Home News Mugen duo set record pace in cold practice for Super Formula Fuji finale

Mugen duo set record pace in cold practice for Super Formula Fuji finale

by Elliot Wood

Photo: Team Mugen

Team Mugen duo Tomoki Nojiri broke Super Formula’s track record at Fuji Speedway in free practice for the season finale.

Red Bull athlete Sasahara was the first to beat the benchmark, going fastest in the incredibly cold first practice session by 0.710 seconds with a 1m20.863s lap.

He then improved on that in the second session and was sitting at the top of the times until team-mate Nojiri surpassed him with a 1m20.708s lap late on. Rather than respond to Nojiri’s new benchmark, Sasahara ended up spinning on the cold track and causing a red flag stoppage.

All but Dandelion Racing’s points leader Naoki Yamamoto and B-MAX Racing with Motopark’s Nobuharu Matsushita improved in the afternoon session, with Yamamoto having been third fastest behind Sasahara and his own team-mate Nirei Fukuzumi in FP1.

Nojiri was the fastest of the title contenders, with Team Impul’s Ryo Hirakawa 0.239s back in third place, TOM’S driver Nick Cassiy in seventh, and Kondo Racing’s Kenta Yamashita almost three quarters of a second off the pace in 11th.

Honda junior Hiroki Otsu, who makes his series debut with Nakajima Racing this weekend in place of the ill Tadasuke Makino, was 18th quickest. He got within 1.232s of Nojiri’s record pace, and actually lapped under the old record.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Tomoki Nojiri Team Mugen 1m20.708s 49
2 Ukyo Sasahara Team Mugen 1m20.791s +0.083s 42
3 Ryo Hirakawa Team Impul 1m20.947s +0.239s 46
4 Sho Tsuboi INGING 1m20.988s +0.280s 50
5 Toshiki Oyu Nakajima Racing 1m20.996s +0.288s 46
6 Kazuki Nakajima TOM’S 1m21.025s +0.317s 50
7 Nick Cassidy TOM’S 1m21.047s +0.339s 43
8 Nirei Fukuzumi Dandelion Racing 1m21.217s +0.509s 45
9 Yuhi Sekiguchi Team Impul 1m21.237s +0.529s 38
10 Kamui Kobayashi KCMG 1m21.431s +0.723s 45
11 Kenta Yamashita Kondo Racing 1m21.449s +0.741s 48
12 Yuji Kunimoto KCMG 1m21.617s +0.909s 48
13 Naoki Yamamoto Dandelion Racing 1m21.645s +0.937s 42
14 Charles Milesi B-MAX Racing w/ Motopark 1m21.691s +0.983s 53
15 Hiroaki Ishiura INGING 1m21.750s +1.042s 51
16 Nobuharu Matsushita B-MAX Racing w/ Motopark 1m21.767s +1.059s 55
17 Sacha Fenestraz Kondo Racing 1m21.857s +1.149s 36
18 Hiroki Otsu Nakajima Racing 1m21.940s +1.232s 51
19 Kazuya Oshima ROOKIE Racing 1m22.050s +1.342s 43
20 Tatiana Calderon ThreeBond w/ Drago Corse 1m22.118s +1.453s 53