Home Formula 3FRegional Japanese Championship Koyama in the clear in FRJC after dominant Motegi weekend

Koyama in the clear in FRJC after dominant Motegi weekend

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRJC

Miki Koyama has sprinted away in Formula Regional Japanese Championship by enjoying an unbeaten weekend at Twin Ring Motegi.

The former W Series racer, whose first single-seater race wins only came in the previous week’s FRJC round at Okayama, topped both qualifying sessions by over half a second and also claimed race three pole with the fastest second-best laptime.

In race one she had a calm run up front until a safety car period caused by Masaru Miura beaching himself in the turn one gravel brought Yoshiaki Katayama back onto her tail, but a strong restart meant she again did not have to worry about a challenge from behind and she pulled away to finish 3.5 seconds ahead.

Sota Ogawa fought with the debuting Kazuki Oki, stepping up from the entry-level Super FJ category, at the vert start of the race and again in the last few laps and was able to hold off the attacks of the TOM’S driver.

Rn-sports’ Hirobon caused a delay to the start of race two when he took a very long time to complete the warm-up lap, took up his place on the grid but was then wheeled into the pitlane and the rest of the field was sent to do another lap.

Ogawa passed Katayama for second place at the start, while Koyama immediately gapped herself and was 3.6s ahead after two laps. The next tour would prove dramatic, as Katayama went to regain second around the outside of turn four but touched wheels with Ogawa and dropped to fourth with Takashi Hata and Yuki Tanaka then on his tail.

At turn nine they both attempted to go to the inside of Katayama, but they collided and spun around Katayama before riding over his car as it went backwards into the gravel. Miura ran into the chaos but was able to then manouver himself out of the scene.

The gaps following the incident were huge, with Koyama 10.7s clear of Oki, and Miura half a minute back. She extended her lead to 24.3s before the end of the race, while Miura closed down a gap of 20s to Ogawa to pass him for third.

It was another controlling drive by Koyama in race three on Sunday, winning by 10.995s over Ogawa, who she now leads by 59 points.

Results round-up
Race 1 (16 laps)
1 Miki Koyama Super License 31m15.848s
2 Yoshiaki Katayama Team LeMans w/ Okayama Team +3.507s
3 Sota Ogawa Bionic Jack Racing +14.777s
4 Kazuki Oki TOM’S +15.362s
5 Yuki Tanaka Eagle Sports +17.511s
6 Takashi Hata Super License +21.502s
7 “Hirobon” Rn-sports +1 lap
Ret Masaru Miura CMS
Pole: Koyama, 1m50.396s
Fastest lap: Koyama, 1m51.404s

Race 2 (15 laps)
1 Koyama 27m50.104s
2 Oki +24.326s
3 Miura +58.158s
4 Ogawa +1m20.514s
Ret Katayama
Ret Hata
Ret Tanaka
DNS “Hirobon”
P: Koyama, 1m49.807s
FL: Koyama, 1m50.656s

Race 3 (16 laps)
1 Koyama 29m46.563s
2 Ogawa +10.995s
3 Katayama +13.938s
4 Oki +16.011s
5 Hata +33.168s
6 Miura +36.318s
7 Tanaka +40.549s
Ret “Hirobon”
P: Koyama, 1m50.398s
FL: Koyama, 1m51.098s

Championship standings
1 Koyama 194   2 Ogawa 135   3 Katayama 133   4 Ryunosuke Sawa 75   5 Hirobon 66   6 Miura 61   7 Tanaka 58   8 Hata 46   9 Oki 42   10 Nobuhiro Imada 18