Home Formula 3FRegional Japanese Championship Koyama extends lead and shares wins in FRegional Japan at Sugo

Koyama extends lead and shares wins in FRegional Japan at Sugo

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRJC

Miki Koyama was the most consistent performer in an up-and-down weekend for many drivers in the fourth round of the Formula Regional Japan season at Sportsland SUGO.

Sota Ogawa won race one from pole, and TOM’S driver Kazuki Oki made a better start from third to pass Koyama for second off the line but gave up his position when he served a drive-through penalty at the end of lap six of 22.

Koyama was four seconds back from Ogawa when she got back into second, but she gradually closed down that gap through the race and finished 1.181s behind.

“Hirobon” put up with pressure from the fast-starting Yoshiaki Katayama for a long time to claim third, and similarly Takashi Hata had Riki Okusa in his mirrors the whole distance on the way to fifth. After his penalty, Oki finished eighth.

Oki started on pole for race two and raced away at the start from Koyama and Ogawa.

Katayama got himself to the front of the midfield pack within a lap once again after starting eighth, and by lap four had brought himself into the fight with the podium runners as the fastest driver on track.

Koyama, Ogawa and Katayama ran line astern until lap 13 when Ogawa finally tried making a pass on Koyama. He had no luck in several places but got it done late in the lap. He then gapped the two behind and started cutting into Oki’s lead until lap 17 when he was close enough to dive down Oki’s inside at turn one.

The pair spent the next two corners going side-by-side, and Ogawa was still applying the pressure until what looked like potential contact as he suddenly dropped off by 10s in the remainder of the lap and then retired.

Oki ended up winning by 0.772s from Koyama, with Katayama a further 0.614s behind.

Koyama had a lights-to-flag success in race three to extend her points lead, and Ogawa was runner-up after passing Oki on the run to the first corner.

It was a bad race for Oki, who gradually slipped back over the race and eventually finished 50.045s back in seventh place. Okusa passed him for third in the first third of the race and held on to that position, having started last, and Katayama went from eighth to fourth.

Results round-up
Race 1 (22 laps)
1 Sota Ogawa Bionic Jack Racing 29m49.509s
2 Miki Koyama Super License +1.181s
3 “Hirobon” Rn-sports +17.452s
4 Yoshiaki Katayama Team LeMans w/ Okayama Team +19.336s
5 Takashi Hata Super License +32.522s
6 Riki Okusa Sutekina Racing Team +34.544s
7 Masaru Miura CMS +46.778s
8 Kazuki Oki TOM’S +47.587s
9 Yuki Tanaka Eagle Sports +1m10.599s
Pole: Ogawa, 1m19.811s
Fastest lap: Koyama, 1m20.418s

Race 2 (22 laps)
1 Oki 29m58.493s
2 Koyama +0.772s
3 Katayama +1.386s
4 Hata +21.404s
5 Tanaka +25.698s
6 “Hirobon” +45.070s
7 Miura +50.898s
8 Ogawa +4 laps
Ret Okusa
P: Oki, 1m18.964s
FL: Ogawa, 1m20.472s

Race 3 (22 laps)
1 Koyama 29m57.239s
2 Ogawa +1.141s
3 Okusa +14.426s
4 Katayama +35.463s
5 “Hirobon” +41.797s
6 Hata +45.565s
7 Oki +50.045s
8 Miura +59.149s
9 Tanaka +1 lap
P: Koyama, 1m19.834s

Championship standings
1 Koyama 255   2 Ogawa 182   3 Katayama 172   4 Hirobon 99   5 Miura 77   6 Oki 77   7 Hata 76   8 Ryunosuke Sawa 75   9 Tanaka 72   10 Okusa 23