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Sette Camara shocks by taking pole for Super Formula debut at Sugo

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Racing Formula 1 reserve driver Sergio Sette Camara claimed pole position for his Super Formula debut at Sportsland Sugo.

The B-MAX Racing by Motopark driver was forced to miss the opening two rounds due to travel restrictions, and an off in Saturday testing at Sugo put him on the back foot.

Sette Camara had a relatively anonymous opening two qualifying sessions. Out in group B in the first segment of qualifying, he placed eighth, only just managing the squeeze through to the second stage of qualifying.

Championship leader Ryo Hirakawa topped the group qualifying stage with a 1m04.364s lap, a time which wouldn’t be beaten in Q2.

Group qualifying was disrupted midway through the second group, when an off for Toshiki Oyu brought out the red flag. As a result, he had his best lap deleted and he will start the race from last place – with that deletion enabling Sette Camara to actually make it through to Q2.

Sette Camara was back on the pace in Q2 though. The debutant put himself fourth overall, while Tomoki Nojiri topped the order with a 1m04.565s time.

Hirakawa couldn’t manage to better his Q1 time, ending the session 0.046s behind Nojiri to take second.

Okayama race winner Sho Tsuboi took second in his qualifying group but couldn’t match the pace in Q2 and ended the morning 13th.

Also missing out on a place in Q3 were Yuhi Sekiguchi and Naoki Yamamoto, who qualified ninth and 10th respectively.

Sette Camara continued to improve in the final qualifying session, lowering the fastest time of the morning to a 1m04.235s.

Hirakawa almost matched Sette Camara’s pace, finishing just 0.053s off the pole sitter to take second.

Kondo Racing rookie Sacha Fenestraz continued his impressive qualifying form with third place, ahead of reiging champion Nick Cassidy – who topped his group in Q1 – and Noiji.

Kazuki Nakajima qualified sixth, while Kenta Yamashita and Ukyo Sasahara completed the order in Q3.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Sergio Sette Camara B-MAX Racing w/ Motopark 1m05.374s 1m04.631s 1m04.235s
2 Ryo Hirakawa Team Impul 1m04.364s 1m04.611s 1m04.288s
3 Sacha Fenestraz Kondo Racing 1m05.080s 1m04.621s 1m04.325s
4 Nick Cassidy TOM’S 1m04.613s 1m04.747s 1m04.351s
5 Tomoki Nojiri Team Mugen 1m04.956s 1m04.565s 1m04.424s
6 Kazuki Nakajima TOM’S 1m04.591s 1m04.855s 1m04.453s
7 Kenta Yamashita Kondo Racing 1m05.098s 1m04.884s 1m04.582s
8 Ukyo Sasahara Team Mugen 1m04.868s 1m04.678s 1m04.739s
9 Yuhi Sekiguchi Team Impul 1m05.203s 1m04.975s
10 Naoki Yamamoto Dandelion Racing 1m05.053s 1m04.988s
11 Hiroaki Ishiura INGING 1m05.261s 1m05.146s
12 Tadasuke Makino Nakajima Racinfg 1m05.376s 1m05.209s
13 Sho Tsuboi INGING 1m04.859s 1m05.997s
14 Yuji Kuminoto KCMG 1m05.209s 1m07.748s
15 Koudai Tsukakoshi Threebond w/ Drago Corse 1m05.451s
16 Nirei Fukuzumi Dandelion Racing 1m05.487s
17 Kazuya Oshima ROOKIE Racing 1m05.915s
18 Kamui Kobayashi KCMG 1m05.943s
19 Toshiki Oyu Nakajima Racing no time