Home Formula 4F4 SMP F4 round-up: Sato’s Japanese sweep, Sulaiman wins NACAM title, Bulantsev supreme in Russia

F4 round-up: Sato’s Japanese sweep, Sulaiman wins NACAM title, Bulantsev supreme in Russia

by Tim Lumb

Photo: Japanese F4

Honda Formula Dream Project’s Ren Sato extended his Japanese Formula 4 lead by winning both races at Fuji.

Having been beaten to victory twice last time out at Suzuka, Sato got back to winning ways with a lights-to-flag win in race one. He got off the line well as title rival Togo Suganami (OTG Motor Sports) fell from second to fourth before the safety car was deployed.

When the race got back underway it was simple for Sato, who kept enough of a gap in hand over the recovering Suganami. Championship returnee Mizuki Ishizaka, driving for Bionic Jack Racing, completed the podium.

Race two wasn’t as simple for Sato. While he started from pole again, a slow start pushed him down to third place on the opening lap.

By lap four of 14 Reiji Hiraki had taken the lead of the race ahead of Suganami, who was shortly passed by Sato.

Over the final five laps of the race Sato and Hiraki put on a great battle and the lead changed on multiple occasions. It was Sato who was able to make a move stick on the final lap to take his fifth win of the season.

Manuel Sulaiman secured the 2018-19 NACAM F4 title at Mexico City and won the final race of the season.

While Jak Crawford won the opening two races of the weekend, second place for Sulaiman in race one meant that he only needed to win one of the final two races to clinch the title. Sixth place in race two however ended up being enough for Sulaiman to become champion.

Crawford’s team-mate Nicholas Christodoulou put in a good performance to finish on the podium in all three races, claiming second in race two and two third places. Pablo Perez de Lara however pipped him to third in the championship after a third and fourth-place finish.

Over in Russia, Pavel Bulantsev extended his lead in the SMP F4 Championship after winning both Autodrom Moscow races.

Artem Lobanenko, his closest title rival going into the round, was just behind him in race one. However, Lobanenko could only come up with fifth overall in the second race of the weekend.

By finishing third in race one and then second in race two, Alexey Nesov has now taken second in the standings.


Results round-up?[pole in bold, fastest lap in italics]

Race 1 (14 laps) Race 2 (14 laps)
1 Ren Sato 22m14.026s
2 Togo Suganami +1.829s
3 Mizuki Ishizaka +2.406s
4 Kakunoshin Ohta +3.121s
5 Daichi Okamoto +7.442s
1 Ren Sato 25m06.582s
2 Reiji Hiraki +0.527s
3 Togo Suganami +1.679s
4 Hibiki Taira +2.535s
5 Mizuki Ishizaka +3.985s
Standings?1 Sato 161? 2 Suganami 102? ?3 Ohta 92? 4 Taira 66? 5 Kohta Kawaai 65
Race 1 (15 laps) Race 2 (15 laps) Race 3 (15 laps)
1?Jak Crawford 27m11.225s
2 Manuel Sulaiman +1.424s
3 Nicholas Christodoulou +14.959s
4 Pablo Perez de Lara +18.436s
5 Chara Mansur +22.737s
1 Crawford 27m12.669s
2 Christodoulou +0.960s
3 Perez de Lara +1.349s
4 Chara Mansur +6.177s
5 Alex Garcia +8.335s
1?Sulaiman 30m50.168s
2 Crawford +1.791s
3?Christodoulou +3.736s
4 Garcia +8.052s
5 Emiliano Richards +10.594s
Standings?1 Sulaiman 364? ?2 Crawford 322? ?3 Perez de Lara 245? ?4 Christodoulou 243? ?5 Garcia 167
Race 1 (16 laps) Race 2 (19 laps)
1?Pavel Bulantsev 23m37.125s
2 Artem Lobanenko +4.829s
3 Alexey Nesov +10.021s
4 Irina Sidorkova +12.304s
5 Nikita Alexandrov +13.346s
1 Bulantsev 31m28.163
2 Nesov +8.895s
3 Sidorkova +10.267s
4 Alexander Vilaev +10.913s
5 Lobanenko +15.066s
Standings?1 Bulantsev 166? ?2 Nesov 139? ?3 Lobanenko 138? ?4 Vilaev 112? ?5 Alexandrov 101