May 27, 2017 Rd. 8 Okayama

Takaboshi wins thrilling Rd8 Okayama race with lights-to-flag
F3-N: DRAGON escapes for victory

Mitsunori Takaboshi and his advisor Satoshi Motoyama

A 10-min qualifying for 2017 Japanese Formula 3 Rd 8 race was started at 9:45 am Saturday May 27 at Okayama International Circuit in fine weather. Many of the drivers spent first three laps for warming up tyres before launching attacks, putting some distance in between.

Start of Japanese Formula 3 Round 8

Mitsunori Takaboshi (in B-MAX NDDP F3) narrowly took a pole position from Alex Palou (THREEBOND) by just 0.09 sec. The second row was secured by the Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S duo Sho Tsuboi (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) in third and Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F314) in fourth.
DRAGON (B-Max Racing F306) was first in F3-N ahead of Masayuki Ueda (Rn Yamashita Seisakusho F308) and Alex Yang (HuaJiangHU F3).

■ Unexpected penalty drops second-starting Palou down the order

As the race started five minutes late at 1:55 pm following a track cleanup Takaboshi got a good start from pole. Miyata passed through the first corner in third after taking the spot from Tsuboi at the start.
Just after making it through Turn one in second place Palou was handed down an unexpected drive-thru penalty for failing to keep his tyres in a fixed position while the lights went on one by one, which he would serve on lap three, promoting Miyata and Tsuboi to second and third respectively.

Mitsunori Takaboshi (B-MAX NDDP F3)

Behind the leaders a battle for fourth place would continue until the closing stages as fifth-starting Ai Miura (EXEDY B-MAX F317) had enough pace to keep Hiroki Otsu (TODA FIGHTEX) at bay, the two being followed by Hongli Ye (KRC with B-Max F315) and Yoshiaki Katayama (OIRC F315).
Although Takaboshi gradually opened up his lead over Miyata in the middle stages to move clear of 2.063 sec on lap 10 the TOM’S reduced it to less than two seconds a lap later, and to 1.388 sec on lap 13 when they encountered lapped traffic.
However, the pole-sitter held on to the lead to score his six win of the season. Miyata and Tsuboi shared podium results in second and third respectively.

Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F314)

s lapped cars began to hold up Miura Otsu capitalised on this to significantly reduce the gap. The Toda dived down the inside of Miura at the exit of Attwood on lap 16, the pair going side-by-side on the back straight before contacting at the hairpin.
The collision launched Otsu into the air, bringing his race to an end at the gravel and forcing Katayama – who was battling with Ye – off track, while Miura survived almost undamaged to eventually finish in fourth ahead of Ye.
Katayama subsequently had a contact with Motoyoshi Yoshida (B-Max Racing F312) to come to a halt in the gravel on the same lap.

DRAGON(B-Max Racing F306)

■ F3-N: Head-to-head match-up between DRAGON and Ueda

Meanwhile in F3-N Ueda grabbed the lead from DRAGON at the start, only to lose out to the B-Max even before the opening lap was completed. The two would go head-to-head thereafter into the final lap.
Having been running in third place Yang spun at the exit of the hairpin on lap two, ceding the spot to Yoshida and demoting himself to the tail of the field. Yoshida would be overtaken by Katsuaki Kubota (Planex SmaCame F308) on lap four.
Ryoya Hasegawa (Alb Niigata Daiichi Hotel Sugar) played a remarkable catch-up after going off track at Turn one on the opening lap, and appeared set for a podium finish when he passed Kubota on lap 11. However, the Albirex would also be hit by unexpected fall-off in pace, allowing Kubota to ease past on lap 14.
The close battle for top spot would ultimately be won by DRAGON as he held off Ueda by 1.103 sec at the line to score his fourth win of the season. DRAGON and Ueda firmly shook hands just after the race. Kubota clinched his second consecutive podium finish in third.

Result & Entry List PDF