July 30, 2017 Rd. 15 Motegi

Tsuboi notches up 3 consecutive victories after fending off Takaboshi
F3-N: Taira clinches his first F3-N win

Winner of Japanese Formula3 Round 15 Sho Tsuboi

Start of Round 15

According to the order of each driver’s second best time in the qualifying that took place Saturday Sho Tsuboi (in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) would start from pole position again in Rd 15 race of 2017 Japanese Formula 3 Championship at Twin Ring Motegi now with Alex Palou (THREEBOND) as the fellow front-row starter – who started from third on the grid for Rd 14 race, and Mitsunori Takaboshi (B-MAX NDDP F3) in third.

DRAGON (B-Max Racing F306) secured F3-N pole position with Yuya Taira (Green Brave with TCS) in second and Takashi Fujii (Planex SmaCame F308) in third, completely the same order as in Rd 14.
The rain that started last night stopped early Sunday morning and every car opted for dry tyres for the track that almost dried up with the sunshine occasionally breaking through the cloudy skies.

■ Tsuboi comfortably controls his lead over Takaboshi

Sho Tsuboi (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317)

As the Rd 15 race started after the formation lap Palou got a late start, allowing Takaboshi to shoot past him and narrowly holding on to third spot. At the end of the opening lap came pole-starting Tsuboi first ahead of Takaboshi, Palou, Hiroki Otsu (TODA FIGHTEX), Yoshiaki Katayama (OIRC F315). Ritomo Miyata’s (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F314) sluggish getaway dropped the fifth starter down the order.

The gap between Tsuboi and Takaboshi was maintained at around 1.5 sec in the early stages, and Palou was following them about two seconds behind. Although Takaboshi began to close in on Tsuboi as the race passed lap seven the gap stabilised at 1.1 - 1.2 sec just past the halfway point.

Alex Palou (THREEBOND)

Without breaking his concentration Tsuboi would comfortably control his lead thereafter, claiming the chequered flag by 0.986 sec and his fifth win of the season with three consecutive victories. He scored 12 points in the race as he did not fail to miss out on a point for the fastest lap this time.

Takaboshi picked up second place three times in a row. Palou finished third ahead of Otsu, Katayama. Despite furious catch-ups after being demoted to the rear of the field Miyata could only manage eighth.

■ F3-N: DRAGON narrowly holds off Taira

Yuya Taira (Green Brave with TCS)

In F3-N a skirmish broke out between DRAGON and Taira immediately after the start of the race. The lead two played a furious battle through turn one and turn two before DRAGON suffered a spin at turn three through a brush from a car behind.
The wild card driver Fujii stalled his machine at turn five and retired, moving Masayuki Ueda (Rn Yamashita Seisakusho F308) up to second behind Taira.
However, Ueda would soon struggle with pressure from Alex Yang (HuaJiangHU F3) in third. In an attempt to keep the pursuer back he changed the racing lines at various points, only to be overtaken at turn five on lap nine and then see Ryoya Hasegawa (Alb Niigata Daiichi Hotel Sugar) make a charge on him.
A driver who broke in there in the closing stages was DRAGON, having recovered from early setback. With a strong pace the B-Max proved himself when he got the jump on Hasegawa at the hairpin on the final lap and then dived down the inside of Ueda at the 90 deg. corner. DRAGON’S podium finish in third means he could become F3-N class champion as early as during the Motegi weekend.

Result & Entry List PDF