Home Formula RegionalFRegional Japanese Championship Yuga Furutani moves into Formula Regional Japan lead at Motegi

Yuga Furutani moves into Formula Regional Japan lead at Motegi

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRJC

TOM’S driver Yugu Furutani moved into the Formula Regional Japanese Championship lead in the Twin Ring Motegi triple-header.

Riki Okusa beat Furutani to pole for race one, but a terrible start – on the second attempt after B-Max Engineering’s Takumi had a spin on the way to the grid – immediately dropped him to third while Furutani led Ai Miura.

On a damp track Furutani quickly pulled away, with Okusa taking until lap three to reclaim a spot from Miura. His pace advantage over the leader wasn’t immediate, with Furutani actually extending his lead to 5.5 seconds before Okusa – driving for the TOM’S-linked PONOS Racing team – responded.

In the second half of the 16-lap race he closed in rapidly, and by lap 12 was on Furutani’s gearbox. For two laps he tried desperately to get past, eventually doing so at turn two with two laps to go. Despite the short amount of time until the chequered flag, he was able to pull away by 2.283s to take his first single-seater racing win.

Furutani struck back in race two, where Okusa had another poor start, and won by 1.349s to take the points lead from the absent Yoshiaki Katayama.

After being passed by Miura off the line, Okusa dived down the inside of her at turn two and spent the rest of the 17-lap race trailing Furutani but never quite getting close enough to pass.

A mid-race safety car period after Yuki Tanaka had an engine failure brought Miura briefly into victory contention, but she couldn’t keep with the pace of the top two and finished 3.636s behind.

Race three was similar, with Okusa starting from pole and then keeping Furutani in his mirrors for the duration while Miura briefly had a sniff of the lead fight before settling for third. She is now up to second in the standings though as a result.

Race 1 (16 laps)
1 Riki Okusa PONOS Racing 32m39.470s
2 Yuga Furutani TOM’S +2.283s
3 Ai Miura Super License +18.868s
4 Takashi Hata Super License +36.116s
5 Masayuki Ueda Rn-sports +43.440s
6 Masaru Miura CMS +55.862s
7 Yuki Tanaka Eagle Sports +1m03.950s
8 Takumi B-Max Engineering +1m21.972s
9 Syuji B-Max Engineering +1m51.118s
Pole: Okusa, 2m02.238s
Fastest lap: Okusa, 2m00.631s

Race 2 (17 laps)
1 Furutani 34m13.993s
2 Okusa +1.349s
3 A Miura +3.636s
4 M Miura +21.503s
5 Ueda +26.820s
6 Takumi +28.329s
7 Hata +28.782s
8 Syuji +40.408s
9 Yugo +1m36.393s
Ret Tanaka
P: Furutani, 1m48.679s
FL: Furutani, 1m49.383s

Race 3 (17 laps)
1 Okusa 31m06.224s
2 Furutani +0.675s
3 A Miura +6.510s
4 M Miura +29.114s
5 Tanaka +35.303s
6 Hata +35.436s
7 Takumi +46.245s
8 Syuji +1m00.101s
9 Ueda +1m10.287s
10 Yugo +1 lap
P: Okusa
FL: Furutani, 1m49.110s

Championship standings
1 Furutani 115   2 A Miura 84   3 Yoshiaki Katayama 75   4 Okusa 68   5 Yusuke Shiotsu 40   6 M Miura 35   7 Takumi 30   8 Tanaka 30   9 Hata 28   10 Ueda 23