Dandelion Racing’s Nirei Fukuzumi topped a wet opening Super Formula session at Sportsland SUGO.
Fukuzumi had been towards the sharp end of the order throughout the hour-long session, but it was only with his last lap that he topped the times with a 1m18.726s.
After running with the pace early in the session, Fukuzumi dropped down the order as Okayama winner Sho Tsuboi and his INGING team-mate Hiroaki Ishiura swapped places at the top of the order.
Tsuboi was the first driver to set a time sub-1m20s on the wet track, and for a long time was the only driver to do so. It wasn’t until the closing stages of the session that Ishiura also dipped below the 1m20s mark.
The duo were absent from the late stream of flying laps as most of the grid made improvements, with Ishiura dropping to seventh and Tsuboi ending up 0.066s behind him.
One of those late improvements was Sacha Fenestraz, who briefly held the top spot as the first driver to set a sub-1m19s lap, before dropping back to second as Fukuzumi improved. He ended the session 0.217s behind Fukuzumi.
Team Impul’s points leader Rio Hirakawa was third quickest, ahead of TOM’S driver Kazuki Nakajima, Nakajima Racing’s Toshiki Oyu and Hirakawa’s team-mate Yuhi Sekiguchi.
Dandelion’s two-time champion Naoki Yamamoto and Team Mugen’s Tomoki Nojiri completed the top 10.
Sergio Sette Camara will make his category debut this weekend, but his first run at Sugo was one to forget for the B-MAX Racing with Motopark driver.
The Red Bull Racing Formula 1 reserve driver span towards the middle of the session, bringing out the red flag so his car could be cleared. He managed to get back out, gaining valuable milage despite the challenging conditions, but his lap time was only enough for 18th.
Nick Cassidy and Kamui Kobayashi suffered even more limited running, and propped up the timesheet with laptimes way off the pace.
|1||Nirei Fukuzumi||Dandelion Racing||1m18.726s||27|
|2||Sacha Fenestraz||Kondo Racing||1m18.943s||+0.217s||28|
|3||Ryo Hirakawa||Team Impul||1m18.986s||+0.260s||23|
|5||Toshiki Oyu||Nakajima Racing||1m19.024s||+0.298s||28|
|6||Yuhi Sekighuchi||Team Impul||1m19.192s||+0.466s||25|
|9||Naoki Yamamoto||Dandelion Racing||1m19.594s||+0.868s||21|
|10||Tomoki Nojiri||Team Mugen||1m19.929s||+1.203s||22|
|11||Koudai Tsukakoshi||ThreeBond w/ Drago Corse||1m20.262s||+1.536s||21|
|12||Ukyo Sasahara||Team Mugen||1m20.443s||+1.717s||23|
|13||Kazuya Oshima||ROOKIE Racing||1m20.477s||+1.751s||23|
|15||Tadasuke Makino||Nakajima Racing||1m20.950s||+2.224s||25|
|16||Kenta Yamashita||Kondo Racing||1m21.219s||+2.493s||26|
|17||Sergio Sette Camara||B-MAX Racing w/ Motopark||1m21.936s||+3.210s||22|