Home News Koide, Nakamura and Nonaka win at Sugo in Super Formula Lights

Koide, Nakamura and Nonaka win at Sugo in Super Formula Lights

by Ida Wood

Photo: Super Formula Lights

There were three different winners in round two of Super Formula Lights’ season at Sportsland SUGO.

The 15-car field had four hours-and-48 minute of practice running over Thursday and Friday, although Togo Suganami, Daiki Sasaki and Masami Kageyama left after Thursday’s session.

Toda Racing’s Souta Arao was fastest, setting a 1m13.378s to lead TOM’S driver Jin Nakamura by 0.139 seconds and B-MAX Racing’s Syun Koide by 0.291s. The top eight were covered by 0.812s.

Two 10-minute qualifying sessions followed on Saturday morning, and it was super close at the top in both.

Koide led B-MAX’s Kaylen Frederick and Rin Arakawa by 0.072s and 0.076s respectively in Q1, with Nakamura 0.18s behind in fourth and just 0.49s between pole and eighth place. Frederick topped Q2 by 0.012s over Nakamura, and Arao was 0.126s off pole in third.

Later on Saturday was race one, which Koide won. He leapt away at the start while Frederick came under immediate pressure. Nakamura passed Arakawa for third, and Seita Nonaka cleared Arao and Rikuto Kobayashi.

Nonaka overtook Yuga Furutani for fifth on lap two, and Koide grew his lead to a second on lap three. By lap 16 it stood at 8.9s, but over the remaining 10 laps he backed off and his gap was 4.094s at the finish.

On lap eight Kobayashi passed Arao down the pit straight but then went off at turn one and returned to the eighth place he had been occupying, and Nakamura thought about passing Frederick around turn one on lap 14 as a queue formed behind them.

A lap later he cleared Frederick before reaching the corner, and Arakawa and Nonaka did the same to Frederick down the pit straight next time by. It turned out Frederick had a rear-left puncture, and he was soon headed to the pits to retire.

After that the main action was Arao attacking Furutani for fifth, and even though the latter locked up under pressure he did not lose position.

Sunday was very wet, and race two started behind the safety car. A lap three spin for Makoto Fujiwara meant green flags did not wave until lap six, and Frederick lost the lead to Nakamura at turn three by running very wide. Nakamura sprinted away in the spray, winning the 18-lap encounter by 12.107s, with Frederick soaking up pressure from Arao until the latter went off on lap 16 and dropped behind Koide.

On the final lap Koide tried passing Frederick at Horseback Corner but was run off the track by the American, losing 20s and finishing eighth. Arao passed Frederick at the next corner to finish second, and a five-second penalty demoted Frederick to fifth.

Race one’s results set race three’s grid. Nakamura made a slow start from second and Koide then had wheelspin, so Nonaka passed both and Arakawa around the outside to lead. Furutani went for third at turn three but slid off and returned to fifth. Kobayashi passed him on lap two, then the order went unchanged and on lap seven the safety car appeared due to foggy conditions. It stayed out until the finish.

Results round-up
Race 1 (26 laps)
1 Syun Koide B-MAX Racing 33m13.506s
2 Jin Nakamura TOM’S +4.094s
3 Rin Arakawa B-MAX Racing +5.931s
4 Seita Nonaka TOM’S +6.801s
5 Yuga Furutani TOM’S +7.236s
6 Souta Arao Toda Racing +7.932s
7 Rikuto Kobayashi TOM’S +8.272s
8 Nobuhiro Imada B-MAX Racing +44.275s
9 “Dragon” B-MAX Racing +57.149s
10 Makoto Fujiwara B-MAX Racing +1m13.846s
Pole: Koide, 1m13.260s
Fastest lap: Koide, 1m14.466s

Race 2 (18 laps)
1 Nakamura 31m16.226s
2 Arao +12.107s
3 Kobayashi +13.328s
4 Arakawa +14.735s
5 Kaylen Frederick B-MAX Racing +17.893s
6 Furutani +18.377s
7 Nonaka +20.254s
8 Koide +33.195s
9 “Dragon” +51.361s
10 Imada +1m00.359s
P: Frederick, 1m13.025s
FL: Nakamura, 1m32.093s

Race 3 (16 laps)
1 Nonaka 30m27.157s
2 Koide +2.619s
3 Nakamura +3.939s
4 Arakawa +5.474s
5 Kobayashi +6.680s
6 Furutani +7.456s
7 Arao +8.024s
8 Frederick +8.368s
9 “Dragon” +17.261s
10 Imada +17.936s
FL: Nakamura, 1m32.454s

Championship standings
1 Nonaka 38   2 Koide 31   3 Nakamura 30   4 Kobayashi 20   5 Arakawa 19   6 Frederick 16   7 Furutani 10   8 Arao 8   9 Imada 0   10 “Dragon” 0