Home Formula RegionalFRegional Japanese Championship Ogawa extends FRegional Japan lead in up-and-down Okayama round

Ogawa extends FRegional Japan lead in up-and-down Okayama round

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRJC

Sota Ogawa extended his Formula Regional Japanese Championship lead in round three at Okayama.

Ogawa claimed race one pole by 0.265 seconds over Liam Sceats. Ogawa was the pacesetter from the off in the first qualifying session, wth Yugo Iwasawa initially over three quarters of a second behind but cutting that gap to 0.066s.

He then went ahead by 0.320s, but Ogawa responded by going fastest by 0.401s. Sceats then became Ogawa’s closest rival, 0.041s off the pace, before Ogawa stretched his advantage to 0.437s.

Sceats improved to bring it back down to 0.345s, and then to 0.258s with five minutes to go. That gap then fluctuated between 0.2 and 0.3s as the pair continued to improve.

Zhongwei Wang was the surprise pacesetter at the start of Q2, although it did not take long for Ogawa and Iwasawa to move ahead.

Iwasawa went fastest by 0.013s with eight minutes to go, but was only on top for a minute before Ogawa moved 0.258s clear. Sceats managed to seperate the two Bionic Jack Racing drivers with two minutes remaining, getting within 0.222s of the laptime that would deliver Ogawa pole. Jiei Okuzumi failed to set any laps during the session.

The second-best laptimes of each driver from qualifying set race three’s grid, and Ogawa was on top again by 0.257s over Sceats.

Okuzumi stalled at the start of race one, while a fast-starting Sceats ran alongside Ogawa all the way to turn two.

After a lap of pressure the poleman started to pull away, while Sceats had his mirrors full of Iwasawa. He then dropped to fourth, and the order was set for the rest of the race.

Ogawa stretched out an advantage of 7.591s over the rest of the field, while Iwasawa held off former Formula V8 3.5 racer Yu Kanamaru for second.

Okuzumi was allowed to start a damp race two despite not qualifying, and at the front Iwasawa briefly passed Sceats for second at the start.

Ogawa put himself 2.5s clear within a lap, while Okuzumi charged up to second by lap three ahead of Iwasawa, Sceats and a very distant Kanamaru. He started lap eight 16s behind the leader, and finished it two seconds further back but two positions further up the order.

Once in clean air he set fastest lap by a big margin, and from thereon was several seconds faster than everyone else. By lap 12 he had passed Okuzumi, having been 15s behind when he got into third, and then had 9.8s to make up on Ogawa.

He finished lap 16 alongside him, passing into turn one and then lapping two cars as he pulled away. In the last two laps he stretched ahead by 5.934s for an unlikely win.

Sceats passed Ogawa at the start of race three, and held a lead of around a second for 10 laps. Ogawa then started getting closer, and was all over him by lap 16. Sceats held on though, winning by 0.485s and with Kanamaru 1.229s behind.

Results round-up
Race 1 (18 laps)
1 Sota Ogawa Bionic Jack Racing 26m44.913s
2 Yugo Iwasawa Bionic Jack Racing +7.591s
3 Yu Kanamaru Sutekina Racing Team +8.446s
4 Liam Sceats Sutekina Racing Team +11.833s
5 Yoshitsugu Kondo Rn-sports +52.714s
Ret Zhongwei Wang Helm Motorsports
Ret Jiei Okuzumi Buzz Racing
Pole: Ogawa, 1m27.645s
Fastest lap: Okuzumi, 1m28.428s

Race 2 (18 laps)
1 Kanamaru 28m59.407s
2 Ogawa +5.934s
3 Okuzumi +39.477s
4 Sceats +46.343s
5 Iwasawa +55.586s
6 Kondo +1 lap
7 Wang +1 lap
P: Ogawa, 1m27.244s
FL: Kanamaru, 1m32.650s

Race 3 (18 laps)
1 Sceats
2 Ogawa +0.485s
3 Kanamaru +1.229s
4 Okuzumi +2.898s
5 Iwasawa +19.732s
6 Wang +53.498s
7 Kondo +55.597s
P: Ogawa, 1m27.685s
FL: Ogawa, 1m28.529s

Championship standings
1 Ogawa 143.5   2 Sceats 87.5   3 Iwasawa 84.5   4 Ryunosuke Sawa 58   5 Yuya Hiraki 55   6 Kanamaru 55   7 Okuzumi 27   8 Yorikatsu Tsukiko 24   9 Kondo 24   10 Kazuki Oki 18.5