RACING F312 Dallara F312 14 24'55.645 7.626 2.798 1'45.982
5 8 高橋 翼/Tsubasa Takahashi HFDP RACING F312 Dallara F312 14 25'02.035 14.016 6.390 1'46.579
6 22 ルーカス・オルドネス/Lucas Ordonez B-MAX NDDP F3 Dallara F312 14 25'02.771 14.752 0.736 1'46.476
7 19 ストゥルアン・ムーア/Struan Moore KCMG F312 Dallara F312 14 25'05.064 17.045 2.293 1'46.414
8 2 石川 京侍/Keishi Ishikawa TODA FIGHTEX Dallara F312 14 25'05.670 17.651 0.606 1'46.432
9 28 山口大陸/Tairoku Yamaguchi タイロク・ハナシマ28号 Dallara F312 14 25'14.502 26.483 8.832 1'47.100
10 3 三浦 愛/Ai Miura N EXEDY RACING F307 Dallara F307 N 14 25'41.989 53.970 27.487 1'49.076
11 38 小河 諒/Ryo Ogawa N KeePer TOM'S F306 Dallara F306 N 14 25'43.682 55.663 1.693 1'48.258
12 30 DRAGON B-MaxRacingF308 Dallara F308 N 14 26'04.054 1'16.035 20.372 1'50.118
13 77 三浦 勝/Masaru.Miura N アルボルアルデアCMS306 Dallara F306 N 14 26'04.374 1'16.355 0.320 1'50.620
14 13 吉田基良/Motoyoshi Yoshida N RSSwithB-Max312 Dallara F312 14 26'26.055 1'38.036 21.681 1'50.694
15 18 ギョオム・クニントン/Guillaume Cunnington N FSC MOTORSPORT Dallara F307 N 13 25'08.154 1Lap 1Lap 1'52.407
以上 規定周回数完走:
5 アレックス・ヤン/Alex Yang N KRC Hanashima Racing Dallara F306 N 7 13'07.800 7Laps 6Laps 1'50.543

開始時刻: 16:03'13 終了時刻: 16:28'01
BEST TIME 23 高星 明誠/M.Takaboshi B-MAX NDDP F3 1'45.539 8/14 163.78km/h
規定周回数 12