Home Formula 4Japanese F4 Honda junior Yuto Nomura does Suzuka double in Japanese F4

Honda junior Yuto Nomura does Suzuka double in Japanese F4

by Ida Wood

Photo: Japanese F4

Yuto Nomura moved into the Japanese Formula 4 points lead in round two at Suzuka.

The Honda junior topped qualifying for race one, setting a 2m07.601s to beat fellow junior Ryota Horachi to pole by 0.133 seconds. Tosei Moriyama and Yuki Sano were also within a quarter of a second of the pace, with Kotaro Shimbara, pre-event points leader Hironobu Shimizu, Kiyoshi Umegaki, Rintaro Sato and Kento Omiya completing a top nine covered by 0.792s.

Toyota junior Sano had a grid penalty which meant he started 13th rather than fourth, denying him the chance to score in a race light on overtaking.

Nomura made a good launch from pole to lead Horachi, and a few corners in Ken Alex spun out. Omiya tried passing Sato at the hairpin just before the safety car was summoned so Alex’s car could be retrieved. Shimbara had managed to passed Moriyama for third before then, and Umegaki had dropped to ninth behind Toyota junior Kazuhisa Urabe.

Racing resumed on lap four, and Toyota junior Tokoyi Suzuki passed “Hirobon” for 13th at turn one.

Motohiro Kotani spun off at turn nine on lap six, but the safety car was not called until late in lap eight. Sano had passed “Hirobon” on lap six and then Suzuki on lap seven.

Horachi had pressured the leader, but another restart on lap 10 of 11 gave him a proper chance to go for the win. Nomura had more than enough pace to stay ahead though, and won by 0.744s.

Ryo Shirasaki dropped from 11th to 13th on the penultimate lap, then on the last lap Sato had to defend sixth place from Omiya into turn one and further behind Hachiro Osaka and Yuichi Sasaki had a crash. Sasaki was able to rejoin the track and finish 32nd, 4m36.617s behind the winner.

In qualifying for race two, Nomura claimed pole with a 2m07.691s lap. Moriyama and Horachi were 0.257s and 0.265s behind, with Sano half a second back in fourth.

Pole was converted into victory, with Moriyama and Horachi initially in pursuit. Horachi tried passing Moriyama at the start of lap eight and the final chicane on lap nine, and that allowed Nomura to pull away.

A slow launch from fourth dropped Sano behind Rintaro Sato and Shimbara, who started sixth and eighth. Shimbara overtook Sato around the outside of turn two on lap five then fled a big battle for fifth. Umegaki passed Sano on lap two and attempted to overtake Sato at turn one on lap nine but went off, then Sano and Shimizu cleared Sato at the final chicane.

Shimizu passed Sano at turn one as Umegaki overtook Sato, who also lost out to Omiya late in the lap.

Results round-up
Race 1 (11 laps)
1 Yuto Nomura HFDP 28m52.265s
2 Ryota Horachi HFDP +0.744s
3 Kotaro Shimbara Kageyama Racing +1.322s
4 Tosei Moriyama Helm Motorsports +1.730s
5 Hironobu Shimizu Drago Corse +2.504s
6 Rintaro Sato Ponos Racing +3.499s
7 Kento Omiya Ponos Racing +3.764s
8 Kazuhisa Urabe TGR-DC RS +4.925s
9 Kiyoshi Umegaki TGR-DC RS +6.488s
10 Itsuki Sato Drago Corse +6.717s
Pole: Nomura, 2m07.601s
Fastest lap: Horachi, 2m09.332s

Race 2 (11 laps)
1 Nomura 23m39.380s
2 Moriyama +4.065s
3 Horachi +4.321s
4 Shimbara +9.155s
5 Shimizu +12.938s
6 Yuki Sano TGR-DC RS +13.760s
7 Umegaki +14.410s
8 Omiya +15.804s
9 R Sato +17.992s
10 Urabe +18.496s
P: Nomura, 2m07.691s
FL: Moriyama, 2m08.560s

Championship standings
1 Nomura 68   2 Moriyama 55   3 Shimizu 50   4 Horachi 48   5 Shimbara 39   6 Sano 33   7 I Sato 16   8 Urabe 15   9 Kumagai 11   10 Rintaro Sato 10