Honda junior Ren Sato streaked to the top of the Japanese Formula 4 standings at Fuji Speedway with a double victory.
Sato led Reiji Hiraki in both qualifying sessions, but the latter threw away his front row start in the first race by stalling. Daichi Okamoto moved up into second, ahead of Kakunoshin Ohta.
Having taken pole at the Okayama season opener but failed to score points, Ohta was eager to make up lost ground and after hounding Okamoto for the first half of the race he made a successful move for second place. He didn’t allow Sato to escape up front, and the pair finished just 0.366 seconds apart.
Okamoto held on to third, with pre-race championship leader Seita Nonaka beating Kohta Kawaii to fourth.
Sato repeated his triumph in race two, which had some early safety car confusion. Several cars were involved in collisions, leaving a fairly isolated top six.
The battle up front was contested by just Sato this time round, as he built up six second lead over Hiraki and Kawaii. Hibiki Taira and Ohta completed the top five.
After winning on the Chinese Grand Prix undercard at Shanghai, Conrad Clark took another two Chinese F4 victories at Zhuhai, although was beaten to pole by Zijian He.
He put up a stern defence of his lead in the first race, and when Clark did eventually get through the two still continued their battle until He’s tyres started to give up life towards the end of the race. Clark won again in the second race, this time by some margin, with Fan Gaoxiang taking a surprise second place.
In the final race Clark and He resumed their battle, both rising up the reversed grid, with He being the stronger of the two. The local driver ended up chasing down victor Shang Zongyi, with Clark completing the podium 12 seconds behind.
Results round-up [pole in bold, fastest lap in italics]
|Race 1 (15 laps)||Race 2 (15 laps)|
|1 Ren Sato 26m44.836s
2 Kakunoshin Ohta +0.366s
3 Daichi Okamoto +4.157s
4 Seita Nonaka +5.138s
5 Kohta Kawaii +7.552s
|1 Sato 31m26.892s
2 Reiji Hiraki +6.389s
3 Kawaii +6.942s
4 Hibiki Taira +8.600s
5 Ohta +9.053s
|Standings?1 Sato 75? ?2 Nonaka 49? ?3 Suganami 45? ?4 Hiraki 35? ?5 Kawaii 35|
|Race 1 (16 laps)||Race 2 (16 laps)||Race 3 (16 laps)|
|1 Conard Clark 27m26.630s
2 Zijian He +1.972s
3 Shang Zongyi +3.730s
4 Fan Gaoxiang +30.237s
5 Xixi He +42.446s
|1 Clark 27m30.514s
2 Gaoxiang +7.554s
3 Zongyi +9.558s
4 Z He +10.728s
5?Yuanjie Zhu +18.703s
2 Z?He +0.495s
3 Clark +12.894s
4 Gaoxiang +14.549s
5 Zhu +42.135s
|Standings?1 Clark 115? ?2 Z He 71? ?3 Zongyi 55? ?4 Gaoxiang 42? ?5 Zhu 42|