September 29, 2018 Rd. 16 Sportsland Sugo

Tsuboi holds on for lights-to-flag victory with 8 consecutive and 13 season’s wins
Another podium finishes for Miyata and Sasahara

Sho Tsuboi(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

Start of Japanese F3 Round.16

With the afterglow of Sho Tsuboi’s title victory still lingering Rd 16 race of Japanese Formula 3 championship kicked off with the formation lap at 3:40 pm on Saturday September 29th.

In the qualifying early in the morning Tsuboi in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317 posted his second best time of 1m12.040 after the red flag interruption caused by Shunsuke Kohno (HubAuto F318) who went off through a contact with Toshiki Oyu (TODA FIGHTEX) five minutes into the session, securing another pole position for Rd 16 ahead of Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) and Ukyo Sasahara (THREEBOND), the exact same grid order as in Rd 15.

Having served the penalty for replacing his engine in the last race Sena Sakaguchi placed his TODA FIGHTEX on the second grind in fourth. Oyu also took the grid penalty for the contact with Kohno in Rd 15 and would start from fifth.

■Tsuboi has an excellent start from pole

Sho Tsuboi(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

Drops of rain that started after the Rd 15 race forced the teams to bring wet tyre sets to the grid, but were not as strong as to turn the track into wet conditions, and all the cars started on slicks.

Tsuboi had an excellent start from pole position, pulling away from Miyata. Having nailed the start unlike in Rd 15 Sasahara retained the grid position in third.
Behind the top three came Oyu, Sakaguchi and Yu Kanamaru (B-MAX RACING F3) in this order.

Yoshiaki Katayama (YTB F318) overtook Kanamaru at turn four on lap two to run up into the contention for points.
Slippery conditions made it unusually difficult for the race leaders to forge a healthy buffer in the early stages, leaving the three to circulate evenly spaced apart from each other.

Behind them a pack was being formed by Oyu at the front, Sakaguchi, Katayama and Kanamaru.
With drizzle continuing to fall Tsuboi looked to proceed to open up his lead when he posted 1m13.502 on lap eight, but Miyata fought back by setting 1m13.437, the fastest lap of the race on lap nine, with the TOM’S duo heading into the closing stages within a second of each other.

Ukyo Sasahara(THREEBOND)

■Tsuboi holds off persistently chasing Miyata for 13th victory

The pace of the entire field was slowing down as the track was getting slightly damp with intensifying rain. Tsuboi put this to good use to maintain the gap at less than a second into the final lap, only for Tsuboi to stay focused throughout the 18 laps to fend off Miata, marking his 13th win of the season with eight consecutive victories. Miyata snatched one point from Tsuboi with the fastest lap.
The podium was dominated by the same R15 lineup as Sasahara placed third.

Prevailing in close battles fought by four drivers with a controlled performance Oyu claimed fourth ahead of Sakaguchi, with Katayama in sixth and Kanamaru in seventh.

Having clambered his way through the order from the tail of the field after the crash in the qualifying Kohno finished ninth behind Kazuto Kotaka (Planex SmaCame F3). The result of Rd 15 decides grid order for Rd 17 and the result of Rd 16 decide grid order for Rd 9.

Jake Parsons (NODA RACING) completed the full distance in 15th and scored full-marks again.