Sacha Fenestraz dominated the second round of the Japanese Formula 3 season at Autopolis, sweeping all three race wins in a weather disrupted weekend.
Qualifying and all three races were run in the wet, and Fenestraz quickly showed his pace in the difficult conditions by getting pole position by 1.1 seconds over Toshiki Oyu.
The first race on Saturday and race two on Sunday both started under the safety car, with the top five in both encounters staying in the same order as they qualified in.
Race one wasn’t disrupted again after the safety car came in at the end on lap three but Fenestraz was not troubled by Oyu and Enaam Ahmed behind, the weather conditions making visibility difficult.
The second race was disrupted by two further safety car periods after action got underway due to accidents. It limited green flag running and meant Fenestraz couldn’t create a gap without being interrupted, but each restart he was able to keep Toda Racing’s Oyu at bay.
Fenestraz, Oyu and Ahmed made up the podium in both races ahead of Shunsuke Kohno and Hiroki Otsu.
The third and final race proved to be more difficult for B-MAX Racing with Motopark’s Fenestraz, as he lost the lead of the race to Oyu on lap one of 21.
Oyu was able to extend his lead to over two seconds by the end of the third lap, but Fenestraz started to claw back that advantage. By lap eight he was within one second of Oyu, and after multiple laps trying to get by, he was able to make a move stick with six laps remaining.
Fenestraz’s team-mate Ahmed didn’t get a third podium position. The British driver was given a drive-through penalty after the opening lap, and was eventually shown the black flag for not coming through the pits.
This elevated Otsu to third place where the ThreeBond Racing driver stayed for the majority of the race. He was able to hold off Yoshiaki Katayama to take the final podium position, finishing the race over 30 seconds behind Fenestraz and Oyu.
Fenestraz now leads the Japanese F3 standings, with pre-weekend leader Ritomo Miyata finishing no higher than sixth across the three races. The TOM’S driver leaves Autopolis third in the standings.
Race 1 (14 laps)
1 Sacha Fenestraz B-MAX Racing with Motopark 30m33.820s
2 Toshiki Oyu Toda Racing +7.246s
3 Enaam Ahmed B-MAX Racing with Motopark +13.630s
4 Shunsuke Kohno RS Fine +22.945s
5 Hiroki Otsu ThreeBond Racing +30.286s
6 Kazuto Kotaka TOM’S +34.706s
7 Ritomo Miyata TOM’S +35.110s
8 Yoshiaki Katayama Okayama Team +37.853s
9 Ameya Vaidyanathan B-MAX Racing with Motopark +38.470s
10 Charles Milesi Okayama Team +39.445s
Pole: Fenestraz, 1m50.071s
Fastest lap: Fenestraz, 1m52.009s
Race 2 (13 laps)
1 Fenestraz 35m33.923s
2 Oyu +1.137s
3 Ahmed +3.326s
4 Kohno +4.390s
5 Otsu +4.676s
6 Kotaka +5.898s
7 Milesi +6.858s
8 Miyata +7.845s
9 Katayama +8.048s
10 Vaidyanathan +8.543s
P: Fenestraz, 1m50.565s
FL: Fenestraz, 1m53.411s
Race 3 (21 laps)
1 Fenestraz 38m06.683s
2 Oyu +3.042s
3 Otsu +36.424s
4 Katayama +36.986s
5 Kotaka +37.883s
6 Miyata +38.820s
7 Milesi +1 lap
8 Kohno +1 lap
9 Vaidyanathan +2 laps
10 Ai Miura ThreeBond Racing +2 laps
FL: Fenestraz, 1m46.214s
1?Fenestraz 46? ?2 Oyu 26? ?3 Miyata 22? ?4 Ahmed 22? ?5 Kotaka 12? ?6?Otsu 10? ?7?Kohno 8? ?8 Katayama 3? ?9?Milesi 1? ?10 Vaidyanathan 0