July 30, 2017 Rd. 16 Motegi

Tsuboi concludes Motegi weekend with 3 consecutive wins
DRAGON takes F3-N class title with a second place finish

Winner of Japanese Formula3 Round 16 Sho Tsuboi

About 5 hours after the previous race Rd 16 race of 2017 Japanese Formula 3 Championship took place Sunday July 30 at Twin Ring Motegi. Despite threatening sky the track conditions were completely dry at the start of the race.

Start of Round 16

The grid was decided according to the results of Rd 14, meaning Sho Tsuboi (in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) would start from pole position with Mitsunori Takaboshi (B-MAX NDDP F3) in second, Hiroki Otsu (TODA FIGHTEX) in third and Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F314) in fourth.

Those who had to start from further back than usual behind the F3-N pack included Bruno Carneiro (AlbirexRT-WILSON, starting from 17th), Ai Miura (EXEDY B-Max F317, starting from 18th) and Alex Palou (THREEBOND) – who was relegated to the end of the grid as the result of his clash at the start of Rd 14 race.
In the hope of sealing class title during the Motegi weekend DRAGON (B-Max Racing F306) would start from F3-N pole position. Yuya Taira (Green Brave with TCS) was his fellow front row start.

■ Tsuboi and Takaboshi play a close battle

Even though Tsuboi’s not really good getaway allowed Takaboshi to go toe-to-toe through turn one the pole-start managed to re-establish his lead toward turn three.

Sho Tsuboi (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317)

“I somewhat fluffed the start. Actually I suffered a stall at start in the practice sessions,” said Tsuboi.
Miyata got a slow start, ceding the fourth spot to Yoshiaki Katayama (OIRC F315) and completing the opening lap in sixth behind Sena Sakaguchi (HFDP RACING F316).
The TOM’S, however, would soon take the fourth spot back as he breezed past Sakaguchi at turn three on lap two, and then fended off Katayama at turn five on lap four.

Palou and Miura both had scythed through the F3-N pack by the end of the opening lap.

Hiroki Otsh (TODA FIGHTEX)

Despite on used tyres Takaboshi was keeping the gap to Tsuboi running on fresh rubbers saved for a longer distance of the 20-lap race within a second in the early stages.

As the race neared half distance the field saw a scrap for third spot fought between Otsu and Miyata and a 3-way tussle for fifth spot among Katayama, Sakaguchi and Palou as well as the battle for the lead, and though their gaps were widened or reduced at various points into the closing stages the order would not change till the end.
Tsuboi picked up his sixth victory with four straight wins. Takaboshi scored eight points including one for setting the fastest lap. Otsu secured his sixth podium finish in third ahead of Miyata. Katayama was fifth three times in a row.

Yuya Taira (Green Brave with TCS)

■ DRAGON secures F3-N title; Taira makes it back-to-back win

In order for DRAGON to secure F3-N title in the race he was required to finish ahead of Masayuki Ueda (Rn Yamashita Seisakusho F308).

Taking advantage of fresh rubbers Taira quickly built up a large lead as the race started, and DRAGON followed him.
Taira would gradually extend the lead to make it back-to-back win. With four races still to go DRAGON secured 2017 F3-N title after scoring seven points with second place finish as Ueda added just one point with his sixth place finish, 56 points behind DRAGON in the points standing.

“I’m not really good at Motegi, but now I feel here is actually a lucky track for B-Max Racing Team as the team’s youngsters have won here,” said DRAGON.

“I’m so happy that I won the F3-N title at my age, and hopefully it will give a message that if you hang in there you can do it even if you’re not young”.

Third place went to Takashi Fujii, who prevailed in a scrap with Alex Yang (HuaJiangHU F3) to his first podium finish, a remarkable performance for the wild card driver.

Result & Entry List PDF