Home Formula 3Formula Regional Japanese Championship Sawa turns prize D’station drive into FRJC victory at Fuji

Sawa turns prize D’station drive into FRJC victory at Fuji

by Cian Brittle

Photo: FRJC

TOM’S driver Yuga Furutani consolidated his Formula Regional Japanese Championship lead at Fuji Speedway, as Ryunosuke Sawa took home a debut win for D’station Racing.

Furutani beat Super License’s Ai Miura to pole for race one, but the latter led the field into turn one, leaving the stalled Sota Ogawa behind, although he was able to continue.

A clear front four emerged early on, and they remained unthreatened until the chequered flag.

However, Miura appeared to struggle for straightline speed, and was overtaken in successive laps on the pit straight by Furutani and Sawa. The initial leader eventually finished third, holding off the advancing Yusuke Shiotsu.

Once Furutani had the lead, he looked the class of the field as he regularly lapped seven-tenths quicker than closest challenger Sawa, to eventually finish over 13 seconds clear.

Furutani was on pole for race two, but had his lead evaporate immediately. Sawa emerged in first by the end of the pit straight, while Miura swept around the outside of Furutani for second.

Furutani and Miura proceeded to squabble, before Furutani replicated his race one pace to close up to Sawa.

At the halfway stage, Sawa was focusing on his mirrors as Furutani appeared to be attached to his rear wing – on lap seven, the two even managed to navigate almost half the lap side-by-side.

Eventually the pressure told, as Sawa was overtaken into turn one. However. going into turn three Sawa slammed into the back of Furutani, spinning him down to sixth.

Sawa just held onto the lead from Miura when re-joining the track afterwards, and he remained there to win the race on track. However, his tangle with Furutani copped a post-race penalty dropped him to 10th, handing a maiden victory to Miura.

Race three began with chaos as Yugo and Hachiro Osaka took each other out before First Corner, requiring the safety car, while Furutani made another poor start and dropped to fifth from the front row.

Sawa experienced opposite fortunes, as on the safety car restart he immediately overtook Ogawa for second, rising three places in less than two racing laps.

This became the lead on lap six, successfully pulling off a move on Miura who quickly fell to third when an opportunistic Furutani passed her and Ogawa.

Furutani could not close up to Sawa, the gap stabilised at just under two seconds, and Sawa – who won his one-off drive in a shootout – won.

Results round-up
Race 1 (15 laps)
1 Yuga Furutani TOM’S 24m34.214s
2 Ryunosuke Sawa D’station Racing +13.720s
3 Ai Miura Super License +14.246s
4 Yusuke Shiotsu Sutekina Racing Team +15.165s
5 Nobuhiro Imada B-Max Engineering +28.360s
6 Yuki Tanaka Eagle Sports +29.494s
7 DRAGON B-Max Engineering +30.245s
8 Masayuki Ueda Rn-sports +31.643s
9 Sota Ogawa Sutekina Racing Team +32.430s
10 Takumi B-MAX Engineering +37.708s
Pole: Furutani, 1m36.925s
Fastest lap: Furutani, 1m37.634s

Race 2 (15 laps)
1 Miura 24m47.444s
2 Ogawa +0.661s
3 Shiotsu +1.601s
4 Furutani +2.457s
5 Imada +2.982s
6 Tanaka +19.127s
7 Ueda +22.362s
8 Takashi Hata Super License +22.921s
9 Takumi +24.365s
10 Sawa +27.760s
P: Miura, 1m40.531s
FL: Furutani, 1m37.008s

Race 3 (15 laps)
1 Sawa 30m05.526s
2 Furutani +1.826s
3 Miura +9.684s
4 Shiotsu +17.792s
5 Ogawa +19.648s
6 Tanaka +23.657s
7 Takumi +37.359s
8 Masaru Miura CMS +39.502s
9 Ueda +44.087s
10 Hata +52.982s
FL: Furutani, 1m36.775s

Championship standings
Furutani 170   2 A Miura 139   3 Shiotsu 79   4 Yoshiaki Katayama 75   5 Riki Okusa 68   6 Tanaka 54   7 Sawa 44   8 M Miura 39   9 Takumi 39   10 Ueda 35