Home Formula RegionalFRegional Japanese Championship Fuma Horio wins twice on debut FRegional Japan weekend at Sugo

Fuma Horio wins twice on debut FRegional Japan weekend at Sugo

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRJC

Sutekina Racing Team’s Fuma Horio won both races on his Formula Regional Japanese Championship debut at Sportsland SUGO.

The eight-car field had two practice sessions, and Bionic Jack Racing’s debutant Alfie Briggs set the pace in the first with a 1m20.022s lap to lead Birth Racing Project’s Sebastian Manson by 0.807 seconds. Manson’s team-mate Michael Sauter lowered the pace to 1m19.470s in FP2, with Manson 0.258s behind in second place. Briggs and his team-mate Jesse Lacey were both within a second of Sauter in third and fourth.

Laptimes were even quicker in qualifying, and Horio took pole for his debut race by setting a 1m19.255s in Q1. He was fastest by just 0.039s over Sauter, with a gap of 0.193s to Lacey, 0.32s to Briggs, 0.324s to Manson and 0.694s to TOM’S driver Yoshiaki Nakamura.

Manson claimed race two pole in Q2, lowering the pace further to 1m18.396s and edging Horio by 0.06s. Sauter was third fastest, 0.329s behind, and 0.003s split Nakamura and Lacey in fourth and fifth with both 0.8s slower than the poleman. “Yugo” failed to set a representative laptime in either session, but was allowed to race.

Several drivers suffered with wheelspin at the start of race one including Horio, but they managed to keep the lead into turn one and were a second ahead of Sauter by the end of the first lap. That gap had grown to 2.115s after three laps, but it took another four for it get any larger.

By lap 15 there was four seconds between the pair, but a lap later the gap was 6.125s and it then ballooned through the rest of the 22-lap race and Horio won by 12.586s. Lacey lost touch with the top two after lap five and finished 17.545s behind in third, and junior karting champion Briggs was fourth.

Nakamura passed Manson for fifth on lap 13, but then dropped behind him and Anna Inotsume on lap 17 and soon retired. “Yugo” therefore finished seventh, but was a lap down by lap nine and then lapped a second time on lap 18 as he sorely lacked pace.

Horio made a stronger start than poleman Manson in race two, and with the inside line he was able to take the lead before turn one. It took him three laps to pull a second clear this time, and he was unable to drop Manson who finished 1.715s behind. Sauter just about kept with them and took the points lead by finishing 3.149s back in third.

Briggs jumped to fourth on lap one and resisted overtake attempts from Nakamura on laps 11, 15 and 18. Lacey dropped back from the pair late on, while “Yugo” got lapped twice again.

Results round-up
Race 1 (22 laps)
1 Fuma Horio Sutekina Racing Team 29m55.940s
2 Michael Sauter Birth Racing Project +12.586s
3 Jesse Lacey Bionic Jack Racing +17.545s
4 Alfie Briggs Bionic Jack Racing +19.474s
5 Sebastian Manson Birth Racing Project +31.049s
6 Anna Inotsume Helm Motorsports +31.705s
7 “Yugo” N-Speed +2 laps
Ret Yoshiaki Nakamura TOM’S
Pole: Horio, 1m19.255s
Fastest lap: Sauter, 1m20.916s

Race 2 (22 laps)
1 Horio 29m45.747s
2 Manson +1.715s
3 Sauter +3.149s
4 Briggs +20.797s
5 Nakamura +21.317s
6 Lacey +27.569s
7 Inotsume +44.347s
8 “Yugo” +2 laps
P: Manson, 1m18.396s
FL: Sauter, 1m19.983s

Championship standings
1 Sauter 83   2 Jiei Okuzumi 61   3 Manson 53   4 Horio 50   5 Lacey 44   6 Nakamura 40   7 Inotsume 30   8 “Motoki” 26   9 Kizuki Hirota 25   10 Briggs 24