Home Formula 4 Makino and Tsuboi trade blows at Fuji

Makino and Tsuboi trade blows at Fuji

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: FIA F4 Japanese Championship

Photo: FIA F4 Japanese Championship

Japanese F4 championship leader Tadasuke Makino and his nearest rival Sho Tsuboi shared wins in the campaign’s second visit to Fuji.

In doing so, Makino and Tsuboi remain the only race winners of the series’ inaugural season, with six races of the 14 scheduled complete.

Katsuhide Kaneishi topped the first qualifying session, but had a grid penalty hanging over him, which promoted Makino to pole.

And Makino would be made to work hard for the win until a lap ten collision between Miku Ikejima and Do Yun Hwang brought out the race-ending safety car.

Hiroki Ohtsu held off Yuya Hiraki for second, with Tsuboi claiming fourth place and Mizuki Ishizaka securing a second consecutive fifth-place finish.

Kaneishi once more claimed pole in the following qualifying session and actually got to keep his grid slot.

But he was passed by Ohtsu off the line and also slipped behind Tsuboi.

The latter then took over in the race lead on lap four and set out in the distance.

However, he would not have the most comfortable end to the race as Hiraki had worked his way around both Ohtsu and Kaneishi and managed to reduce Tsuboi’s lead, eventually coming up eight tenths short.

Kaneishi beat Ohtsu on the final lap to claim a maiden podium, with Kazuto Kotaka posting his best finish thus far in fifth.

Points leader Makino, meanwhile, finished well outside of the points after having had to replace his front wing on the opening lap.

2012 Formula Abarth champion Nicolas Costa was ruled out from race one before it even started due to a mechanical failure. The Brazilian went from 30th on the grid to 16th in race two.

Formula Masters China champion James Munro had officially called it quits on his Japanese F4 campaign a few weeks earlier.