April 22 2018 Round. 2 Suzuka

Tsuboi makes it back-to-back wins with a lights-to-flag victory in Rd 2 where the podium is secured by same lineup as in the last race

Sho Tsuboi(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

Sho Tsuboi (in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) claimed a lights-to-flag victory on Sunday the 22nd April in Rd2 of 2018 Japanese F3 Championship, making it back-to-back wins.

Start of Japanese F3 Round 2 Suzuka

Having topped in the second best times on his first attack in the 30-min qualifying with 1m51.842 qualifying Tsuboi took pole position for Rd2, with Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317), the pole-sitter for Rd1, as the fellow front row starter, followed by Sena Sakaguchi (TODA FIGHTEX) in third and Ukyo Sasahara (THREEBOND) in fourth.

In the lead up to the race that would start late at 16:30 pm many were concerned about how the track surface was changed after the preceding F3’s season opener, JSB1000 and Super Formula and how a 5-laps longer distance than Rd 1 would affect race developments.

Sho Tsuboi(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

 Tsuboi took advantage of his pole position to get a good start. Miyata also got a good start from second, but not as strongly as to grab the lead. Sakaguchi followed the two.
A poor getaway dropped Sasahara way back to the tail of the field. “There was more rubber piled up on the road than expected”, said the THREEBOND driver. “Maybe I engaged the clutch too early and stalled the car.”

■Tsuboi keeps Miyata backs in a controlled manner until the end

The lead fight was similarly fought to that in Rd 1 as Tsuboi was leading Miyata by roughly one second, while extending gap over Sakaguchi little by little.

Promoted to fourth place by Sasahara’s setback Katayama proceeded to build up a gap over closely chasing Yu Kanamaru (B-MAX RACING F3).

Ritomo Miyata(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

While Tsuboi set the fastest lap of 1m53.893 on exactly the same lap three as he did in the morning the gap over Miyata remained at about one second even past the halfway point.

In the midfield Bruno Carneiro (B-MAX RODIZIOGRILL F3) displayed remarkable charges when he overtook Toshiki Oyu (TODA FIGHTEX) on lap two and Kohno Shunsuke (HubAuto F318) on lap eight for the point in sixth.

Further back, Sasahara quickly set about furious catch-ups at nearly a rate of regaining one place per lap. He even passed Oyu on lap 12 and Kohno on lap 16, but just missed out on points finish as he took the chequered flag in seventh.

Sena Sakaguchi(TODA FIGHTEX)

Tsuboi kept his lead over Miyata within about a second in a controlled manner until the end to wrap up the season’s first weekend with strong results of straight wins and the additional one point from the fastest lap.

Second place went to Miyata. Katayama placed fourth behind Sakaguchi, his best record in the Japanese Formula 3 championship. Kanamaru and Carneiro finished fifth and sixth respectively.

Jake Parsons (NRA312) admirably brought his F3-N car to the finish line again in 13rd.