Home News Hirakawa on Super Formula Okayama pole ahead of debutant Miyata

Hirakawa on Super Formula Okayama pole ahead of debutant Miyata

by Tim Lumb

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Ryo Hirakawa claimed his second Super Formula pole in a row at Okayama, ahead of debuting Formula 3 graduate Ritomo Miyata.

It was a close call for the Team Impul driver in his Q1 group as he just made it through into Q2 in seventh (the last to make it through), and again was only seventh fastest in the next session.

However in the final qualifying session Hirakawa set fastest sector times across what was his pole position lap. The Red Bull athlete won last month’s season opener at Twin Ring Motegi from pole.

Miyata, who is standing in this weekend at TOM’S for Le Mans 24 Hours winner Kazuki Nakajima, surprised by setting the fastest laptime in both Q1 and Q2 before qualifying on the front row for his Super Formula debut.

He and Sena Sakaguchi are both on double duty this weekend, as alongside Super Formula they are racing in the supporting Super Formula Lights (previously known as Japanese Formula 3).

Sacha Fenestraz wasn’t able to beat his 2019 SF Lights title rival to the front row, but the Kondo Racing driver was able to qualify in third ahead of Tadasuke Makino (Nakajima Racing) in fourth position.

Makino’s rookie team-mate Toshiki Oyu and INGING’s Hiroaki Ishiura will start the race on the third row of the grid in fifth and sixth respectively ahead of Dandelion Racing’s two-time champion Naoki Yamamoto.

Sho Tsuboi went into the barriers on his flying lap in Q3, but the INGING driver will start the race in eighth.

Reigning champion Nick Cassidy was the main casualty from Q2 as he missed out on joining the final eight drivers in Q3. He rounds off the top 10 for the race alongside Team Mugen’s Tomoki Nojiri in ninth.

Sakaguchi will start 11th on his debut with Kondo, ahead of KCMG stand-in Yuichi Nakayama, Mugen stand-in Ukyo Sasahara and ThreeBond Racing with Drago Corse’s Tatiana Calderon replacement Koudai Tsukakoshi.

Mitsunori Takaboshi was slowest of all in qualifying for his SF debut with B-MAX Racing by Motopark.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Ryo Hirakawa Team Impul 1m13.761s 1m13.052s 1m12.773s
2 Ritomo Miyata TOM’S 1m13.131s 1m12.646s 1m13.109s
3 Sacha Fenestraz Kondo Racing 1m13.316s 1m12.722s 1m13.173s
4 Tadasuke Makino Nakajima Racing 1m13.654s 1m13.031s 1m13.426s
5 Toshiki Oyu Nakajima Racing 1m13.359s 1m13.004s 1m13.431s
6 Hiroaki Ishiura INGING 1m13.442s 1m13.105s 1m13.705s
7 Naoki Yamamoto Dandelion Racing 1m13.425s 1m12.994s 1m14.498s
8 Sho Tsuboi INGING 1m13.181s 1m12.831s 1m23.545s
9 Tomiki Nojiri Team Mugen 1m13.218s 1m13.115s
10 Nick Cassidy TOM’S 1m13.120s 1m13.148s
11 Sena Sakaguchi Kondo Racing 1m13.230s 1m13.175s
12 Yuichi Nakayama KCMG 1m13.370s 1m13.211s
13 Ukyo Sasahara Team Mugen 1m13.677s 1m13.553s
14 Koudai Tsukakoshi ThreeBond w/ Drago Corse 1m13.695s 1m13.644s
15 Yuhi Sekiguchi Team Impul 1n13.777s
16 Nirei Fukuzumi Dandelion Racing 1m13.795s
17 Kazuya Oshima ROOKIE Racing 1m13.972s
18 Yuji Kunimoto KCMG 1m13.997s
19 Mitsunori Takaboshi B-MAX Racing w/ Motopark 1m14.127s