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Special Preview: 16th JAF Grand Prix Suzuka

The final round of the Japanese Super Formula Championship will take place, fittingly, at the 16th JAF Grand Prix Suzuka at Suzuka Circuit – a two-race final act that will determine the 45th Japanese Top Formula Champion.

Eight drivers – including four main contenders and four longshots – are still mathematically eligible to win the championship, in these final two races of the 2017 season. Two young superstars are vying to become the first rookie champion of the series in over twenty years. It’s all to play for in the richest prize in Japanese open-wheel racing.

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Sekiguchi wins again in Sugo, Gasly closes in on championship lead

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

Gasly does the double at Autopolis

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.

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Super Formula returns to Autopolis as Ishiura looks to extend points lead

For the first time since September 2015, the Japanese Super Formula Championship will return to Kyushu island and the undulating, high-altitude Autopolis circuit for the fifth round of the 2017 season.

Back for the first time since the Kumamoto earthquakes of April 2016 cancelled last year’s running of the event, Autopolis will be the stage for the championship contenders to all keep pace with points leader Hiroaki Ishiura, who leads the field in pursuit of his second Japanese top formula championship with just three rounds left this season.

Continue reading Super Formula returns to Autopolis as Ishiura looks to extend points lead