Seita Nonaka won all three races at Twin Ring Motegi in Japanese Formula 4’s second round of the season.
The Toyota junior didn’t start his weekend on top, as after looking set for race one pole in qualifying he ended up being pipped by Reimei Ito. A red flag prevented him from responding in the final minutes, but he did take pole for race two.
A faster start for Nonaka meant he cleared Ito at the start of race one anyway, and he pulled away to take his second win of 2021. Ito held a queue of cars behind him through the 13-lap race, with little in overtaking bar for Rin Arakawa who dropped from sixth to seventh at the start, then rose to fourth in the closing laps of the race.
On several occassions it looked like a safety car would be called, with DRAGON crashing out in the middle of the race, then Hachiro Osaka spinning and then Keiji Nakao getting stuck in the gravel after clashing with Yuichi Sasaki.
Race control’s decision not to call for a safety car backfired, as another car spun and then was stuck with force by another while still stationary. It managed to get going again, while the driver who clouted them had to retire.
In race two there was a far more prompt response to stranded cars, with a safety car interrupting proceedings by lap two. Nonaka had held the lead off pole, while Honda junior Iori Kimura went around the outside of Ito at turn one to move into an second place.
The safety car, brought out after Kotaro Shimbara went off, brought Ito back onto the tail of Kimura and he reclaimed second before a second safety car period after Haruyuki Takahashi spun.
Kimura swept back by Ito on the restart, and then Arakawa got by as well, leaving Ito defending against a large group. He successfully did so in the remaining laps, while Yugo Iwasawa was shuffled down to seventh in the late battles.
Nonaka won from pole again in race three, finishing three seconds clear of Ohta who he shared the front row with.
Ito had no challenge this time and quickly fell to sixth, while Jiei Okuzumi hounded Eijirou Shimizu for fourth all the way. Honda junior Syun Koide retired with car issues.
Race 1 (13 laps)
1 Seita Nonaka TGR-DC RS 25m51.981s
2 Reimei Ito OTG Motor Sports +6.043s
3 Kakunoshin Ohta HFD +7.296s
4 Rin Arakawa TGR-DC RS +8.104s
5 Iori Kimura HFDP +9.272s
6 Eijirou Shimizu TGR-DC RS +9.535s
7 Syun Koide HFDP +10.119s
8 Jiei Okuzumi TGR-DC RS +10.730s
9 Sota Ogawa Skill Speed +16.323s
10 Yugo Iwasawa Bionic Jack Racing +19.176s
Pole: Ito, 1m57.874s
Fastest lap: Nonaka, 1m58.362s
Race 2 (13 laps)
1 Nonaka 29m17.958s
2 Kimura +2.191s
3 Arakawa +2.778s
4 Ito +3.323s
5 Ohta +6.973s
6 Koide +8.867s
7 Iwasawa +9.271s
8 Ogawa +9.738s
9 Okuzumi +10.167s
10 Shimizu +10.602s
P: Nonaka, 1m58.038s
FL: Nonaka, 1m58.971s
Race 3 (13 laps)
1 Nonaka 25m56.214s
2 Ohta +3.179s
3 Arakawa +3.443s
4 Shimizu +4.234s
5 Okuzumi +4.510s
6 Ito +7.824s
7 Kimura +9.060s
8 Ogawa +9.394s
9 Iwasawa +13.723s
10 Seiya Motojima Saccess Racing +19.457s
FL: Nonaka, 1m58.892s
1 Nonaka 115 2 Arakawa 68 3 Kimura 59 4 Ohta 55 5 Ito 50 6 Shimizu 46 7 Koide 38 8 Okuzumi 32 9 Ogawa 24 10 Iwasawa 9