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.
Continue reading Special Preview: 16th JAF Grand Prix Suzuka
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
Just two more rounds, and three races remain in the 2017 Japanese Super Formula Championship, and the sixth and penultimate round resonates from the tight, undulating, and treacherous Sportsland Sugo in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
Last year at Sugo, a rookie driver delivered one of the all-time great drives in Japanese Top Formula history. This year, the rookie class of 2017 – led by championship contenders Pierre Gasly and Felix Rosenqvist – will look to replicate Yuhi Sekiguchi’s stunning 2016 pole-to-victory performance, and take another step towards moving past former champion Hiroaki Ishiura in the Drivers’ Championship.
Continue reading Super Formula swings to Sugo for penultimate championship round
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