July 29, 2017 Rd. 14 Motegi

Tsuboi claims his fourth victory of the season
F3-N: DRAGON takes his fifth consecutive win

Winner of Japanese Formula3 Round 14 Sho Tsuboi

The seventh event of 2017 Japanese Formula 3 championship had a qualifying and Rd 14 race on Saturday July 29th at Twin Ring Motegi.

Start of Round 14

Best time and second best time of each driver in the 30-min qualifying would determine the grid for Rd 14 and Rd 15 races respectively. As the qualifying started at 10:10 am each car came out on track to warm up. At the end of first attacks of 2-3 laps came Sho Tsuboi (in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) out in front with Mitsunori Takaboshi (B-MAX NDDP F3) in second and Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F314) in third.

With less than 10 minutes to go each car launched its second attack. With leaders forced to warm up in traffic Tsuboi got a good position to secure pole position for Rd 14 race with a time of 1m44.200. Having reduced his times to 1m44.600 on a second set of tyres Alex Palou (THREEBOND) qualified third behind Takaboshi.
DRAGON (B-Max Racing F306) took F3-N pole position. Yuya Taira (Green Brave with TCS) was second fastest ahead of Takashi Fujii (Planex SmaCame F308).

‘ Tsuboi beats Takaboshi but misses out on a point for fastest lap

Even though rain was threatening the Rd 14 race started at 3:50 pm after a five-hour interval still in the dry conditions.

Sho Tsuboi (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317)

Both Tsuboi and Takaboshi nailed the start from the front row, while Palou stalled and then was hit by Ai Miura (EXEDY B-Max F317), who would consequently have a contact with Bruno Carneiro (AlbirexRT-WILSON) and retire along with Palou on the straight. Carneiro got off the track at the first corner and also retired.

Sena Sakaguchi in sixth on the grid (HFDP RACING F316) also stalled, but managed to go off to a start.
This attrition promoted Hiroki Otsu (TODA FIGHTEX) to third, with Miyata, Yoshiaki Katayama (OIRC F315) and Tairoku Yamaguchi (Tairoku Racing #28) rounding out the top six.

Hiroki Otsh (TODA FIGHTEX)

After the first three laps that saw the leading pack circulating at equal distances Tsuboi and Takaboshi would go into a close battle for top spot by roughly one second with Otsu and Miyata in tow similarly fighting a battle for third by roughly one second.
Tsuboi would gradually extend his lead in the closing stages to make it a back-to-back win with a brilliant lights-to-flag performance, scoring his fourth victory of the season. ‘I lost out to Mitsunori on a point for fastest lap, though’, said Tsuboi with frustration.
Takaboshi earned eight points in the race.
Otsu held on to the third spot, claiming his fifth podium finish of the season.

DRAGONiB-Max Racing F306j

‘ F3-N: DRAGON narrowly holds off Taira

Meanwhile in F3-N DRAGON completed the opening lap at the front after making a good start. Affected by the contact between Palou and Miura the second start Taira was forced off the track, allowing Alex Yang (HuaJiangHU F3) and Masayuki Ueda (Rn Yamashita Seisakusho F308) to move up to second and third respectively.

From here, however, the wild card driver would set about catch-ups, as he overtook Ueda on lap three, and passed Yang on lap six to close in on DRAGON in the closing laps.
The lead two entered the final lap just by 0.562 sec and went through the Victory corner head-to-head, the B-Max ending up leading home by 0.269 sec. Taira claimed a well-deserved second place finish.

Another wild card Fujii secured fourth spot behind Yang.

Result & Entry List PDF