Home News Fukuzumi fastest at the flag in Super Formula free practice at Autopolis

Fukuzumi fastest at the flag in Super Formula free practice at Autopolis

by Elliot Wood

Photo: Super Formula

Nirei Fukuzumi prevailed in a last-minute shootout to be top of the times in free practice for the fourth Super Formula round of the year at Autopolis.

The track record tumbled across the two practice sessions, with INGING’s Sho Tsuboi bringing it down to a 1m24.714s in the morning.

That didn’t look it would be matched in FP2 in the afternoon, with laptimes firmly in the 1m26s when returning TOM’S rookie Ritomo Miyata sat at the top in the middle of the session – with B-MAX Racing with Motopark’s debutant Charles Milesi not far behind.

In the final five minutes the laptimes started to tumble after a brief red flag caused by Dandelion Racing’s Naoki Yamamoto coming to a stop, with Milesi’s team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita – making his first appearance since 2018 – jumping to the top of the order ahead of Miyata’s reigning champion team-mate Nick Cassidy.

Fuzukumi (Dandelion) then beat points leader Ryo Hirakawa (Team Impul) to go fastest by 0.162s, with Tsuboi going 0.033s slower on his penultimate effort and then deciding to pit at the end of his final lap.

Nakajima Racing’s Tadasuke Makino and Toshiki Oyu sandwiched Team Mugen’s Tomoki Nojiri in fifth, and Super Formula Lights points leader Miyata ended up seventh overall after failing to improve on the lap that put him in second place in FP1.

Sacha Fenestraz was the top Kondo Racing driver in eighth, ahead of Matsushita and KCMG’s Yuji Kunimoto, who also failed to improve in the afternoon session.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Nirei Fukuzumi Dandelion Racing 1m24.450s 44
2 Ryo Hirakawa Team Impul 1m24.612s +0.162s 39
3 Sho Tsuboi INGING 1m24.645s +0.195s 35
4 Tadasuke Makino Nakajima Racing 1m24.874s +0.424s 44
5 Tomoki Nojiri Team Mugen 1m24.879s +0.429s 35
6 Toshiki Oyu Nakajima Racing 1m24.890s +0.440s 39
7 Ritomo Miyata TOM’S 1m24.931s +0.481s 43
8 Sacha Fenestraz Kondo Racing 1m25.001s +0.551s 47
9 Nobuharu Matsushita B-MAX Racing w/ Motopark 1m25.111s +0.661s 41
10 Yuji Kunimoto KCMG 1m25.141s +0.691s 37
11 Kenta Yamashita Kondo Racing 1m25.151s +0.701s 43
12 Ukyo Sasahara Team Mugen 1m25.301s +0.851s 42
13 Naoki Yamamoto Dandelion Racing 1m25.360s +0.910s 41
14 Nick Cassidy TOM’S 1m25.678s +1.228s 40
15 Hiroaki Ishiura INGING 1m25.719s +1.269s 37
16 Charles Milesi B-MAX Racing w/ Motopark 1m25.764s +1.314s 44
17 Yuhi Sekiguchi Team Impul 1m25.822s +1.372s 35
18 Yuichi Nakayama KCMG 1m25.874s +1.424s 41
19 Kazuya Oshima ROOKIE Racing 1m26.192s +1.742s 36
20 Tatiana Calderon ThreeBond w/ Drago Corse 1m27.242s +2.792s 45