It wasn’t the dominant performance that he put on this time a year ago, but Yuhi Sekiguchi did hang on to win the sixth round of the 2017 Japanese Super Formula Championship at Sportsland SUGO on Sunday, keeping his hopes of winning the 2017 championship alive going into next month’s JAF Grand Prix weekend at Suzuka Circuit.
Sekiguchi denied Red Bull Team Mugen’s Pierre Gasly a third consecutive victory by just 0.243 seconds, the closest finish of the season. However, the French rookie closed to within half a point of championship leader Hiroaki Ishiura, who finished sixth – leaving eight drivers still mathematically eligible for the championship in October’s season finale.
Continue reading Sekiguchi wins again in Sugo, Gasly closes in on championship lead
Pierre Gasly took a major step towards becoming only the second rookie champion in Japanese Top Formula Championship history, by taking back-to-back victories in the 2017 Super Formula Championship with his win this past weekend at Autopolis circuit on the island of Kyushu.
In the second of two races to feature the prime/option tyre selection this season, the Red Bull Team Mugen driver Gasly went from fifth on the grid to second with a great start, then powered past pole winner Tomoki Nojiri to claim his second win of the season – leading an all-rookie 1-2 finish ahead of Felix Rosenqvist of Sunoco Team LeMans, who along with Gasly has asserted himself as a major championship threat to points leader Hiroaki Ishiura.
Continue reading Gasly does the double at Autopolis
The 46th International Suzuka 1000km was destined to be a classic – but few could have predicted the winner of the final 1000km endurance race at Suzuka Circuit.
The #64 Epson Modulo Honda NSX-GT of Bertrand Baguette and Kosuke Matsuura emerged as the unexpected winner of the final Suzuka 1000km, taking Honda’s eighth overall victory in the event, and ending a winless drought for Nakajima Racing that lasted nearly ten painful years – and did it in style, with a signature victory in the biggest race of the season.
It was the emotional climax to a race that was bound with a mix of exciting action, intrigue, heartache, and displays of indomitable spirit up and down the GT500 grid to close out the first era of the Suzuka summer endurance race.
Continue reading Epson Nakajima Racing shock the world at Suzuka 1000km
This weekend’s 46th International Suzuka 1000km will be the swansong for the GT500 class at this event, and Brazilian star João Paulo de Oliveira made the final qualifying session for the GT500 cars at the Suzuka summer endurance race a memorable one.
Oliveira, Daiki Sasaki, and the #24 Forum Engineering Advan Nissan GT-R of Kondo Racing stormed to pole position – the first ever for Kondo Racing in their twelve years in GT500 – as Oliveira broke the course record for GT500 cars by over three-tenths of a season.
It is a lap that will likely stand for all time as the fastest lap by a GT car at the Suzuka summer endurance race, and it puts Kondo Racing in the best position to potentially win the final Suzuka 1000km on Sunday and turn around what has been a miserable season for the team thus far.
Continue reading Oliveira & Kondo Racing take record-breaking Suzuka 1000km pole