May 28, 2017 Rd. 9 Okayama

Palou outduels Miyata to score his third win
F3-N: Ueda celebrates his maiden victory

Alex Palou wins Round 9

Posting 1m21.892 Alex Palou (in THREEBOND) secured a pole position for 2017 Japanese Formula 3 Rd 9 race in a 10-min qualifying that was started at 10:05 am Saturday May 27.
Ritomo Miyata placed his Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F314 in another front row position ahead of his team-mate Sho Tsuboi (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317).

Start of Japanese Formula 3 Round 9

Struggling for balance of his B-MAX NDDP F3 Mitsunori Takaboshi settled for fourth spot on the grid. “I have no idea why the balance has changed though we didn’t change the setups at all,” he wondered.
In F3-N Masayuki Ueda(Rn Yamashita Seisakusho F306) took his first F3-N pole position from Alex Yang (HuaJiangHU F3) with Ryoya Hasegawa (Alb Niigata Daiichi Hotel Sugar) in third. DRAGON (B-Max Racing F306) failed to run due to a starter failure.

■ Two-way match-up for top spot between Palou and Miyata

Following a red-flagged Super Formula qualifying the formation lap for Rd 9 was started ten minutes late at 10:50 am on Sunday May 28 for a longer 25-lap event with the temperature rising in a clear sky.
The start of the race saw Miyata almost go side-by-side with Palou – who got a rather moderate start probably wary of repeating the penalty, caused at the start of the previous round, but the pole sitter managed to defend the lead as he swept around the outside at Turn one out front. The opening lap was completed with Palou, Miyata and Tsuboi rounding out top three.

Alex Palou (THREEBOND)

“In order to mount a decisive challenge in the closing stages” Miyata continued to increase pressure on Palou, keeping the gap within less than a second early on.
Tsuboi was right behind the lead two, with Takaboshi in fourth ahead of Hiroki Otsu (TODA FIGHTEX) and Ai Miura (EXEDY B-Max F317) battling for fifth place. The top six were lapping around being followed by a second of each other as Palou caught up with the tail of the field just past the halfway point.
The front runner make it through lapped cars, slightly extending the lead. Miyata was now left to deal with the attentions of Tsuboi instead, though the pair would not be as close as to run nose-to-tail.

Sho Tsuboi (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317)

Despite Miyata’s last ditch efforts Palou maintained the lead till the chequered flag, crossing the line with a 0.936 advantage over Miyata.
“It was really hard to hold off Miyata as he was so fast through the entire race with no mistake,” said race the winner. Tsuboi finished third.
Takaboshi ended up just outside the podium in fourth for the first time since Rd 6 race ahead of Otsu and Miura.

■ F3-N: Ueda delighted with maiden win

In the meanwhile the F3-N pole-sitter Ueda completed the opening lap at the front ahead of Hasegawa and Yang, while at the back of the field DRAGON set about a series of stunning overtaking moves, as he passed Makoto Hotta (muta Racing F306) on the opening lap and make up another two positions a lap later before aiming at Yang in third.

Masayuki Ueda (Rn Yamashita Seisakusho F306)

DRAGON finally caught up with Hasegawa in second place on lap nine after getting past Yang at Turn one on lap six. However, his charge would abruptly end in the closing stages as he spun around at the hairpin on lap 18, allowing Yang to come back to third.
With a commanding drive Ueda was never threatened to clinch his maiden F3-N win from Hasegawa.
While DRAGON immediately resumed his charge as soon as he returned to track he ended up in fifth place 0.070 sec adrift of Katsuaki Kubota (Planex SmaCame F308) in fourth.

Result & Entry List PDF